Frequently Asked Questions

Read answers to frequently asked questions about MBCL in general and about MBCL supervision and certification.

FAQ about MBCL in general

Are there formal guidelines I have to follow, when teaching MBCL group courses?

As long as no formal guidelines have been formulated internationally, the Good Practice Guidelines for Teaching Mindfulness-Based Courses formulated by BAMBA, the British Association of Mindfulness-Based Approaches, can serve as guidelines.

Click here for the BAMBA Good Practice Guidelines.

Can I participate in an MBCL Introductory Course without having first followed a basic mindfulness-based programme such as MBSR or MBCT?

MBCL was developed as a follow-up training programme for those who wish to deepen the wholesome effects of mindfulness with explicit compassion practices. MBCL builds on what you already learned in MBSR, MBCT or other recognised MBP. A sufficient grounding in basic mindfulness practice is a requirement for joining in an MBCL course.

I wish to participate in and MBCL Teacher Training programme and have already followed an introductory MBCL course. However, I only wish to follow a Teacher Training programme for myself and not with the wish to teach MBCL group courses. Is that possible?

Yes, this is perfectly fine.

After participating in an introductory MBCL course you are very welcome to participate in an MBCL Teacher Training programme to deepen your personal mindfulness and compassion practice.

Is MBCL especially focused on developing self-compassion or is it also aimed at developing compassion to others?

In MBCL developing self-compassion is an important starting point. Based on this, however, participants are also introduced to practices that allow them to extend the circle of compassion to other beings and the planet at large. However, the practices offered are always invitations and participants can explore to what extend they wish to expand. They can return to self-compassion practice at any stage.

I have followed a basic mindfulness training and also an introductory MBCL course. I am professionally working with other people but I am not working as a certified MBSR/MBCT teacher. Would following an MBCL Teacher Training still be of value for me?

Health care professionals, therapists, coaches or other professionals who are not certified mindfulness teachers can benefit from participating in the MBCL Teacher Training to deepen their skills in mindfulness-based and compassion-focused interventions and enhance their therapeutic skills in individual or group work, within the ethical code of their own profession.

After having followed the Teacher Training you can integrate these (therapeutical) skills in working individually or in groups – according to your professional work setting.

If you wish we register you on as an ‘MBCL Professional’.

I am retired as a professional. Would it still be valuable for me to follow an MBCL Teacher Training programme?

Yes, also after retirement personal development never stops and the MBCL Teacher Training may be valuable in non-professional domains, such as volunteer work or in your intimate circle of family and friends.

What is the difference between MBCL and MSC?

Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL) and Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) or both increasingly offered in different parts of the world. Basically, MBCL is designed as a follow-up training and MSC as a stand-alone training,

If you wish to know more about differences and commonalities you can click here.

FAQ about MBCL supervision and certification

How do I become a certified MBCL teacher?

To become a certified MBCL teacher, and to be included in the International Register for Certified MBCL Teachers on this website, you have to successfully participate in a MBCL Teacher Training. You should then teach an MBCL certification group training with at least four participants and a minimum of three hours of accompanying supervision. Aim of the supervision is to support supervisees in teaching MBCL so that they can offer the course independently.

Are there formal guidelines MBCL supervisors follow when offering supervision?

As long as no formal guidelines have been formulated internationally, the Good Practice Guidelines for Supervisors of Mindfulness-Based Teachers formulated by BAMBA, the British Association of Mindfulness-Based Approaches, serve as guidelines for MBCL Supervisors.

Click here for the BAMBA Good Practice Guidelines.

In what way does a supervisee have to prepare for the supervision sessions?

The supervisor may ask the supervisee to send an email with specific questions and/or themes for explorations no later than 2-3 days before a scheduled supervision session. At the second and third session, supervisees can also be asked to send a short reflection report with insights from the previous conversation and how they worked with this during the course.

What themes can be reflected upon in MBCL supervision?

Depending on their learning needs supervisees can bring in themes themselves. Reflecting ones areas for development the six competence domains as described in the MBI-TAC by Crane et al. (2012) are fully applicable to MBCL and can be a valuable resource.

  • Providing and organising the MBCL programme to the target group at an appropriate pace.
  • Relational skills.
  • Embodiment of mindfulness and compassion (embodiment).
  • Guiding MBCL practices.
  • Communicating MBCL themes through interactive inquiry (mindful dialogue) and didactic teaching.
  • Facilitating a safe atmosphere and constructive learning environment (holding).

The full version of MBI-TAC and last updates can be found here.

Will there be a formal evaluation at the end of the MBCL supervision process?

At the end of the MBCL supervision process no formal assessment will take place, since supervisees have already followed a certification process for mindfulness teaching.

Certified mindfulness teachers are themselves considered capable of assessing when they can add additional mindfulness-based interventions to their repertoire. However, the supervisor can make recommendations based on the impression of a supervisee during the MBCL supervision process.

When in doubt about the competence of a supervisee, the supervisor will discuss this timely with the supervisee. The supervisor can then recommend additional training, practice and/or supervision. In consultation with the supervisee, the supervisor can also seek advice from Frits Koster or Erik van den Brink or other senior MBCL tutors.

What will the supervisor charge me?

No fixed rate is prescribed as in different countries there are considerable differences regarding what is common and reasonable. Supervisors will orientate themselves towards the rates recommended by their national mindfulness teachers associations. Contracting and invoicing procedures are to be discussed individually with the supervisor.

How can I be included in the International Register for certified MBCL teachers?

After the successful completion of the MBCL certification course accompanied by at least three one-hour supervision sessions, the supervisor will send an email to the responsible coordinator Jana Willms ( and in cc to the supervisee, stating that the supervisee is recommended for inclusion in the International Register for certified MBCL teachers.

The supervisee then has to send a corresponding email to the responsible coordinator Jana Willms ( asking for inclusion in the international register and submitting a contact option (website, email or pdf file) to be published in the register. A copy of a document or a link to a recognised mindfulness institute stating the supervisee is certified to teach MBSR, MBCT or another recognised Mindfulness-Based Programme, as well as a copy of the certificate of participation in the MBCL Teacher Training must be attached.


Self-compassion for men – The courage to be authentic

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I had been living in South-East Asia as a Buddhist monk for about 6 years. When I came back to Europe in 1988 I fell into a strong culture shock and identity crisis. I remember one of the things that really supported me was reading a book by Guy Corneau: ‘Absent...

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More international recognition of MBCL

More international recognition of MBCL

With the call for compassion becoming ever louder in the world, we are pleased that EAMBA European Associations for Mindfulness officially acknowledges Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL) as a Mindfulness-Based Programme (MBP), according to internationally...

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