2024 Annual Residential Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) Intensive Course – Ballyvaloo


Be Your Own Best Friend


September 22nd from 4.00pm-September 27th, at 1.00 pm

Ballyvaloo Retreat and Conference Centre, County Wexford


Learn to use the core practices of compassion so that it is possible to love others without losing yourself
This intensive training offers you a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the key practices of mindful self-compassion, based on the research and work of the founders Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. Learn how powerful and transformative mindful self-compassion is, while staying at relaxing accommodation beside the sea!

How do you reach out to a friend in trouble, who may have had a misfortune or is going through difficult times?
Most of us naturally feel compassion when a close friend is struggling and respond by offering support, a hug, a kind act, and kind words.

What would it be like to receive the same caring attention from yourself whenever you needed it most or when you are experiencing difficulty?
If you are too hard on yourself, learn the skills of befriending your own heart through the research supported Mindful Self -Compassion curriculum.

“A deep and healing experience that has re-awakened in me my ability to care and love myself”

Mindful Self-Compassion is a combination of mindfulness, loving kindness, and compassion. All that’s required is a shift in attention —recognizing that you, too, are a worthy recipient of love, kindness and compassion.

“I have learned so very much..I came to heal and to learn how to sustain self-compassion and MSC in my life. I’ve experienced incredible strength through the support of the facilitators but mostly from all of us together in human companionship, love, witnessing, and so much fun..”

Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease.

“I have attended a number of courses in the area of self-development-none as nurturing as this one: taming the critic and falling in love with oneself, learning to be my own best friend..all in a beautiful setting by the sea.”

Self-compassion involves the capacity to comfort and soothe ourselves, and to motivate ourselves with encouragement when we feel stressed, fail, or feel inadequate.

“As an experienced therapist I would highly recommend this course for everyone. I got so much out of it that I hope will enrich my life”


Self-Compassion is an inner strength that enables us to be more fully human – to acknowledge our shortcomings, learn from them, and make necessary changes with an attitude of kindness and self-respect.

The good news is Self-Compassion can be learned by anyone as it is innate to all human beings and is more a ‘remembering’ of our capacity to repeatedly evoke goodwill towards ourselves especially when life is difficult and stressful, while cultivating the desire that all living beings be happy and free from suffering, including ourselves!

This 5 Day Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive is equivalent to the full eight-session MSC curriculum experienced in an intensive format, five full days of training, with a Certified MSC teacher who has completed additional MSC teacher training.

As the name suggests, the MSC intensive is a deep dive into the practice of self-compassion. While it can be emotionally challenging, concentrated practice allows you to become deeply involved in MSC and experience its transformative potential.

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is based on research by Kristin Neff, integrated with the clinical perspective of Christopher Germer. MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.

Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships. And it’s easier than you might think.


About the Certified MSC Teacher: Anne Kirwan

  • Owner/Manager of Ashe House, Centre for MindBody Integration
  • Certified Teacher, Mindful Self Compassion, UC San Diego CFM Mindfulness-Based Professional Institute and Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (CMRP) Bangor University
  • Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach
  • Certified MBSR Teacher with the Institute for Mindfulness Approaches, Germany.
  • Certified Sensorimotor Psychotherapist (CSP) with the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, Boulder, Colorado
  • Trained Teacher endorsed to teach Positive Neuroplasticity (PNT) developed by Dr Rick Hanson


MSC Fees as follows:

  1. Accommodation Fee: € 525
    All-inclusive single ensuite accommodation including all meals, tea/coffee breaks and snacks x 5 nights
  1. Tuition Fee: € 575
    Tuition Fees includes course tuition, MSC workbook, handouts, journal, recordings post course

Early Bird Discount on Tuition Fees open until Friday July 26th 2024= €525

Total Fees less Early Bird Discount=€ 1,050

Tuition rate after July 26th=€ 575.00 plus Accommodation =€1,100

Non Refundable Deposit € 200.00

All fees payable to Ashe House.

Outstanding balance is required by July 28th 2023 (Balance of payment can be made in full or as two separate payments June/July by prior arrangement)

Our rate has no hidden extras and includes deposit, course tuition fee, course materials, guided meditations, room and board in a single ensuite room from Sunday evening 22nd September to lunch on 27th September 2024.

The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook is included in the course fee, as well as a certificate of attendance/CPD 28 contact hours at the end of the course.


Registration and Payment Process:

Step One:

To ensure the course matches your expectations, needs and abilities, we require you to first complete this confidential screening application form. Only the MSC teacher, Anne Kirwan, will view this information.


Step Two:

Once your application form has been received Anne will arrange a phone call or zoom meeting at a time that is convenient for you to discuss your application form together and answer any queries you may have with regard to the course itself, logistics, payments, personal requirements etc. Once your place is confirmed by Anne you will be requested to pay a non-refundable deposit of €200 to hold your place on the course. A further invoice will be emailed for the balance to be paid in one or two payments (by prior agreement).

Payment is always due before the start of the course. The last pay before date and other terms of payment will be stated in the confirmation email with the invoice.

In case of course cancellation, course fee will be refunded.

Your participation is final when the invoice has been paid within the stated Ashe House business terms of payment. Not paying in time can lead to cancellation of your participation.


SKU: N/A Category:


Requirements to attend

For whom
This program is designed for members of the general public, as well as for professionals who wish to integrate self-compassion into their work.

It would be beneficial, though not essential, to have taken a mindfulness-based course such as MBSR or MBCT. You may also have completed a Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) course either over eight weeks or in an intensive format. It is equally suitable for those that have trained to teach MSC.

However, no previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required.

All are welcome!

The 5 day MSC Intensive meets the required prerequisite for training before taking the MSC Teacher Training course.

The number of participant places is limitied. We reserve the right to cancel the course if we do not reach the minimum number required to run the course. If the course is cancelled we will of course refund your registration fee, however please note that we will not refund any travel expenses related to this course.

Who Would Benefit?

Anyone feeling stressed and overwhelmed:
Stresses of life that challenge everyone such as chronic pain, loss, illness, aging, challenges of work-life, relationships, or parenting?
What would it be like to respond to the stress caused by these challenges with love and kindness?
What would it be like to love others without losing yourself in the process?
Do you ever feel exhausted by caring for others?
What would it be like to meet your own emotional needs by giving yourself compassion, instead of becoming depleted and less able to give?

Care Givers:
Do you ever feel drained and overwhelmed when caring for others?
What would it be like to develop a sense of tenderness and care that embraces the suffering of others rather than emotionally reacting to it?
What would it be like to meet your own emotional needs by giving yourself compassion, instead of becoming depleted and less able to give?
Learn to use the core practices of compassion in the midst of caregiving so that it is possible to love others without losing ourselves

Mental Health Professionals:
Do you ever feel exhausted by your clinical work with clients?
What would it be like to give yourself compassion when experiencing empathic pain, as well as giving compassion to those you work with?
What would it be like to deepen the therapeutic relationship by developing self- compassion for yourself and which benefits the client?
Learn to empathetically resonate with people who are suffering( which can be draining and even overwhelming, leading to caregiver fatigue and burnout), without losing yourself

Mindfulness Teachers:
Do you ever feel stressed or overwhelmed when teaching others?
Learn to respond to the challenges of teaching with compassion rather than self-criticism
Learn to develop a sense of tenderness and care that holds the suffering of others rather than emotionally reacting to it?
Deepen a sense of presence and awareness, through self-compassion practices.

Certificate of Attendance

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) 30 contact hours available on completion.

Please ensure you are able to attend the entire course. If this is not possible, please contact us to discuss before submitting an application.


All times are GMT

September 22nd 2024:
Arrival and Check in
4.00 -6.00pm, supper at 6.00 pm
7.30 pm-9.30pm Our first evening will be an orientation session.

September 27th:
Final session 9.00 -1.00pm. The MSC Intensive finishes at 1.00 pm followed by lunch before departure.

What to Bring/Wear

Some Practice equipment will be available from Ashe House but please bring anything that would particularly support you in your personal practice- own meditation cushion/bench, yoga mat, blanket, wrap, drinking bottle, indoor socks/indoor shoes, suitable outdoor shoes and clothing for walks and inclement weather bearing in mind we are adjacent to the sea!

Please contact us if you have any specific needs that we need to be aware of.


Dietary Requirements

All meals will be vegetarian. Please note, we are not able to cater for individual preferences or tastes, only for essential dietary requirements.

Please contact us on info@ashehouse.ie with any essential dietary requirements which we will pass on to the venue.

What to expect

The MSC Intensive will be a combination of sitting, walking, and movement practices as well as reflective /written exercises, discussion in small groups and large group inquiry.

During the program you will have ample opportunity to enjoy your accommodation and surroundings. The goal is to provide a safe and supportive environment for exploring how we typically respond when difficult emotions arise and to provide tools for becoming a warm and supportive companion to ourselves. The emphasis of the program is on enhancing emotional resources and personal capacities. There are extended lunch breaks and space in the evening time to deeply explore, rest, reflect, and learn as much as possible from your own experience of the practices and the course

The first evening will be an orientation session. For the rest of the four and a half days, the practices in the mornings and afternoons will include alternate sitting or lying and movement practices. For this time together, we will be practising meditations to enhance and deepen our mindfulness, loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity.

In addition, there will be a silent early morning practice before breakfast.

In the evenings the teacher(s) will offer talks to help you relate experientially to the day’s practices or alternative quiet space in silence or other mindful activities.


How the MSC Intensive helps to deepen Self-Compassion

The emphasis of the Intensive will be on looking after ourselves, and on nourishing our compassion both through our practice, and through time for relaxation. We will be spending plenty of practice time outside by the sea. (weather permitting!)

What is possible to practice and learn over the 5 Day Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive Course?

In this course you will:

  • practice mindfulness and self-compassion skills for daily
  • Learn ways to meet difficult emotions with greater ease and moment to moment acceptance
  • respond to feelings of failure or inadequacy with self-kindness
  • Learn resources to motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
  • Explore ways to transform challenging relationships, old and new
  • Experience and learn tools to manage empathy fatigue
  • practice the art of savouring and self-appreciation



Magnificently situated overlooking the Irish Sea, Ballyvaloo Centre is the ideal place to take time out from the stresses and pressures of modern living. The long beach frontage, rolling terrain, mature trees and farmland surroundings help to create a tranquil ambience for reflection and relaxation away from the incessant distractions of everyday life.


Location: Ballyvaloo Retreat and Conference Centre

Directions: www.ballyvaloo.ie/contact/directions/

We strongly advise that you visit the venue website to review their Covid-19 policy as the event approaches. You must ensure that you comply with all health and safety, licensing and other rules and regulations of the venue or applicable to the venue. It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with any rules and regulations that apply.


Terms & Conditions


Poem printed by kind permission from the Author, Marie Mc Guigan 2023

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