Self-compassion involves treating ourselves kindly, like we would a good friend we cared about. Rather than continually judging and evaluating ourselves, self-compassion involves generating kindness toward ourselves as imperfect human beings. This workshop will provide simple tools for responding in a compassionate way whenever we are experiencing painful emotions. Through discussion, meditation, and experiential exercises, participants gain practical skills of mindfulness and self-compassion. A lecture on the theory and research into self-compassion will be provided, and several informal self-compassion practices for use in daily life will be taught. The phenomena of backdraft – adverse reactions to self-compassion practice – will be discussed. Finally, participants will learn self-compassion practices designed to work with difficult emotions, motivate oneself from a place of kindness rather than criticism, combat caregiver fatigue, and cultivate self-appreciation. This course is relevant for the general public as well as to practicing mental health professionals.
Kristin Neff, Ph.D. is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on self-compassion, being the first one to operationally define and measure the construct over a decade ago. In addition to her pioneering research into self-compassion, she has developed an eight-week program to teach self-compassion skills in daily life, co-created with her colleague Dr. Chris Germer, called Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). Her book, Self-Compassion, was published by William Morrow in April, 2011.