CMSC Library

The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion has trained over 2,300 people to teach MSC around the globe and among those talented individuals are a number of people who have taken the time to distill their wisdom, experience and training related to self-compassion into extremely valuable and insightful books. Take a moment to browse this amazing and practical collection of books and see how the resources of self-compassion can help us navigate everything from parenting to adolescence to our inner emotional and creative world.


Book Description
Title Description

How to Tame the Tumbles

Eileen Beltzner, SCC, BA, MSW, RSW

How to Tame the Tumbles pushes the literature and practice of mindfulness to a new frontier where parents and children, together, can find an avenue to self-compassion. This concise and engaging book of fourteen chapters will guide parents and children towards a new appreciation as to how they can deal with the “tumbles” that inevitably arise from time to time. The book also includes helpful exercises and resource materials to “tame the tumbles.”

Befriending Your Body: A Self-Compassionate Approach to Freeing Yourself from Disordered Eating

Ann Saffi Biasetti, Ph.D., LCSWR, CIAYT

A step-by-step holistic approach to recovering fully from disordered eating, using self-compassion and embodiment practices to reduce symptoms, increase body awareness and acceptance, reconnect to others, and step back into an integrated life. Dr. Biasetti offers yoga-based movement, body-awareness practices, meditations, and journaling exercises to help release long-held habits of self-criticism and perfectionism. Her step-by-step program will rebuild self-compassion, self-care, body awareness, acceptance, and connection to the self and to others.

Mindfulness and Self-Compassion for Teen ADHD

Karen Bluth, PhD and Mark Bertin, MD

Being a teen with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) doesn’t stop you from wanting what almost every other teen wants: independence, good grades, and a healthy social life. But ADHD also presents obstacles that can keep you from reaching your goals. At times you may become frustrated, sad, or even angry at your inability to achieve the things you want. This book can help.

This unique guide will help you develop the skills you need to strengthen your executive functioning, foster the self-compassion essential to overcoming self-criticism often caused by ADHD, and gain the confidence and resilience necessary to take control of your ADHD—and your life. You’ll also learn how to manage your emotions, focus, practice flexible problem solving, change habits, and improve communication skills. Finally, you’ll learn how these skills can improve your relationships with friends and family, and help you succeed in school—and life!

The Self-Compassionate Teen: Mindfulness and Compassion Skills to Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice (The Instant Help Solutions Series)

Karen Bluth, PhD

Written by psychologist Karen Bluth and based on practices adapted from Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer’s Mindful Self-Compassion program, this book offers fun, everyday exercises grounded in mindfulness and self-compassion to help you overcome crippling self-criticism and respond to feelings of self-doubt with greater kindness and self-care. You’ll find real tools to help you work through difficult thoughts and feelings, navigate life’s emotional ups and downs, and be as accepting of yourself as you are of others.

The Self-Compassion Workbook for Teens: Mindfulness and Compassion Skills to Overcome Self-Criticism and Embrace Who You Are (An Instant Help Book for Teens)

Karen Bluth, Ph.D.

Your teen years are a time of change, growth, and—all too often—psychological struggle. To make matters worse, you are often your own worst critic. The Self-Compassion Workbook for Teens offers valuable tools based in mindfulness and self-compassion to help you overcome self-judgment and self-criticism, cultivate compassion toward yourself and others, and embrace who you really are. Life is imperfect—and so are we. But if you’re ready to move past self-criticism and self-judgment and embrace your unique self, this compassionate guide will light the way.

Selbstmitgefühl entwickeln (German)

Christine Braehler, DClinPsy, PhD
Clinical Psychologist, Supervisor

Achtsamkeit ermöglicht uns, wach und entspannt im Hier und Jetzt zu leben. Die kleinen, kompakten Pocketguides aus der Reihe Achtsam leben eignen sich für den unkomplizierten Einstieg und sind randvoll mit Anregungen, Übungen und fundierten Impulsen für die Umsetzung im Alltag. Alle Bände wurden von erfahrenen Psychologen, Achtsamkeitslehrern oder Lebensberatern entwickelt. Entschleunigung, Gelassenheit, innere Balance — entdecken Sie die positiven Effekte von Achtsamkeitspraxis und innerer Entwicklung.

Attachment-Based Yoga & Meditation for Trauma Recovery: Simple, Safe, and Effective Practices for Therapy

Deirdre Fay, LICSW, MSW

This book offers an unprecedented, attachment-informed translation of yogic philosophy to body-based trauma treatment. The result is both erudite and accessible, emphasizing ready-to-implement skills and approaches that are as groundbreaking as they are effective. Organized around key trauma issues and symptoms, this book offers clinicians a practical but far-reaching look at mind-body skills and techniques for helping trauma clients access their individual wisdom, develop secure internal attachment, and find the path home to the Self.

The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions

Christopher Germer, Ph.D.

Over his decades of experience as a therapist and mindfulness meditation practitioner, Dr. Christopher Germer has learned a paradoxical lesson: We all want to avoid pain, but letting it in —and responding compassionately to our own imperfections, without judgment or self-blame — are essential steps on the path to healing. This wise and eloquent book illuminates the power of self-compassion and offers creative, scientifically grounded strategies for putting it into action. Free audio downloads of the meditation exercises are available at the author’s website:

Teaching Self-Compassion to Teens

Lorraine Hobbs, Niina Tamura

Grounded in knowledge about the unique developmental challenges of adolescence, this book presents an innovative approach for teaching self-compassion to teens and young adults in clinical, educational, or community settings. Lorraine Hobbs and Niina Tamura provide guided practices, creative exercises, and teaching strategies adapted from Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer’s widely disseminated Mindful Self-Compassion program for adults. Case examples, sample dialogues, and scripts illustrate how to set up and run successful groups that address teen concerns such as self-criticism, self-esteem, social comparison, and strong emotions. The book offers guidelines for cultivating a personal practice and working with parents. Tips for providing a safe, effective learning environment are woven throughout; a special chapter covers trauma-sensitive teaching.

Self-Compassion For Dummies

Steven Hickman

Being kind to yourself might sound simple, but self-compassion can change your life dramatically (and most of us are WAY kinder to others than to ourselves) Self-Compassion For Dummies will help you discover self-critical thoughts and self-defeating behaviors that are holding you back from fulfilling your potential and explore how you can learn to work around these things to find your way to more joy and satisfaction. We often think being hard on ourselves will help motivate us to be better people, but Dr. Steven Hickman’s review of the research finds that just the opposite is true. When you learn to love and appreciate yourself completely (as an imperfect human with messy feelings and uncomfortable thoughts), you free yourself up to achieve great things. This book will show you how!

The Mindful Doodle Book: 75 Creative Exercises to Help You Live in the Moment

Patricia Isis, Ph.D., LMHC, ATR-BC

This book combines the evidence-based benefits of mindfulness and doodling to inspire focus, creative expression, self-compassion, and awareness. Mindful doodling is fun, calming and can be deeply moving. The Mindful Doodle Book is a therapeutic tool that mental health clinicians can use directly with their clients. However, anyone can find these tools meaningful and useful to navigate a hectic world with loving, connected presence. Combines the benefits of mindfulness and the intuitive expression of doodling to help you relax, find focus, and creatively express emotions through spontaneous artmaking.

Mind Bubbles: Exploring mindfulness with kids

Dr. Heather B. Krantz, MD

Children are wholly capable of embracing these concepts when presented in a straightforward, appealing fashion that speaks directly to them. Mind Bubbles presents an easy way for young children to work with their breath while noting thoughts and feelings passing and popping like bubbles. The book is a clear, concise, and secular explanation of mindfulness that children ages 4-8 will understand and want to try for themselves. It may be read by or to young children and includes a guided mindful breathing script for teachers and parents to read so everyone can practice their new skills.

The Little Book of Self-Compassion: Learn to be your own best friend!

Kathryn Lovewell, Penny Haynes (illustrator), and Marta Dec (Designer)

Discover ways to befriend your inner critic and be happy with who you are, just as you are, no matter what you are doing or not doing. With a self-compassionate approach to your life and living, you too can embrace a kinder, more compassionate way to take great care of yourself, especially in times of struggle.

The Little Book of Self-Compassion offers a gentle and delightful introduction to self-compassion. With tender encouragement, this little book will inspire you to make friends with yourself.

Offering a warm and light-hearted approach, you can discover how to pay close attention to a friendlier voice inside and bring kindness to the most important relationship you’ll ever have, the one with yourself.

The Voices in my Head

Kathryn Lovewell and Penny Haynes (illustrator)

The Voices in My Head has a unique approach to helping children understand the critical and compassionate voices ‘inside their head’. It offers the opportunity for children (and their carers) to learn how to feel okay about themselves, even when things go wrong. Young readers see how differently the two powerfully illustrated ‘voices’, Crusher (critical voice) and Booster (compassionate voice) respond to everyday difficulties the children may encounter.

The Voices in my Head Colouring Book

Kathryn Lovewell and Penny Haynes (illustrator)

The Voices in my Head – Colouring Book is a chance for children (and their carers) to learn to feel okay about themselves even when things go wrong, even when they feel stupid or when they compare themselves to others. How do you want your children to feel when they fail at something, make a mistake or behave in a way that isn’t so great?

Therapietools Selbstmitgefühl (German)

Margarete Malzer-Gertz, Cornelia Gloger, Claritta Martin, Helga Luger-Schreiner

“Zu lernen, unser eigenes Leben mit sanftem Mitgefühl zu halten, ist ein Schlüsselelement in jedem emotionalen Heilungsprozess. Die Übungen in diesem Buch bieten für beide, Therapeutin/Therapeut und Klientin/Klient, einfache, leicht zu nutzende Hilfestellungen, um Zugang zu der transformativen Kraft von achtsamem Selbstmitgefühl zu erhalten – eine essenzielle Ergänzung für die psychotherapeutische Werkzeugkiste!”
– Tara Brach.

Wir Eltern sind auch nur Menschen! (German)

Dr. med. Joerg Mangold

“In einem leichten, einladenden Stil geschrieben, bietet Jörg Mangolds Buch einen frischen Denkansatz, der Achtsamkeit und Selbstmitgefühl verbindet, um die unvermeidlichen Herausforderungen der Elternschaft zu bewältigen. Er zeigt Ihnen Schritt für Schritt, wie Sie die Eltern werden, die Sie schon immer sein wollten. Und wenn Sie es nicht sind, wie Sie sich selbst die liebevolle Güte schenken, die Sie verdienen. Sehr empfehlenswert!”
– Christopher Germer, Klinischer Psychologe und Dozent an der Harvard Medical School in Boston

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

Kristin Neff, Ph.D.

It’s time to stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind. This book offers expert advice on how to limit self-criticism and offset its negative effects, enabling you to achieve your highest potential and a more contented, fulfilled life. More and more, psychologists are turning away from an emphasis on self-esteem and moving toward self-compassion in the treatment of their patients. Included are exercises and action plans for dealing with every emotionally debilitating struggle, be it parenting, weight loss, or any of the numerous trials of everyday living.


The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive

Kristin Neff, Ph.D. & Christopher Germer, Ph.D.

Are you kinder to others than you are to yourself? More than a thousand research studies show the benefits of being a supportive friend to yourself, especially in times of need. This science-based workbook offers a step-by-step approach to breaking free of harsh self-judgments and impossible standards in order to cultivate emotional well-being. In a convenient, large-size format, the book is based on the authors’ groundbreaking eight-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program, which has helped tens of thousands of people worldwide.

Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program

Kristin Neff, Ph.DChristopher Germer, Ph.D. 

This is the authoritative guide to conducting the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program, which provides powerful tools for coping with life challenges and enhancing emotional well-being. MSC codevelopers Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff review relevant theory and research and describe the program’s unique pedagogy. Readers are taken step by step through facilitating each of the eight sessions and the accompanying full-day retreat. Detailed vignettes illustrate not only how to teach the course’s didactic and experiential content, but also how to engage with participants, manage group processes, and overcome common obstacles

Life Falls Apart, But You Don’t Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm in the Midst of Chaos

Julie Potiker, Esq.

Julie Potiker turns some enormous lemons in her life into the sweetest lemonade in this wonderful book. She brings together practical brain science, powerful methods from psychotherapy, and her own friendly, funny, encouraging, and heartfelt voice to offer a wonderful roadmap and toolbox for when life throws some lemons at you.—Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom; and Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence

Self-Compassion For Parents: Nurture Your Child By Caring For Yourself and chapter-by-chapter discussion guide

Susan M. Pollak, MTS, Ed.D.

“I yelled at the kids again–and feel so ashamed.” “I barely have time to shower, let alone exercise; no wonder I’m so out of shape.” “I’m just not the dad I hoped I would be.” Parenting is hard. That’s why self-compassion is so important. In this empathic resource, mindfulness expert and psychologist Susan M. Pollak helps you let go of constant self-judgment and treat yourself with the same kindness and caring you strive to offer your kids. Simple yet powerful guided meditation techniques (most under three minutes long) are easy to practice while doing the dishes, driving to work, or soothing a fussy baby. Learn to respond to your own imperfections like a supportive friend, not a harsh critic. You will find yourself happier and more energized–and will discover new reserves of patience and appreciation for your kids.

Related article: “How To Care For Your Kids — By First Caring For Yourself” on WBUR’s On Point radio show. Listen