Making Friends with Yourself Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens and Young adults

tennis-shoes-banner“The privilege of the lifetime is being who you are” Joseph Campbell

Adolescence is a time of change, growth and often, struggle.  As a teen you might be confronted with various intense situations  such as heartbreak, anxiety, peer pressure, bullying. So, how can you manage stress, silence your inner critic, and embrace who you really are?

Making friends with Yourself is a course designed to help you to cope more effectively with the ongoing challenges of your daily life. It is an 8-week training program designed for people aged 13-19 to learn to manage difficult emotions  through their everyday life. In this course you will learn practices through fun activities based on mindfulness and self-compassion that will help you to navigate through emotional ups and downs of this life stage with greater ease.

Self-compassion can be learned by anyone. It’s a courageous attitude that allows us to embrace who we really are. And it’s easier than you think.

This 8 weeks program was adapted by Karen Bluth, PhD, and Lorraine Hobbs, M.A., from the adult Mindful Self-Compassion training (created by Kristin Neff, PhD and Christopher Germer, PhD) and has been endorsed by its authors. Primary scientific studies demonstrate 32% of reduction in depression for teens who practice self-compassion.

After participating in this workshop, you’ll be able to:

  • Practice self-compassion in daily life
  • Understand the empirically-supported benefits of self-compassion
  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • Transform challenging relationships, old and new
  • Practice the art of savoring and self-appreciation 

What To Expect

Program activities include meditation, short talks, art and experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. It is said that “love reveals everything unlike itself.” While some difficult emotions may arise when practicing self-compassion, MSC teachers are committed to providing a safe, supportive environment for this process to unfold, and to making the journey interesting and enjoyable for everyone.

MSC includes 8 weekly sessions of 1,5 hours each. In order to benefit the most from the program it is highly recommendable that participants plan to attend every session and practice mindfulness and self-compassion every day throughout the program.


No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required to attend MFY. To insure safety, participants are asked to provide background information when they register for the program.


Maja Wrzesien has a PhD in clinical psychology, and she is a researcher in the field of emotion regulation, mindfulness and compassion at the University of Amsterdam. She is a certified mindfulness trainer and she is affiliated with UvA Minds You, an academic clinical center. Maja is also teacher in training of mindfulness self-compassion, and mindfulness self-compassion for teens programs.

Julia Biesters, MSc., works as a health care practitioner at UvA minds, academic treatment clinic for parents and children UvA minds and the academic training center UvA minds You. As a mindfulness trainer, she is experienced in working with children, teenagers and parents.

Registration  (trainings only take place with sufficient sign-ups)

Numbers of sessions: 8 Time: 17.30 – 19.00 Dates: 31/05, 7/06, 14/06 , 21/06, 28/06,  5/07, 12/7, 19/7

Language: English

Location: UvAminds You, Banstraat 29, 1071 JW Amsterdam

Number of participants: Minimum 5 and maximum 15 participants

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