Mindful Self-Compassion Webinar Series

In these challenging times, schools and businesses have closed, families are shut in at home, and COVID-19 cases and deaths are mounting. Families, children, and those of us who work with them face high levels of stress, anxiety, fear, uncertainty, and grief. This is especially true for those of us who live and work in communities that are over-burdened and under-resourced.

The Brazelton Touchpoints Center, the Center for Child and Family Well-being at the University of Washington, and the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion have teamed up for a three-part webinar series that will introduce families and family-facing providers to mindful self-compassion (MSC) practices to help them care for themselves and each other. Research has shown these practices can greatly enhance emotional well-being, boost resilience, reduce anxiety and depression, and help foster healthy lifestyle habits.


Webinar #1:
Mindful Self-Compassion: Heart Skills for Our Families and Ourselves in Challenging Times
Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 12 PM PT / 3 PM ET

This first webinar provided an introduction to MSC, the research that supports it, and a few simple ways we can bring it into our lives during these challenging times. Many people feel uncertain about mindfulness and self-compassion, and wonder whether they really would feel right and work for them. Participants learned how MSC is being practiced in diverse communities around the world, and how it can build resilience in all kinds of families, reduce caregiver burnout, and strengthen relationships. Participants also had a chance to experience MSC through a few brief practice exercises during the webinar.


Joshua Sparrow, MD
Executive Director, Brazelton Touchpoints Center

Executive director of the Brazelton Touchpoints Center in the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he also holds an appointment in the Department of Psychiatry. He is a co-principal investigator for the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (Office of Head Start, Office of Child Care, ACF, HHS), and is part-time associate professor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. In 2010 he was appointed to the Health and Human Services Secretary’s Head Start Research and Evaluation Committee. He serves on the American Pediatric Association’s Child Poverty Task Force, and on the American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) Head Start Collaborative Advisory Council. At the Brazelton Touchpoints Center, his work has focused on cultural adaptations of family support programs, organizational professional development, cross-sector collaboration, and aligning systems of care with community strengths and priorities.



Christopher Germer, PhD
Co-founder, Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC); Co-developer, MSC Program

A clinical psychologist and lecturer on psychiatry (part-time) at Harvard Medical School. He is a co-developer (with Kristin Neff) of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program, which has been taught to over 100,000 people around the globe, author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, and co-author of Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program and The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook.  He is also a co-editor of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy. Dr. Germer is a founding faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy as well as the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School. He teaches and leads workshops internationally on mindfulness and compassion, and has a private practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, USA, specializing in mindfulness and compassion-based psychotherapy.

Websites: https://chrisgermer.com   https://centerformsc.org


Yaffa Maritz, LMHC
Founder and Director, Community of Mindful Parenting; Co-founder, Listening Mothers; Certified MSC facilitator

The founder and director of the Community of Mindful Parenting, which offers mindful and self-compassion skills-based programs for parents with young children. She was born and trained in Israel as a clinical social worker. She is also a licensed mental health counselor with advanced training in infant mental health. Yaffa believes that by supporting parents and creating nurturing communities for them, we can set the foundation for the positive growth of children’s social, emotional, and mental health. She is a founding board member of the Charter for Compassion, participated in the Stanford University teachers training program called CCT (Compassion Cultivation Training), and completed the advanced training program in MSC (Mindful Self-Compassion) with Drs. Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. She has facilitated MSC groups in diverse settings, including the University of Washington, high-security prisons, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Mount Elgon in Kenya.

Watch Webinar Here!


Webinar #2:
Mindful Self-Compassion: Co-creating Heart Skills with Communities
Wednesday, May 13 at 12 PM PT / 3 PM ET

This second webinar will explore how communities can create culturally relevant, trauma-informed mindfulness and self-compassion programs. Representatives from a team of parent leaders and health care partners in Seattle, Washington, will share their experience developing community-led mindfulness and self-compassion practices to promote the well-being of youth, families, and communities who are marginalized. Together, they’ve worked to build resilience and collective capacity for social justice and healing.

Joshua Sparrow, MD
Executive Director, Brazelton Touchpoints Center

Kim Arthur, MPH
Clinical Research Scientist, Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle Children’s Hospital

Shayla Collins
Faculty, Family Leadership Division of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program, University of Washington

Patty González
Parent Coordinator for Spanish-speaking Families at the Arc of King County

Lenna Liu, MD, MPH
Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital

Watch Webinar Here!

Lenna Liu, MD, MPH, is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital. She practices general pediatrics at Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic and also supports families in healthy lifestyles and weight management at Seattle Children’s Child Wellness Clinic. With training in yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, she is working to bring mindfulness and mindful eating to pediatrics. Her hope is to share the practices of mindfulness and compassion with patients, families, and health care colleagues in order to deepen the experience of healing for all.



Shayla Collins is faculty with the Family Leadership division of the University of Washington’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program. Shayla has served as a co-instructor in the Families as Collaborators class at the University of Washington’s College of Special Education. As the mother of two children with special health care needs, Shayla was introduced to mindfulness through a parenting group in 2016. She attributes that transformative experience to new and improved self-confidence, self-awareness, and relational harmony. Most recently, Shayla co-facilitates mindfulness trainings for other parents and community groups in and around the Seattle area.



Kim Arthur, MPH, works with a team of parents and health care professionals at the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in Seattle to design, offer, and evaluate culturally relevant mindfulness and compassion programs for parents and other primary caregivers. She is currently conducting two community-engaged research studies exploring the impact of the team’s first mindfulness and compassion programs in English and Spanish. She also collaborates with other investigators on research to improve the quality of care and health outcomes for families of children with medical or social complexity.



Patty González is the Parent to Parent Program Coordinator for Spanish-Speaking Families at the Arc of King County in Seattle, WA. Patty provides information and support to the families of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, particularly as they navigate special education and the health care system. She first took Mindful Self-Compassion in 2017 and joined the team of parents and health care professionals at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic with the goal of ensuring the Latino community could access a culturally tailored version of the class in Spanish.



Webinar #3:
Mindful Self-Compassion: Co-creating Heart Skills in Early Childhood Programs and Systems
Wednesday, June 24 at 12 PM PT / 3 PM ET

This third webinar will explore how early childhood programs and systems use mindfulness and self-compassion to support their providers and the families and communities they serve. Join us to learn more about the many different approaches diverse early childhood organizations are taking to adapt and integrate mindfulness and compassion to deeply inform organizational culture and systems change.


Joshua Sparrow, MD
Executive Director, Brazelton Touchpoints Center


Maria Gehl, MSW
Project Director, Mindfulness in Early Childhood, ZERO TO THREE

Galia Tyano Ronen, MA
Clinical psychologist, Certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher, artist

Kandace Thomas, MPP, PhD
Executive Director, First 8 Memphis

Watch Webinar Here! 

Maria Gehl, MSW, is deeply committed to supporting early relationships with a spirit of nurturing and inquiry. In her current role, she does this through directing the Mindfulness in Early Childhood Project at ZERO TO THREE.  Her current work focuses on increasing understanding and use of mindfulness and compassion strategies in early childhood settings and parenting. In previous roles at ZERO TO THREE, Maria has provided leadership to two national home visiting technical assistance centers focused on bringing capacity building supports to tribal communities and state systems.



Galia Tyano Ronen, MA, loves the diversity of connections with people, nature, arts, body, music and spirit. Since a very young age she was deeply drawn to the natural world. As a certified mindful self-compassion teacher, focusing-oriented therapist, artist and clinical psychologist, she walks a path accompanying people over a section of their lives. With her local community, she creates culture festivals based on the generosity, togetherness, free will, spirit and talent of citizens living in Kiryat-Tyvon, without any government help. Her intention is to bring a soft, kind and compassionate approach to communities and individuals.


Kandace Thomas, MPP, PhD, works to help individuals, programs and systems of care experience transformation by learning, doing and being. Currently, Kandace is the Executive Director of First 8 Memphis, an organization working to build a collaborative early care and education system in Memphis, Tennessee. Prior to joining First 8 Memphis, Kandace was a senior program officer at the Irving Harris Foundation where she worked with organizations integrating early childhood development and child trauma-informed best practices for children from birth to age eight. Kandace has research, policy and practice interests in contemplative self-care, intergenerational trauma, building power to influence public policy and diversity-informed practice.