Supporting Families in Building Resilience and Inner Strength

What is Mindful Self-Compassion?

Mindfulness is bringing non-judgmental awareness to the present moment. Self-Compassion is treating ourselves with the same kindness and compassion as we would a good friend.

Benefits of Mindful Self-Compassion

  • Become aware of how hard we can be on ourself and the unhelpful impact it has.
  • Creating a more helpful view of self.
  • Meeting moments of struggle with kindness instead of with harsh self criticism.
  • Increase motivation and inner strength needed to meet life’s challenges and obstacles.

Supporting Families in Cultivating Deeper Relationships

What is Nonviolent Communication?

Violence in our communication shows up in the way we criticize, blame, shame, and/or guilt ourselves and others. A kinder approach is to explore the underlying feelings and unmet needs as a way to understand what is really going on; and what is important. From here, we can ask for what we want in a way others can hear (without criticism, blame, shame, and/or guilt). In this way, it makes it a lot easier for others to help meet your needs.

Benefits of Nonviolent Communication

  • Deeper listening to self and others.
  • Being more comfortable with vulnerability.
  • Become aware of our feelings and needs


Tool #1: An online MSC-T (formerly known as MFY) program for teens provide practical tools for managing stress and the many challenges and obstacles life brings. 

Tool #2: An online workshop for parents working with Nonviolent Communication (aka Compassionate Communication); a communication framework that supports empathy for self and others; creating pathways for deeper connection with self and others.


MSC-T (formerly known as MFY) Program

Having the resilience to meet life’s challenges and obstacles is easier said than done. The MSC-T (formerly known as MFY) program explores some of the obstacles in a teen’s life while giving teens a suite of tools in navigating them. The MSC-T program will engage participants in:

  • meditation exercises,
  • deeper listening and reflection through group discussions,
  • exploring relevant topics teens face on an almost daily basis,
  • cultivating the awareness we’re not alone in our struggles.
  • turning down volume of self critical voice
  • turning up volume of a kinder and gentler voice.

All of the above can support teens in gaining insight in how to better navigate life’s challenges and obstacles; while cultivating the much needed resilience in meeting the world’s trying times. Please register for the MSC-T program using the form at this link.

Compassionate Communication: Being a Parent in 2021 Toolbox

In partnership with the Taarika Foundation, we are offering this is two hour workshop where parents will explore ways to find connection with their children through their communication. Come with some real life situations and gain some support and insight while exploring new ways to communicate with your child.




Marina Barnes and Alex Espinosa.

For more information on our team, click here.



Our next MSC-T (formerly known as MFY) program starts on Sunday, September 12th and ends on October 31st.  The group meets weekly for eight consecutive Sundays from 3:00pm to 4:15pm PST or 3:00pm to 4:30pm PST depending on number of participants. Minimum of four and maximum of twelve participants. 

Our next Compassionate Communication 2 hour workshop for parents begins on September 9, 2021. We are offering this in partnership with Taarika Foundation .



MSC-T (formerly known as MFY) program

A fee of $350 per participant will be collected for the MSC-T (formerly known as MFY) program once your registration has been confirmed. A limited number of scholarships may be available based on need.

For this investment in yourself, you will receive:

  • Eight 75 minute sessions with two experienced instructors,
  • Weekly emails to participants and parents describing each session,
  • Weekly recordings of meditations participants can reference for practice; if they choose,
  • Access to instructors for questions and support throughout the eight weeks,
  • Opportunity to dive deeper into core values after completion of the MFY program.

Please register for the MSC-T program using the form at this link.


Compassionate Communication: Parenting in 2021 Toolbox

A fee of $25 per participated will be collected for the Compassionate Communication: Parenting in 2021 Toolbox workshop.

For this investment in yourself and your family, you will receive:

  • Two hour workshop with two experienced instructors.
  • An introduction to the core concept and skill of nonviolent communication.
  • An opportunity to practice the introduced skill.



All programs are currently delivered over Zoom.


1-on-1 Counseling

with Alex Espinosa

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in San Jose. I am dedicated in supporting clients navigate personal difficulties and having clients finding their own personal strength.  I have worked for nine years in the Bay Area with families and individuals of different age ranges coping with life transitions, anxiety,  depression, and grief.  

Therapeutic approaches I utilize in guiding clients finding their inner strength include CBT, Solution Focus, and Strength Base therapy. Utilizing a few approaches help meet the need of every client. I am currently providing services for self-paying clients  and take some insurances. For more information go to



1-on-1 Coaching

with Marina Barnes

I am a trained teacher in Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens (the program formerly known as Making Friends with Yourself); a Mindful Schools Certified Instructor; a Nonviolent Communication (aka Compassionate Communication) practitioner; and Program Director of Youth Services at Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. 

I have a strong interest in helping teens build the foundation of emotional well-being through mindfulness, compassion, and communication.  Learn more at





“I liked learning the various coping techniques to help me de-stress and calm down. I also felt that the program helped me be kinder towards myself.” Participant

“I’ve learned to appreciate more of what I have in my life.”  Participant

“It helped me accept a lot of things about myself I can’t control.”  Participant

“This was beneficial for teens receiving eating disorder treatment, groups were moderated in ways that supported the participants in feeling comfortable.” Parent


Sign Up Here

Please fill out this form to express your interest in joining the program.

When we receive your form, one of us will reach out to you with more information about the program and to answer any questions you may have.