Meet the SCIP Faculty!

We brought the best of the best together in one 32 week program.

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We are honored and grateful to present our amazing lineup of 18 international clinicians, psychologists, doctors, healthcare professionals, professors, all of whom are all leaders in their field of expertise!

Christopher Germer PhD

co-founder of CMSC and co-developer of MSC

Chris is a clinical psychologist, lecturer on psychiatry part-time at Harvard Medical School and maintains a private practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, USA. Chris spends most of his time lecturing and leading workshops around the world on mindfulness and self-compassion. In addition to the books he has written with Kristin, he is the author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion and the book Shame through New Eyes: The Transformative Power of Mindful Self-Compassion to be published in 2021.

He is the co-editor of two influential volumes on therapy,
Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy.

Kristin Neff, PhD

co-founder of CMSC and co-developer of MSC

Kristin received her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley and is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. 
A pioneer in the field of self-compassion research, Kristin created a scale to measure the construct almost 20 years years ago. Fast-forward to this year and Kristin’s work is now cited and applied worldwide in healthcare, education, government, the military, business, the media, and sports as well as by the general public. In addition to writing numerous academic articles and book chapters on the topic, she is the author of the book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself and Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power and Thrive.

Steven Hickman, PsyD

Executive Director of CMSC & Clinical psychologist

is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and an Associate Clinical Professor in the UC San Diego Department of Family Medicine & Public Health. As the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (CMSC) Executive Director, Steve provides oversight, vision, direction, and focus on the development and expansion of CMSC around the world.

He is also the Director of Professional Training for MSC, overseeing the training of teachers worldwide from “start to finish” and assuring the highest quality standards and the best possible resources for teaching MSC intensives and workshops internationally in-person and online. Steve is the Founding Director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, a program of community building, clinical care, professional training, and research. He has taught Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for 19 years and has trained teachers of MBSR and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).

Brandon Yabko, PhD.

SCIP Education Director & counseling psychologist

is a licensed counseling psychologist based in Salt Lake City, UT and serves as the SCIP Education Director. He is a Certified MSC instructor and formally trained in MBSR and MBCT.  He spent the past decade working at the Veterans Health Administration as a psychotherapist and administrator. He created the VA’s first Mindfulness Center and is passionate about therapy, education, and authentic and equitable leadership. He left the VA in early 2022 in order to pursue these passions and to further align with core values. He is passionate about social justice and this is exemplified in his leadership and interactions within organizations he participates in. Brandon’s theoretical lens of humanistic/existential and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is furthered by his technical approach that integrates EMDR, ACT, and CBT with self-compassion- and mindfulness-based interventions. Above all else, Brandon values presence, trust, and authenticity in therapeutic, professional, and personal relationships. He enjoys snowboarding, family time, exercise, and the outdoors.

Sydney Spears, PhD

LCSW, LSCSW, TCTSY-F, licensed clinical social worker

is a certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher, Center of Mindful Self-Compassion Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, and a Trauma-Sensitive Yoga facilitator and certified through the Center for Trauma and Embodiment. She is also licensed as a clinical social worker and works part-time at the University of Kansas as an adjunct instructor teaching coursework in diversity, anti-oppression, social justice, and trauma-sensitive practice.

Marta Alonso Maynar, PhD

Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy Specialist EFPA / COP

is a professional collegiate psychologist and specialist in clinical psychology with the Ministry of Education and Science in Spain. As a Clinical Psychologist, she is specialized in mindfulness and compassion treatments. Marta earned an Advanced Masters´ Degree in Clinical Psychology and another one in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy. Her career has developed primarily in the areas of teaching compassion and mindfulness to therapists, especially about integrating them in anxiety disorders. She also has taught several Self-Compassion in Clinical Practice workshops with Dr. Chris Germer internationally and is the Vice President of the Executive Board of the Center For MSC. As the first certified MSC teacher in the Spanish language, Marta is an MSC Teacher Trainer and Mentor, and has taught more than 50 editions of the program. She is a co-author of “Mindfulness en la Práctica Clínica” and produced with Dr. Simón the bestsellers CD-books: “Mindfulness y Autocompasión” as well as several papers and book chapters. She holds the European Certificate of Competence in Professional Psychology “Europsy” and the recognition as European Expert in Psychotherapy by the EFPPA.
In her words: “I have seen how the MSC has helped thousands of people from different cultures and contexts because it teaches us to remember that all human beings have a compassionate heart full of seeds of love to be watered. Self-compassion is our universal legacy and it is a privilege to teach this program”.

Shari Geller, PhD

author, clinical psychologist, MSC teacher

is an author, clinical psychologist, and a trained teacher of mindful self-compassion (MSC). With over twenty years of experience weaving psychology and mindfulness, Dr. Geller offers practical guidance for cultivating therapeutic presence, grounded in neuroscientific and clinical research. Dr. Geller has a long-term mindfulness meditation and self-compassion practice. Her publications include two seminal books: A Practical Guide for Cultivating Therapeutic Presence and a co-authored book with Leslie Greenberg, Therapeutic Presence: A Mindful Approach to Effective Therapy.

Dr. Benjamin Weinstein, PhD

licensed clinical psychologist

As a Clinical Psychologist, lecturer, and trainer serving expatriate and local communities across Southeast Asia since 2003, Ben is committed to facilitating growth and development in many contexts. He is profoundly inspired by the remarkable alchemy of mindfulness, purpose-guided engaged living, and self-compassion.  Ben uses an experiential-behavioral approach to psychotherapy, specializing in trauma, emotional regulation, intercultural adjustment, dislocations, and resilience. Ben shares the MSC training program in English and Thai.  He also volunteers his time to organize mindfulness retreats and trainings for Thai healthcare professionals.  Ben holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is currently an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Chiang Mai University.

Galia Tyano Ronen, MA

Clinical psychologist, focusing-oriented therapist, artist, and specializing in children, adolescents, and adults.

Galia Tyano Ronen loves life on earth with all it brings into her soul and vice versa. She loves the diversity of connections with people, nature, arts, body, music, and spirit. She is a clinical psychologist, focusing-oriented therapist, artist, and specializing in children, adolescents, and adults. She walks a path accompanying people over a section of their lives—a mindfulness teacher for therapists and educators, incorporating mind-body-spirit work in her encounters. Galia’s training and experience as an organizational consultant in psychoanalytic theory assists corporations, businesses and educational institutions with mindfully identifying obstacles, leading with strengths, and creating more compassionate workplaces and teams.

Susan Pollak, MTS, Ed.D.

psychologist, author, co-founder of Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at Harvard Medical School / Cambridge Health Alliance

is a psychologist in private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is a longtime student of meditation and yoga who has been integrating the practices of meditation into psychotherapy since the 1980s.

Dr. Pollak is cofounder and teacher at the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at Harvard Medical School / Cambridge Health Alliance and was the president of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy for ten years, from 2010 to 2020.

Ann Saffi Biasetti, PhD

Psychotherapist PhD, LCSWR, C-IAYT

has been a practicing Psychotherapist for 29 years. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology with a Transpersonal concentration and is licensed as a Clinical Social Worker. She is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDS) through IAEDP. Her doctoral research explored the role of self-compassion in eating disorder recovery. Her first book, Befriending Your Body: A Self-Compassionate Approach to Freeing Yourself from Disordered Eating, was released through Shambhala Publications in August 2018.

David Treleaven, PhD

writer, educator, and trauma professional

is a writer, educator, and trauma professional working at the intersection of mindfulness and trauma. A visiting scholar at Brown University, David focuses on empowering meditation and mental-health practitioners with the knowledge and tools they need to practice mindfulness in a trauma-informed way. He is the author of the best-selling book Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness, and he’s taught and lectured on the topic at The University of Massachusetts Medical School, UCLA, The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, and the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute developed at Google.

Lorraine M. Hobbs, MA

Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy Specialist EFPA / COP

is the Founding Director of the Youth, Family & Education Programs at the UCSD San Diego Center for Mindfulness.  She is a family therapist and former clinical director of adolescent treatment programs. Lorraine is certified to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), and Compassion Cultivation, Altruism, Research & Education (CCT), a Stanford University accredited program created by contemplative scholars and endorsed by H.H. The Dalai Lama. 

During her tenure at the Center for Mindfulness, she designed and implemented curricula in mindfulness-based interventions for multiple age groups, including a program in Mindful Compassionate Parenting.  She is a pioneer in self-compassion training for parents, teens and kids and is co-author of Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens, formerly known as Making Friends with Yourself. This teen program in self-compassion is adapted from the Mindful Self-Compassion program for adults created by Kristin Neff, Ph.D. & Chris Germer, Ph.D.  Lorraine is co-founder of the teacher training program and provides teacher training in the teen curriculum throughout the U.S. and internationally. Her new curriculum for kids and parents, A Friend in Me: An emotional strength training program in empathy, kindness and compassion for kids and parents, offers parents and kids an opportunity to build skills together that can foster deeper listening, self-regulation, and resilience. Lorraine is also a mentor for the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction certification pathway at the UCSD MBPTI and Director of Project Huruma (Compassion in Swahili), a non-profit, humanitarian organization focused on teaching mindfulness and self-compassion.

Zev Schuman-Olivier, MD

Instructor in Psychiatry. Institution. Cambridge Health Alliance.

is the Director of the CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, Medical Director for Addiction Services as well as Director of Addiction Residency Education and Mindful Mental Health Service at CHA. Dr. Schuman-Oliver is faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Data Sciences at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. As a board-certified addiction psychiatrist, he has been involved with research and clinical care of patients with addiction, mental illness, and chronic pain both in mental health and primary care settings. He is a founding member of the Mindfulness Research Collaborative and is part of the NIH Science of Behavior Change Initiative. He is the principal investigator of the MINDFUL-PC project, which is leading the way in integrating mindfulness into the patient-centered medical home. He is Director of the Clinical Core for the NCCIH program project grant on synergistic approaches to chronic pain treatment. Finally, he led the development of the MySafeRx integrated technology platform and has been studying the impact of compassionate, motivational mobile recovery coaching and remote daily supervised medication dosing on medication adherence during opioid use disorder treatment.

Christian Stiglmayr, DIPL-PSYCH

clinical psychologist with a specialty in DBT

is a practicing psychologist in Berlin, Germany, who specializes in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and working with borderline patients. He studied psychology at Eichstätt and Freiburg and was the psychologist on the first DBT unit in Germany. In 2001, he founded the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Wissenschaftliche Psychotherapie Berlin (AWP Berlin), a training institute for psychotherapeutic techniques and methods. He is a psychotherapist for Behavioral Psychotherapy in Berlin, an assistant professor at Humboldt University in Berlin, and a trainer and supervisor for students of DBT. He has written numerous publications on states of tension, self-injurious behavior, dissociation, and DBT. In 2017, he became a Trained Teacher in Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). In 2018, he completed a study exploring the effectiveness of MSC for Borderline patients (claiming, “It was great fun!”). and in 2019 became a Certified MSC Teacher.

Rhonda V Magee, M.A. Sociology, J.D.

professor of law and thought leader

is a Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco and an internationally-recognized thought and practice leader focused on integrating mindfulness into higher education, law and social change work. A prolific author, she draws on law and legal history to weave storytelling, poetry, analysis and practices into inspiration for changing how we think, act and live better together in a rapidly changing world.

Paul Gilbert, FBPsS, PhD, OBE

Prof. of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby

is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby and an honorary visiting Prof at the University of Queensland. Until his retirement from the NHS in 2016 he was Consultant Clinical Psychologist for over 40 years. He has researched evolutionary approaches to psychopathology with a special focus on mood, shame, and self-criticism in various mental health difficulties for which Compassion Focused Therapy was developed. He was made a Fellow of the British Psychological Society in 1993, president of the BABCP 2002-2004, and was a member of the first British Governments’ NICE guidelines for depression. He has written/edited 21 books and over 250 papers and book chapters. In 2006 he established the Compassionate Mind Foundation as an international charity with the mission statement To promote wellbeing through the scientific understanding and application of compassion. There are now a number of sister foundations in other countries. He was awarded an OBE by the Queen in March 2011 for services to mental health. He established and is the Director of the Centre for Compassion Research and Training at Derby University UK. He has written and edited many books on compassion. His latest Book is Living Like Crazy.

Michelle Becker, M.A., LMFT

founder of Compassion for Couples™

is a licensed marriage and family therapist and compassion teacher who knows that human beings thrive in healthy, well connected relationships. Yet, that’s not always our experience. She also recognized that most of us are underdeveloped in skills that are fundamental to those relationships – compassion and wisdom. She founded Wise Compassion with the bold intention of changing the way we relate to each other. 

Michelle is the developer of the Compassion for Couples™ program. A teacher of teachers, she is co-developer of the Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training, a senior teacher of the Compassion Cultivation Training program and a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator. Michelle is also the founder and leader of Well Connected — a group of individuals dedicated to developing their compassion skills and practicing (extra)ordinary acts that create resilient relationships.

Richard Schwartz, Ph.D.

family therapist and developer of Internal Family Systems (IFS)

is a systemic family therapist, academic, and founder of Internal Family Systems (IFS). Grounded in systems thinking, Dr. Schwartz developed IFS in response to clients’ descriptions of various parts within themselves. He focused on the relationships among these parts and noticed that there were systemic patterns to the way they were organized across clients. He also found that when the clients’ parts felt safe and were allowed to relax, the clients would spontaneously experience the qualities of confidence, openness, and compassion that Dr. Schwartz came to call the Self. He found that when in that state of Self, clients would know how to heal their parts.

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