Our team

Our team

Aimee Eckhardt

Certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher and Creator of the Community for Deepening Practice

Aimee is a very experienced Certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher and Creator of the Community for Deepening Practice

Voraciously curious about the shared human experience across cultures and circumstances, Aimee has spent much of her personal life exploring themes of belonging and connectedness, resilience, and self-determination. 

Her decades-long meditation practice has illuminated her way, and it was the rigors of parenthood (and wise counsel by caring mentors) that ultimately prompted her to add a dedicated self-compassion practice into the mix. Following her first MSC course in 2014, she recognized that she was at the beginning of a much longer journey. Hearing the same need for continued practice echoed among many colleagues and peers, she conceived and launched the 8-month Community for Deepening Practice (CDP). 

Aimee brings warmth and creativity to her teaching and a deep trust of her participants’ own wisdom and capacity. Her work and wellbeing are supported by her personal practice, her family, her co-teachers, her creative pursuits, and the stunning land near where she lives in Colorado, U.S.A. 

Christopher Germer

Psychologist, Harvard Teacher and Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher

Chris Germer, PhD is a clinical psychologist and lecturer on psychiatry (part-time) at Harvard Medical School. He co-developed the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program with Kristin Neff in 2010 and MSC has since been taught to over 100,000 people worldwide.

They co-authored two books on MSC, The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook and Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program. Chris spends most of his time lecturing and leading workshops around the world on mindfulness and self-compassion.

He is also the author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion; he co-edited two influential volumes on therapy, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy; and he maintains a small private practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, USA.



David Spound

Senior MSC and MBSR teacher and teacher trainer

David Spound, M.Ed., is has more than 20 years of mindfulness and compassion teaching experience, including courses in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC).

 He trained and worked at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (the clinic founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.) where he taught MBSR and managed the MBSR Teacher Training and Certification Program.

In addition, he trained and works with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion where he has served as a senior teacher, teacher trainer, and mentor. In recent years, David helped manage the MSC Teacher Training Program, and he co-developed the online MSC Teacher Training course (LOTT). David also leads silent meditation retreats for CMSC, and he is a teacher in the 8-month MSC Community for Deepening Practice.

 David lives in the northeast United States where he enjoys road biking, playing the ukulele, and hiking with his dog Max.

David Treleaven

writer, educator, and trauma professional

David Treleaven, PhD, is a writer, educator, and trauma professional working at the intersection of mindfulness and trauma. He is the author of the acclaimed book Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness and founder of the Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness (TSM) Community—a group of practitioners committed to setting a standard of care through mindfulness-based practices, interventions, and programs.David focuses on offering mindfulness providers with the knowledge and tools they require to meet the needs of those struggling with trauma. Through workshops, keynotes, podcasts, and online education, he is closely engaged with current empirical research to inform best practices. His work has been adopted into multiple mindfulness teacher training programs around the world, including UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, the Engaged Mindfulness Institute, and Bangor University’s MA in Mindfulness program in the UK.

Helle Laursen

Certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher

Helle Laursen, MA, is a Certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher and has 20 +  years of experience supporting people on sick leave due to mental health  issues. For more than 20 years, she has been a dedicated student of  Heartfulness Meditation and a meditation trainer.

She teaches open MSC courses online and in-person, in Denmark as well as internationally. She also teaches for Center for MSC in the US, where she is a Teacher Trainer and Supervisor of the MSC program, as well as teaching the live online MSC program regularly.

Earlier, she had the position  of Leading Mentor Coach in the largest Coach Training Institute in  Denmark for 10 + years, as well as holding a position of Head of Project for a regional based 12-week program for those on sick leave from jobs due to mental health issues like stress, depression and or anxiety. Helle works with varied groups, primarily with social workers, teachers, psychologists, therapists, nurses, and doctors.

Helle is committed to bringing compassionate awareness into everyday life in a  lighthearted way so that life can be even more enjoyable and rich,  and meaningful.

Laura Bassi

Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher and Regional Coordinator for Italy

Laura Bassi is a Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher and Regional Coordinator for Italy. She has been practicing meditation for 12 years.

She has been working as a physiotherapist in Ferrara for 13 years. Science disseminator and curator of the Fisiocamera YouTube channel.

Markus Bohlmann

Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher

Markus Bohlmann, PhD, (he/him), has a passion for nurturing connection and belonging within the LGBTIQ+ community. As a gay man, Markus has found MSC life-changing in his experiences of isolation within and without the LGBTIQ+ community, self-abandonment and self-criticism. As he participated in his first mindful self-compassion course, Markus felt the freedom of not being judged for who he was nor for who he loved.

Markus has since then become a certified MSC teacher, translations coordinator and regional coordinator for MSC in Europe at the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (CMSC), a member of their DEIB and J Committee (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging and Justice), and team leader of their LGBTQIAP2S+ Affinity Group of Circles of Practice, a public meditation offering. Most recently, Markus has been co-creating the adaptation of the MSC Program for the LGBTQ+ community and facilitating workshops on “Mindfulness and Gay Men” in Europe. Markus has lived in North America and in Europe. He teaches in English and in German.

Markus: “I have found MSC deeply transformational in my life as a gay man. It has given me practical tools that have changed my life. If I can do it, so can you!”

Mila de Koning

Founder, Senior Lecturer Mindfulness Trainer and Mindful Self-Compassion Trainer Course

Mila de Koning has been delivering mindfulness and self-compassion courses, workshops and coaching to different audiences since 2006.

She worked for years in healthcare, within the mental health sector in various positions, including as a nurse, sociotherapist, teacher and prevention worker.  Since 2011, she has focused entirely on mindfulness and self-compassion, within the VU medical centre she founded the mindfulness expertise centre with the aim of bringing mindfulness and self-compassion to healthcare.

Together with Marga Gooren, Mila wrote the book Hart voor de dokter, met zelfcompassie aan het werk in 2020 (will be publishes in English soon) and together they are teaching selfcompassion and mindfulness to doctors and other healthcare workers.

Mila is founder of  the Self Compassion Academy and De Mindfulness Academie and lead teacher of the mindfulness and self-compassion teacher training. The Self Compassion Academy is the European partner of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion in San Diego, U.S.A .

‘After so many years of teaching mindfulness and self compassion  I still teach with a lot of passion and pleasure. Passing on mindfulness and self-compassion is something I do with my heart and soul. I truly believe that compassion is a force that can change the world!’ 

Rob Brandsma

Senior lecturer Mindfulness Trainer Course

Rob Brandsma is the developer of the Mindfulness Trainer Course and still enjoys teaching the course. He is particularly interested in harnessing mindfulness and compassion in the many domains of everyday life and, in particular, healthcare.

He is the author of a number of public books on mindfulness for the general public such as Better Now and Everyday More Mindfulness. In the field of the trainer profession, he published the trilogy Mindfulness Basic Book, Mindfulness Practice Book and Mindfulness Training Book. The Practice Book was published in an international edition under the title The Mindfulness Teaching Guide. He follows with interest the advancing scientific understanding of mindfulness and also bases his work as a trainer and the development of new mindfulness-based interventions on it.

Speaking about his passion for mindfulness and compassion, he says: ‘Mindfulness enables me to cope better with challenges and obstacles and to realise more often that the here and now is (almost) always the best place to be. It enriches my life with insight, wonder and mildness. It is a gift to be able to bring this into my work too.’

Rob previously worked as a prevention officer in addiction services, as director of a health education organisation, and in his own psychological treatment practice. He is a non-practising GZ psychologist, remedial educationalist and psychologist NIP.