MAKING FRIENDS WITH YOURSELF (MFY): A Program in Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens (Middle School students)

ID : 11097   
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This Section is for Middle School students.
What is MSC?
An 8-week program that is adapted from the Mindful Self-Compassion course created by Kristin Neff, PhD, U of Texas, Austin, and Christopher Germer, PhD, Harvard. The MFY for adolescents, was developed by Karen Bluth, PhD, U of North Carolina, and Lorraine Hobbs, MA. Dr. Wells has trained with all of these scholars and is a teacher of both programs. She will hold an information meeting for parents of the students who will be attending the program.

What the MSC program includes: Weekly sessions to include the program overview, numerous activities that are designed to promote self-discovery, mindfulness practice where students develop skills of being able to focus on the present moment, without all of the distractions and preoccupations of a busy and compelling academic and social calendar. They also learn about self-compassion and how it helps to develop a compassionate voice to support the ups and downs of adolescent life. Included will be information that can assist the students as they encounter academic pressure with tests and assignments, learning how to see the common humanity of adolescent experience.

An important element of this training is the review of focus, where students will learn how to direct their attention and engagement with learning. These adolescents will learn to direct these qualities as they befriend themselves with kindness and understanding. As students prepare for Advanced Placement (AP) exams and college life, skills in mindful self-compassion can assist in their development of resilience and what the literature refers to as qualities that may offer emotional support during adolescence (Bluth, et al., 2016).

This program is taught in a supportive environment where students learn and practice mindfulness together with a variety of learning activities. It is a program designed to cultivate and model acceptance and compassion.

How is the MSC program offered? In a weekly meeting that includes learning and practice, taught in an environment that fosters resilience and empowerment for young people. The sessions are 1 1/2 hours per week. The program will begin on October 4th, and has limited enrollment of 22 students (minimum number is 14). The sessions will be offered on Wednesday afternoons, at the Education and Administration Building next to Groves Auditorium.

What is the research about MSC? Results in increases in self-confidence, optimism, happiness, creativity, and gratitude. Results in lowered anxiety, depression, stress, rumination, perfectionism, and fear of failure.

Why is this important for our adolescents? Our youth face incredible challenges with academic pressure to excel, desire to be accepted, need to feel safe and included, and develop independence and social connections. The MSC program is designed to help young people develop a strong inner voice of acceptance and understanding.

Who is facilitating this program? This program is being presented by Caryn Wells, Ph.D., an Associate Professor at Oakland University in the Department of Organizational Leadership. Dr. Wells teaches mindfulness and mindful self-compassion to graduate students, and introductions on the topic to doctoral and medical students at OU. Caryn is a former high school guidance counselor, who also served ten years as principal of Grosse Pointe North High School and one year as the supervising principal of Grosse Pointe North and South High School. She is the author of the book, “Mindfulness: How School Leaders Can Reduce Stress and Thrive on the Job,” published by Rowman and Littlefield, March, 2016.

Dr. Wells trains educational leaders, teachers, and mental health faculty in mindfulness and mindful self-compassion in full-day sessions, and professors and professional organizations in the same topics. She has had extensive training in mindfulness and mindful self-compassion.

Questions? Contact Marcia Wilkinson at

Program Tuition: $360/student

Program Times: High School students: 3:30-5 p.m., Middle School students: 5:30-7 p.m.

Dates: 8 sessions on Wednesdays, October 4-December 6, 2017. No class on November 15 and November 22.

Location: BPS Education and Administration Center, Evergreen Room, 31301 Evergreen Road, Beverly Hills, MI 48025

Class Details

8 Sessions
Weekly - Wed

BPS Education and Administration Center (EAC)

Caryn Wells 



Registration Closes On
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 @ 12:00 AM

Schedule Information

Skip dates: (No class on 11/15/2017, 11/22/2017)

Date(s) Class Days Times Location Instructor(s)
10/4/2017 - 12/6/2017 Weekly - Wed 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Beverly Hills, BPS Education and Administration Center (EAC)  Map, Room: Evergreen Board Room Caryn Wells