8-Week Mindfulness-Based Course

Questions? Contact Faculty and Staff Assistance Program


The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program offers mindfulness-based courses for faculty, staff, residents, postdocs and clinical fellows. 

Due to COVID-19, we have suspended this program until further notice.


The purpose of the eight-week mindfulness based self-compassion course is to increase self-awareness through a heart-centered approach. Through the lens of self-compassion, this mindfulness course will promote greater self-acceptance, an increased ability to allow difficult emotions, and provide self-soothing techniques during moments of inner chaos. Through practice, planting the seeds of mindfulness self-compassion can result in the healing of old self-defeating patterns such as self-criticism and blame. Over time, and with the support of a group, the subtler qualities of self-compassion, wisdom, and inner stability can emerge. The group will be open to all UCSF faculty, staff, residents, postdocs and clinical fellows.

Mindfulness research results

(American Psychological Association, 2012)

  • Mindfulness-based self-compassion programs have been shown to increase self-compassion, mindfulness and well-being (Kneff & Germer, 2012)
  • Mindfulness has been linked to increased self-compassion, empathy and strong associations to positive psychological functioning (Birnie, Speca, Carlson, 2010)
  • Self-compassion has been found to be an emotionally positive self-attitude that can protect against the negative consequences of self-judgment, isolation and rumination (Neff, 2003)
  • Less emotional reactivity (Ortner et al., 2007)
  • More cognitive flexibility (Davidson, 2000; Davidson, Jackson, & Kalin, 2000). It helps people become less reactive, develop the skill of self-observation, develop more adaptive responses to stressful or negative situations
  • Relationship satisfaction (Barnes et al., 2007; Wachs & Cordova, 2007); the ability to respond well to relationship stress and the skill in communicating one's emotions to a partner
  • A meta-analysis of 39 studies indicated that mindfulness reduces stress, anxiety, depression, somatic distress, and increases emotional regulation (Hoffman et al., 2010)


This eight-week program introduces participants to mindfulness practice through a self-compassionate lens in the form of sitting meditation, body awareness and mindful movement. The program will start with a one-hour information session to introduce mindfulness practice. The group sessions will be held for one hour once a week over the eight weeks.

Meditation references

Birnie, K., Speca, M., & Carlson, L.E. (2010). Exploring self compassion and empathy in the context of mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR).Stress and Health, 26(5), 359-371.

Davis, D. & Hayes, J. (2012, July).  What are the benefits of mindfulness. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx

Neff, K. (2003). Self-compassion: An alternative conceptualization of a healthy attitude toward oneself. Self and identity, 2(2), 85-101.

Neff, K.D., & Germer, C.K. (2013). A pilot study and randomized controlled trial of the mindful self compassion program. Journal of clinical psychology,69(1), 28-44.

Ortner, C.N., Kilner, S. J., & Zelazo, P.D. (2007). Mindfulness meditation and reduced emotional interference on a cognitive task. Motivation and emotion, 31(4), 271-283.

Wachs, K., & Cordova, J.V. (2007). Mindful relating: Exploring mindfulness and emotion repertoires in intimate relationships. Journal of Marital and Family therapy, 33(4), 464-481.

Mindfulness resources

Resource centers

Phone apps

  1. Insight Timer
  2. Headspace
  3. Smiling Mind
  4. iMindfulness
  5. Mindfulness Daily



  1. Full Catastrophe Living, by Jon Kabat-Zinn
  2. When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, by Pema Chodron
  3. Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Jon Kabat-Zinn
  4. The Unfolding Now: Realizing Your True Nature Through the Practice of Presence by, A.H. Almaas
  5. Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom, by Rick Hanson
  6. A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Book by Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein
  7. Mindfulness for Health: A practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing, by Vidyamala Burch, Danny Pennman, Mark Williams (Foreward)
  8. The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions, by Christopher K. Germer
  9. The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times, by Pema Chodron
  10. Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting, by Myla Kabat-Zinn  and Jon Kabat-Zinn