• Offerings
  • What is Self-compassion?
  • Meet Heather, our facilitator


Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

Please consider joining us for an upcoming workshop, schedule a workshop for your group, or reach out with your suggestions and feedback.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Self-Compassion Workshops

Experience core self-compassion practices, and learn the core elements and science of self-compassion. Based on empirically-supported Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program. Topics can include:

  • Essential skills for self-compassion
  • Self-compassion for caregivers and providers
  • Compassionate motivation and reframing failure 
  • Yin and Yang of self-compassion

Workshops are scheduled periodically in the community, and are also available upon request to meet your needs or the needs of your organization.

Yoga for Embodied Self-Compassion

Explore core practices and concepts of self-compassion through an all-levels yoga practice. This workshop can also be provided upon request for individuals or groups.

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Program

Experience the empirically supported 8-week MSC program, developed by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer.  Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion to enhance our capacity for emotional wellbeing.  In MSC, you will explore how to:

  • Practice mindfulness and self-compassion in daily life
  • Understand the science of self-compassion
  • Use self-compassion to live in accord with your values
  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
  • Work with challenging relationships
  • Manage caregiver fatigue
  • Practice the art of savoring and self-appreciation
  • Teach simple self-compassion skills to others

This program is designed for members of the general public. Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in MSC. All are welcome!

Program activities include discussion of topics, experiential exercises, meditation, small group interaction, and home practices. 

8 session course (includes eight weekly 2.75 hour classes plus one half-day silent retreat).

Interested in learning more?

Please contact Heather Shaughnessy-Cato:

What is self-compassion?

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Generally, self-compassion is an awareness practice in which we offer ourselves the same understanding and kindness we might offer to a friend.  Self-compassion has been linked to emotional wellbeing, enhanced resilience and coping, motivation with less fear of failure, and increased relationship satisfaction. 

Self-compassion can include soothing and validating ourselves and our experiences, as well more active elements such as protecting ourselves, providing ourselves with what we need, and motivating ourselves to make changes.  

Workshops and courses draw from professional trainings through the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion and the work of Drs. Kristin Neff and Chris Germer who developed the 8-week, empirically supported Mindful Self-Compassion program.

While it can be helpful to understand self-compassion conceptually, the related practices are all intended to be embodied — practiced and experienced with mind and body.  They are also meant to be creatively customized for you (by you), so that they resonate with you and within your life. 

As a teacher and workshop facilitator, it is my role to share the wisdom of the practices, the science and research which support their efficacy, and to encourage and support you to creatively engage with the practices and apply what you learn to navigate the realities in your own life.

Please consider joining me for an upcoming workshop, schedule a workshop for your group, or consider individual training sessions.  I look forward to hearing from you!

-Heather Shaughnessy-Cato, Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher-in-Training

Meet our facilitator

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Facilitator and Teacher: Heather Shaughnessy-Cato

Healing the heart is my favorite topic to explore, study and teach. I am excited to provide offerings in the community that provide tools, practices and methodologies to tackle life’s many challenges with more wisdom and ease.

After working in non-profit and higher education development roles for 13 years, I completed a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with professional training experience as a counselor / therapist in a hospital health setting and a college counseling center.  In this work, I integrated mindfulness and self-compassion regularly into my work with individuals and groups. I also had the honor of teaching yoga, mindfulness, self-compassion and meditation in university and college settings and in communities.   

I am inspired by the clients and students with whom I have worked — by the creative ways in which they applied wisdom teachings to get unstuck, to grow in their ability to love themselves, and to face heartbreaking realities with courage and resilience.

Through my personal self-compassion practice, I have an appreciation for the many challenges that present themselves along the path to transformation and change.  I therefore tend to approach teaching with some humility, humor and an invitation to be honest about, explore, and learn from all of our experiences. There are riches to be discovered in these experiences, and our work is to learn and grow with curiosity and courage, and to hold ourselves through it all with kindness and compassion.

I have found immense healing, insight and wisdom in my own life through these embodied practices.  I am delighted to also be positioned to also teach these practices. I hope to have the opportunity to work with you, and to see what we might discover!

About me:

Heather Shaughnessy-Cato
Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher-in-Training


  • M.A., Clinical Mental Health Counseling, UNC Charlotte
  • B.A. in Psychology and B.A. in Sociology from the State University of New York at Geneseo


  • 10+ years experience in development and fundraising for non-profits and in higher-education
  • 10 years as a mind-body teacher
  • 3 years as a therapist, under supervision while working toward licensure

Professional trainings and workshops

  • Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training
  • 200-hour vinyasa yoga teaching certification
  • Community for Deepening Practice (self-compassion) – 8 month, weekly online program (currently underway)
  • Designing Your Life Facilitator Training
  • Mindful Self-Compassion Core Skills (2-day)
  • Mindful Self-Compassion 5-Day Intensive
  • 5-Day Tools for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
  • Trauma-Informed Yoga Training
  • Children’s Trauma-Informed Yoga Training
  • Vipassana 10-day silent meditation course
  • Designing Your Life for Women workshop
  • 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva with Pema Chodron
  • The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

Photo by Vladimir Fedotov on Unsplash

 be easy.
take your time.
you are coming
to yourself.

the becoming | wing

-Nayyirah Waheed
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash