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Mindful Self-Compassion

Mindfulness & Neurobiological 

Tools for Healing - A Training Resource

By Jim Messina, Ph.D., CCMHC, NCC, DCMHS-T
Learn about Mindful Self-Compassion from Kristin Neff

The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self-Compassion: Kristin Neff at TEDxCentennialParkWomen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=IvtZBUSplr4&feature=emb_logo

Big Take away: Self-Compassion is about relating to ourselves with kindness

Three parts of Self-Compassion
1. Treat self with Self-Kindness and treat ourselves like we treat our friends
2. Common Shared Human Experience and recognize that have our experiences in common with others
3. Mindfulness: being what is in the present moment. Accept that we are suffering so as to give ourselves self-compassion

Recommendation
Reduce being threatened by self-criticism which increases personal stress
We can feel safe and comforted with self-warmth, self-gentle touch and self soft-vocalizations
Self-Compassion is a link to positive well-being in those who practice it in their lives
The more open-hearted we are to ourselves the more we are open-hearted to others
The Three Elements of Mindful Self-Compassion

 

Mindfulness: Self-compassion also requires taking a balanced approach to our negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated. This equilibrated stance stems from the process of relating personal experiences to those of others who are also suffering, thus putting our own situation into a larger perspective. It also stems from the willingness to observe our negative thoughts and emotions with openness and clarity, so that they are held in mindful awareness. Mindfulness is a nonjudgmental, receptive mind-state in which one observes thoughts and feelings as they are, without trying to suppress or deny them. We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. Mindfulness requires that we not be “over-identified” with thoughts and feelings, so that we are caught up and swept away by negative reactivity.

 

Common Humanity: Frustration at not having things exactly as we want them is often

accompanied by an irrational but pervasive sense of isolation — as if “I” am the only person suffering or making mistakes — but all humans suffer. The very definition of being “human” means that one is mortal, vulnerable, and imperfect. Therefore, self-compassion involves recognizing that suffering and personal inadequacy is part of the shared human experience — something that we all go through, rather than being something that happens to “me” alone. It also means recognizing that personal thoughts, feelings and actions are impacted by “external” factors, such as parenting history, culture, and genetic and environmental conditions, as well as the behavior and expectations of others. Thich Nhat Hahn calls the intricate web of reciprocal cause-and-effect in which we are all imbedded “interbeing.” Recognizing our essential interbeing allows us to be less judgmental about our personal failings. After all, if we had full control over our behavior, how many people would consciously choose to have anger issues, addiction issues, debilitating social anxiety, eating disorders, and so on? Many aspects of ourselves and the circumstances of our lives are not of our choosing but instead stem from innumerable factors (genetic and/or environmental) over which we have little control. By recognizing our essential interdependence, therefore, failings and life’s difficulties do not have to be taken so personally but can be acknowledged with nonjudgmental compassion and understanding.

 

Self-Kindness: Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self- criticism. Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, failing, and experiencing life difficulties are inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences, rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals. People cannot always be or get exactly what they want. When this reality is denied or fought against, suffering increases in the form of stress, frustration, and self-criticism. When this reality is accepted with sympathy and kindness, greater emotional equanimity is experienced.

Guided Mindful Self-Compassion Meditations from Kristen Neff

The following Guided Mindful Self-Compassion Meditations are available to listen to or download at: https://self-compassion.org/category/exercises/#guided-meditations
Compassionate Friend [18 minutes]
Video for Mindful Self-Compassion Meditation for Caregivers at this COVID-19 time:
Self-Compassion for Caregivers at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ9wGfwE-YE&t=6s
Guided Mindful Self-Compassion Meditations from Chris Germer

The following Guided Mindful Self-Compasson Meditations are available to listen to or download at: https://chrisgermer.com/meditations/

Affectionate Breathing

Loving-Kindness for Ourselves

Giving and Receiving Compassion

Loving-Kindness for a Loved One

Compassionate Body Scan

Compassionate Friend

Compassion for Self and Others

Self-Compassion Break

Compassion with Equanimity

Working with Difficult Emotions

Finding Loving-Kindness Phrases 

Compassionate Walking

Soften Soothe Allow

Mindfulness of Emotions in the Body

Labeling Emotions

Loving Kindness for Beginners

Forgiveness of Others

Forgiveness of Ourselves


A Mindful Self-Compassion Exercise


Self-Compassion Break

This exercise can be used any time of day or night and will help you remember to evoke the three aspects of self-compassion in the moment you need it most. 

First:

Think of a situation in your life that is difficult, that is causing you stress. Call the situation to mind and see if you can actually feel the stress and emotional discomfort in your body.

Now, say to yourself:

1. This is a moment of suffering

That’s mindfulness. Other options include:

  • This hurts.
  • Ouch.
  • This is stress.

Now, say to yourself:

2. Suffering is a part of life

That’s common humanity. Other options include:

  • Other people feel this way.
  • I’m not alone.
  • We all struggle in our lives.

Now, put your hands over your heart, feel the warmth of your hands and the gentle touch of your hands on your chest. Or adopt the soothing touch you discovered felt right for you.

Now, say to yourself:

3. May I be kind to myself

You can also ask yourself, “What do I need to hear right now to express kindness to myself?” Is there a phrase that speaks to you in your particular situation, such as:

  • May I give myself the compassion that I need
  • May I learn to accept myself as I am
  • May I forgive myself
  • May I be strong.
  • May I be patient

This practice can be used any time of day or night and will help you remember to evoke the three aspects of self-compassion when you need it most.


You can download more Mindful Self-Compassion Exercises at: https://self-compassion.org/category/exercises/#guided-meditations

Tips for practice of Mindful Self-Compassion


Mindful Self-compassion is often a radically new way of relating to ourselves. Research shows that the more we practice being kind and compassionate with ourselves, either using informal practices such as the Self-Compassion Break, or formal meditation practices such as Affectionate Breathing – the more we’ll increase the habit of self-compassion.


There are a few tips to practicing self-compassion that are important to keep in mind for novice and experienced practitioners alike. Self-compassion is a practice of goodwill, not good feelings. In other words, even though the friendly, supportive stance of self-compassion is aimed at the alleviation of suffering, we can’t always control the way things are. If we use self-compassion practice to try to make our pain go away by suppressing it or fighting against it, things will likely just get worse. With self-compassion we mindfully accept that the moment is painful, and embrace ourselves with kindness and care in response, remembering that imperfection is part of the shared human experience. This allows us to hold ourselves in love and connection, giving ourselves the support and comfort needed to bear the pain, while providing the optimal conditions for growth and transformation.


Some people find that when they practice self-compassion, their pain actually increases at first. We call this phenomena backdraft, a firefighting term that describes what happens when a door in a burning house is opened – oxygen goes in and flames rush out. A similar process can occur when we open the door of our hearts – love goes in and old pain comes out. There are a couple sayings that describe this process: “When we give ourselves unconditional love, we discover the conditions under which we were unloved” or “Love reveals everything unlike itself.” Fortunately, we can meet old pain with the resources of mindfulness and self-compassion and the heart will naturally begin to heal. Still, it means we have to allow ourselves to be slow learners when it comes to practicing self-compassion. And if we ever feel overwhelmed by difficult emotions, the most self-compassionate response may be to pull back temporarily – focus on the breath, the sensation of the soles of our feet on the ground, or engage in ordinary, behavioral acts of self-care such as having a cup of tea or petting the cat. By doing so we reinforce the habit of self-compassion – giving ourselves what we need in the moment – planting seeds that will eventually blossom and grow.

Videos about Mindful Self-Compassion from Kristin Neff & Chris Germer

During our COVID-19 Times: Self-Compassion in difficult times with Kristin Neff, July 21, 2020 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoqSvlakeSQ

Self-Compasion in the Midst of a Pandemic (Recording of live online meeting with Mindful Self-Compassion co-founders Kristin Neff and Chris Germer, April 15, 2020 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC3I_FAM2FE

Self-Compassion Break in the Era of COVID-19 by Chris Germer April 3, 2020 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v76a5o5X5cQ

Fierce Self-Compassion - Unplug Your Inner Critic with Kristin Neff July 31, 2019 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayJ2q3bHc8o

Introduction and Genesis of Mindful Self-Compassion with Chris Germer February 26, 2019 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SKKRq2WXfk

Stop Chasing Self-Esteem & Just Be Self-Compassionate with Kristin Neff, August 26, 2018 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEyJ_H1U5SQ

The Power of Self-Compassion With Kristin Neff and Chris Germer October 4, 2017 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTQP7XzDxjI&feature=youtu.be

The Science of Self-Compassion with Kristin Neff, December 22, 2016 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0gtnOXAp-U

Overcoming Objections to Self-Compassion with Krisin Neff, October 16, 2014 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFhcNPjIMjc

Resilience and Self-Compassion with Kristen Neff, December 21, 2013 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyjLKgfV7Sk
YouTube Audio Meditations with Chris Germer

Finding Loving-Kindness Phrases Audio Meditation with Chris Germer Mar 13, 2019 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJE5w55PDdc&list=PLBXi5XsPcRJxi6hj0tpj1w0BVNqTP9LGM&index=4

Self-Compassion Break Audio Meditation with Chris Germer Mar 12, 2019 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_80y_CT32c

Labeling Emotions Audio Meditation with Chris Germer Mar 13, 2019 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLe6FljJll4&list=RDQG-CsHbkkzE&index=15

Working with DIfficult Emotions Audio Meditation with Chris Germer Mar 13, 2019 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cD1sW115w5w

Soften Soothe Allow Audio Meditation with Chris Germer Mar 13, 2019 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmQi3VQCdCQ&list=RDR5uGzt6LD4I&index=7

Compassionate Walking Audio Meditation with Chris Germer, Mar 13, 2019 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhX8Yl8UFew&list=RDR5uGzt6LD4I&index=15

Compassion with Equanimity Audio Meditation with Chris Germer Mar 12, 2019 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba-_LDJviz0&list=RDR5uGzt6LD4I&index=9

Loving-Kindness for Ourselves Audio Meditation with Chris Germer Feb 27, 2019 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mILRWPdQPKs

Loving-Kindness for Beginners Audio Meditation with Chris Germer Mar 13, 2019 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QG-CsHbkkzE

Giving and Receiving Compassion Audio Meditation with Chris Germer Feb 27, 2019 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5uGzt6LD4I

Compassion for Self and Others Audio Meditation with Christ Germer Feb 27, 2019 at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JRQMBHjnT8&list=RDQG-CsHbkkzE&index=18

Forgiveness of Ourselves Audio Meditation with Chris Germer Mar 13, 2019 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2AfV_bcpv8

Forgiveness of Others Audio Meditation with Chris Germer Mar 13, 2019 at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKNnFXLxxNU&list=RDQG-CsHbkkzE&index=23

Compassionate Friend Audio Meditation with Chris Germer Mar 12, 2019 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_4YxrMjagk

Mindfulness of Emotions in the Body Audio Meditation with Chris Germer Mar 13, 2019 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIDm915KF1s

Compassionate Body Scan Audio Meditation with Chris Germer Mar 12, 2019 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmZdRE83tVU&t=42s

Affectionate Breathing Audio Meditation with Chris Germer Feb 27, 2019 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EfTOL6Regw
Research into Mindful Self-Compassion
Benefits of Mindful Self-Compassion on Physical Health

In a December , 2019 article a meta-analysis research study  that synthesized findings from 94 studies and 29,588 individuals, found that physical wellness can be supported by an inner resource that is already available within humans and can be accessed at a moment’s notice: self-compassion (Phillips & Hine, 2019).

This study also found that individuals with higher self-compassion were more likely to have better global health, fewer physical symptoms, greater immune function, fewer stress hormones, and better metabolism and cardiovascular fitness. In particular, self-compassion was strongly associated with better sleep and improved functioning of the immune system, both of which are bolstered by humans' ability to respond adaptively to stress when it arises.


During this COVID-19 circumstances, it is important people keep returning to a self-compassionate way of being. When they encounter difficulties with open awareness and care toward themselves, they are growing their capacity to adapt and be resilient. As we train people in self-compassion over time, they will hopefully create the conditions in their lives and in their bodies for being healthier and enhancing their well-being. In fact, additional findings from this study demonstrate that sustained self-compassion practice is good for their health. Researchers found that engaging in multiple sessions of self-compassion training led to improvements in physical health and increases in supportive health behaviors.


Each time people choose to respond to their struggles with presence, connection, and love instead of self-judgment, isolation, or avoidance, they are investing in their vitality. It can take time to make self-compassion a consistent habit, though they can be encouraged that their cumulative efforts do make a remarkable difference for their overall health

The Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Program Initial Findings

In its first evaluation article on the MSC Program, it was described: Self-compassion is conceptualized as containing 3 core components: self-kindness versus self-judgment, common humanity versus isolation, and mindfulness versus overidentification, when relating to painful experiences. Research evidence demonstrates that self-compassion is related to psychological flourishing and reduced psychopathology. Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an 8-week training program, meeting 2.5 hours each week, designed to help participants cultivate self-compassion. MSC contains a variety of meditations (e.g., loving-kindness, affectionate breathing) as well as informal practices for use in daily life (e.g., soothing touch, self-compassionate letter writing). In this report a detailed clinical case illustrated the journey of a client through the 8 weeks of MSC training, describing the key features of each session and the client’s responses (Germer & Neff, 2013).


In a second study  on Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program, an 8-week workshop designed to train people to be more self- compassionate. The conducted two sets of this program with the second one using a control group. In the group only study there were significant pre/post gains in self-compassion, mindfulness, and various wellbeing outcomes. In the other group found that compared with the control group, intervention participants reported significantly larger increases in self-compassion, mindfulness, and wellbeing. Gains in this study were maintained at 6-month and 1-year follow-ups. This study demonstrated that the MSC program appears to be effective at enhancing self-compassion, mindfulness, and wellbeing. The MSC program appears to be effective at enhancing self-compassion, mindfulness, and wellbeing (Neff & Germer, 2013).


Gender Differences in the Impact of Self-Compassion

While research suggests strong associations of self-compassion with mental health and well-being, gender norms may hinder the development of self-compassion by women on one hand, and men on the other. This study was the first systematic analyses of potential gender differences in self-compassion using meta-analytic techniques, including whether such gender differences are moderated by age or ethnic minority status. Fixed-effects models were used to estimate the average effect size (ES) of gender differences in self-compassion scores across 71 journal articles and dissertations providing a total of 88 estimates. Results revealed that males had slightly higher levels of self-compassion than females, with a small effect size observed. This difference was larger in samples with a higher percentage of ethnic minorities (Yarnell et al., 2015).  

Self-Compassion and Well-Being

Self-compassion describes a positive and caring attitude of a person toward self in the face of failures and individual shortcomings. As a result of this caring attitude, individuals high in self-compassion are assumed to experience higher individual well-being. This study examined the relationship between self-compassion and different forms of wellbeing. This study combined 79 samples with overall 16,416 participants. Thy found an overall positive size of the relationship between self-compassion and well-being. The relationship was stronger for cognitive and psychological well-being compared to affective well-being. Sample characteristics and self-esteem were tested as potential moderators. In addition, a subsample of studies indicated a causal effect

of self-compassion on well-being. Conclusions: The results clearly highlight the importance of self-compassion for individuals’ well-being (Zessin et al., 2015).

Self-Compassion and self-forgiveness vs self-harm or suicidal ideation

A systematic review of 18 studies investigating self‐compassion or self‐forgiveness and self‐harm or suicidal ideation were found to be relevant to the review. All studies reported significant associations between higher levels of self‐forgiveness or self‐compassion and lower levels of self‐harm or suicidal ideation. Several studies suggested that self‐compassion or self‐forgiveness may weaken the relationship between negative life events and self‐harm. This study pointed out the potential importance of self‐compassion in the reduction of suicidal thoughts and self‐harm (Cleare, et al., 2019).

Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Use with Vets with PTSD

U.S. combat veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have elevated rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared to the general population. Self-compassion, characterized by self-kindness, a sense of common humanity when faced with suffering, and mindful awareness of suffering, is a potentially modifiable factor implicated in the development and maintenance of PTSD. This study examined the concurrent and prospective relationship between self-compassion and PTSD symptom severity after accounting for level of combat exposure and baseline PTSD severity in 115 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans exposed to 1 or more traumatic events during deployment. PTSD symptoms were assessed using the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale and Self-compassion and combat exposure were assessed at baseline via self-report. Self-compassion was associated with baseline PTSD symptoms after accounting for combat exposure and predicted 12-month PTSD symptom severity after accounting for combat exposure and baseline PTSD severity. Findings suggest that interventions that increase self-compassion may be beneficial for treating chronic PTSD symptoms among some Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans (Hiraoka, 2015).

 

A second study pointed out that mindfulness and self-compassion are overlapping, but distinct constructs that characterize how people relate to emotional distress. Both are associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and may be related to functional disability. Although self-compassion includes mindful awareness of emotional distress, it is a broader construct that also includes being kind and supportive to oneself and viewing suffering as part of the shared human experience—a potentially powerful way of dealing with distressing situations. A study examined the association of mindfulness and self-compassion with PTSD symptom severity and functional disability in 115 trauma-exposed U.S. Iraq/Afghanistan war veterans. Mindfulness and self-compassion were each uniquely, negatively associated with PTSD symptom severity. After accounting for mindfulness, self-compassion accounted for unique variance in PTSD symptom severity. After accounting for PTSD symptom severity, mindfulness and self-compassion were each uniquely negatively associated with functional disability. The combined association of mindfulness and self-compassion with disability over and above PTSD was large. After accounting for mindfulness, self-compassion accounted for unique variance in disability. These findings suggest that interventions aimed at increasing mindfulness and self-compassion could potentially decrease functional disability in returning veterans with PTSD symptoms (Dahm et al., 2015).

Mindful self-compassion on young adult cancer survivors

Young adult cancer survivors (YACS) are a vulnerable population that reports high anxiety, social isolation, and feelings of inadequacy after cancer treatment completion. Mindful self-compassion (MSC) provides strategies for coping with suffering. This study explored how MSC practices addressed the psychosocial needs of a nationally recruited YACS sample (N = 20, all female, age M = 27.00, various cancer types) that participated in an 8-week MSC video-chat intervention. Descriptive qualitative analysis of the intervention recordings revealed three YACS’ psychosocial needs: peer isolation, body concerns, and health related anxiety. MSC practices addressed these in a number of ways including: self-reliance for emotional support, common humanity within the YACS community, gratitude, self-kindness, and acceptance (Lathren et al., 2018)

Use of Self-Compassion with Aging Adults

A systematic review of eleven studies met inclusion criteria for this review. Meta-analysis revealed that self-compassion was associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety and higher levels of well-being. This review presents preliminary evidence that self-compassion is a useful construct that may facilitate adaptive adjustment to ageing. Self-compassion is associated with psychological health in older adults, and those high on self-compassion appear to be less psychologically distressed by health issues than those low on self-compassion. Given evidence that self-compassion is a learnable skill, future research is needed to investigate the potential of self-compassion-based interventions (Brown et al., 2019).

Impact of Self-Compassion on Healthcare Providers

A study examined the construct of self-compassion to determine if it is an accurate target variable to mitigate work-related stress and promote compassionate caregiving in healthcare providers. They explored 69 studies which looked at: (1) conceptualization of self-compassion; (2) measures of self-compassion; (3) self-compassion and affect; and (4) self-compassion interventions. They concluded self-compassion in healthcare providers was a composite of common facets of self-care, healthy self-attitude, and self-awareness rather than a construct in and of itself (Sinclair et al., 2017).

References

Brown, L., Huffman, J.C. & Bryant, C. (2019), Self-compassionate aging: A systematic review. The Gerontologist, 59(4), e311-e324. doi:10.1093/geront/gny108

 

Clear, S., Gumley, A. & O’Connor, R.C. (2019). Self-compassion, self-forgiveness, suicidal ideation and self-harm: A systematic review. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2372

 

Dahm, K.A., Meyer, E.C., Neff, K.D., Kimbrel, N.A., Gulliver & Morissette, S.B. (2015). Mindfulness, self-compassion, posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, and functional disability in U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan w veterans. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 28, 460-464. DOI: 10.1002/jts.22045

 

Germer, C.K. & Neff, K.D. (2013). Self-compassion in clinical practice. Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session, 69(8), 856-867. DOI: 10.1002/jclp.22021

 

Hiraoka, R., Meyers, E.C., Kimbrel, N.A., DeBeer, B.B., Gulliver, S.B. & Morissette, S.B. (2015). Journal of Traumatic Stress, 28, 127-133. DOI: 10.1002/jts.21995

 

Lathren, C., Bluth, K., Campo, R., Tan, W. & Futch, W. (2018). Young adult cancer survivors’ experiences with a mindful self-compassion (MSC) video-chat intervention: A qualitative analysis. Self and Identity, 17(6), 646-665. https://doi.org/10.1080/15298868.2018.1451363

 

Neff, K.D. & Germer, C.K. (2013). A pilot study and randomized controlled trial of the mindful self-compassion program. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69(1), 28-44. DOI: 10.1002/jclp.21923


Phillips, W.J. & Hine, D.W. (2019). Self-compassion, physical health, and health behaviour: A meta-analysis, Health Psychology Review, 1-29, DOI: 10.1080/17437199.2019.1705872


Sinclair, S., Kondejewski, J., Raffin-Bouchal, S. King-Shier, K.M. & Sing, P. (2017). Can self-compassion promote healthcare provider well-being and compassionate care to others? Results of a systematic review. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 9(2), 168-206. doi:10.1111/aphw.12086

 

Yarnell, L.M., Stafford, R.E., Neff, K.D., Reilly, E.D., Knox, M.C. & Mullarkey, M. (2015). Meta-analysis of gender difference in self-compassion. Self and Identity, 14(5), 499-520. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15298868.2015.1029966

 

Zessin, U., Dickhauser, O. & Garbade, S. (2015). The relationship between self-compassion and well-being: A meta-analysis. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 7(3), 340-364. doi:10.1111/aphw.12051


NOTE: For an exhaustive list of Self-Compassion research publications go to: https://self-compassion.org/the-research/

Websites on Mindful Self-Compassion

Self-Compassion (Kristin Neff's site) at: https://self-compassion.org/

Center for Mindful Self-Compassion at: https://centerformsc.org/

Chris Germer: Center for Mindful Self-Compassion at: https://chrisgermer.com/
NOTE: On this website there is a complete book of Mindful Self-Compassion exercises which will supplement the 8 Session Mindfulness Self-Compassion Self-Directed Training Program

Growing-Down - Tools for Healing Your Inner Child
By: James J Messina, Ph.D. & Constance M. Messina Ph.D


As you complete each of the 24 Chapters in The Mindfulness Self-Compassion Workbook take a look at those chapters on Growing Down which relate to what was dicusssed in that chapter for additional informal Mindful Self-Compassion Activities.

Sharronah’s Wish

 

Sharronah Wright Scott (August 29, 1973 - August 21, 2020) a member of our MBSR family died on August 21, 2020. In a recent autobiography she expressed this wish:

 

“I wish that all my clients know that they have everything they need to facilitate their own healing when they are willing to be vulnerable and authentic with themselves. Given they are the experts in their own healing.”

 

Because of her wish we are dedicating the following Mindful Self-Compassion Self Directed Study as Sharronah’s Wish. Our hope is that all who use this self-directed study will find that they are indeed their own experts in their healing and that they have everything they need to facilitate their own emotional and spiritual growth.

 

Thank you Sharronah for your life and sharing this wisdom with us.

 

Mindfulness Self-Compassion (MSC) 8 Session Self-Directed Training Program
To Do On Your Own Timing
Based on:

The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook  (2018)

by Kristin Neff & Christopher Germer, New York, NY: Gilford Press


Session 1

MSC Session 1: Practicing Self-Compassion with Chris Germer & Kristin Neff at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCccKLjwCwk

MSC Reading and Exercises:

Directions: During Session 1 read the following chapters and do the exercises in each chapter and then on your Session 1 Progress Log post your response and reactions to what you read and you experienced in these exercises.

Chapter 1: What is Self-Compassion? p. 9 -18

Chapter 2: What Self-Compassion is Not p. 19 - 24

Chapter 3: The Benefits of Self-Compassion p. 25 - 30

Chapter 4: The Physiology of Self-Criticism and Self-Compassion p. 31 – 37

Chapter 5: The Yin and Yang of Self-Compassion p. 38 - 43

Meditations:

Self-Compassion Break on Session 1 video  or

Self-Compassion Break Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_80y_CT32c 

Self-Compassion  Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EfTOL6Regw

Session 1 Progress Log Click Here to Download

Growing Down Chapter Resources:

Session 2

MSC Session 2: Practicing Self-Compassion with Chris Germer at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJLUCo-XjuU

Reading and Exercises:

Directions: During Session 2  read the following chapters and do the exercises in each chapter and then on your Session 2 Progress Log post your response and reactions to what you read and you experienced in these exercises.

Chapter 6: Mindfulness p. 44 – 49

Chapter 7: Letting Go of Resistance p. 50 – 56

Chapter 8: Backdraft p. 57-63

Meditations:

Affectionate Breathing Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EfTOL6Regw

Labeling Emotions Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLe6FljJll4&list=RDQG-CsHbkkzE&index=15

Session 2 Progress Log Click Here to Download

Growing Down Chapter Resources:

Overcoming Invisibility for Growing Down
 Session 3

MSC Session 3: Practicing Loving-Kindness with Chris Germer at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FGcYG3_BbA&list=PLBXi5XsPcRJxi6hj0tpj1w0BVNqTP9LGM&index=4&t=0s

Reading and Exercises:

Directions: During Session 3  read the following chapters and do the exercises in each chapter and then on your Session 3 Progress Log post your response and reactions to what you read and you experienced in these exercises.

Chapter 9: Developing Loving-Kindness p. 64 – 68

Chapter 10: Loving Kindness for Ourselves p. 69 – 76

Meditations:

Discovering Loving-Kindness Phrases Informal Exericse in Chapter 10 on video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJE5w55PDdc&list=PLBXi5XsPcRJxi6hj0tpj1w0BVNqTP9LGM&index=4

Loving-Kindness for Ourselves  Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mILRWPdQPKs
Loving Kindness for Beginners With Chris Germer at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QG-CsHbkkzE

Session 3 Practice Log Click Here to Download

Growing Down Chapter Resources:
Session 4

MSC Session 4: Discovering Your Compassionate Voice with Chris Germer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pOwMD1oyrg&list=PLBXi5XsPcRJxi6hj0tpj1w0BVNqTP9

Directions: During Session 4  read the following chapters and do the exercises in each chapter and then on your Session 4 Progress Log post your response and reactions to what you read and you experienced in these exercises.

Chapter 11: Self-Compassionate Motivation p.b77 – 84

Chapter 12: Self-Compassion and Our Bodies p. 85 – 93

Chapter 13: Stages of Progress p. 94 - 99

Meditations:

Compassion for Self and Others Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JRQMBHjnT8&list=RDQG-CsHbkkzE&index=18
Compassionate Body Scan Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmZdRE83tVU&t=42s

Session 4 Progress Log   Click Here to Download
Growing Down Chapter Resources:
Session 5

MSC Session 5: Living Deeply with Chris Germer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dinWy97zJks&list=PLBXi5XsPcRJxi6hj0tpj1w0BVNqTP9LGM&index=6

Directions: During Session 5  read the following chapters and do the exercises in each chapter and then on your Session 5 Progress Log post your response and reactions to what you read and you experienced in these exercises.

Chapter 14: Living Deeply p. 100 – 109

Chapter 15: Being There for Others without Losing Ourselves p. 110 - 114

Meditations:

Giving and Receiving Compassion Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5uGzt6LD4I

Compassionate Friend Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_4YxrMjagk
Session 5 Practice Log  Click Here to Download
Growing Down Chapter Resource:
Session 6

MSC Session 6: Difficult Emotions with Chris Germer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Yjfa3juVmQ&list=PLBXi5XsPcRJxi6hj0tpj1w0BVNqTP9LGM&index=7

Directions: During Session 6  read the following chapters and do the exercises in each chapter and then on your Session 6 Progress Log post your response and reactions to what you read and you experienced in these exercises.

Chapter 16: Meeting Difficult Emotions p. 115 – 119

Chapter 17: Self-Compassion and Shame p. 120 – 129

Meditations: 

Soften Soothe Allow Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmQi3VQCdCQ&list=RDR5uGzt6LD4I&index=7

Working with Difficult Emotions Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cD1sW115w5w

Mindfulness of Emotions in the Body Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIDm915KF1s

Session 6 Progress Log  Click Here to Download

Growing Down Chapter Resource:

Letting Go of Shame and Guilt

Session 7

MSC Session 7: Exploring Difficult Relationships with Chris Germer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcHgJbOgjfE&list=PLBXi5XsPcRJxi6hj0tpj1w0BVNqTP9LGM&index=8

Directions: During Session 7 read the following chapters and do the exercises in each chapter and then on your Session 7 Progress Log post your response and reactions to what you read and you experienced in these exercises.

Chapter 18: Self-Compassion in Relationships p. 130 – 137

Chapter 19: Self-Compassion for Caregivers p. 138 – 143

Chapter 20: Self-Compassion for Anger in Relationships p. 144 - 152

Chapter 21: Self-Compassion and Forgiveness p. 153 - 159

Meditations:

Compassion with Equanimity Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba-_LDJviz0&list=RDR5uGzt6LD4I&index=9

Giving and Receiving Compassion Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5uGzt6LD4I
Forgiveness of Others Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKNnFXLxxNU&list=RDQG-CsHbkkzE&index=23

Forgiveness of Ourselves Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2AfV_bcpv8

Session 7 Progress Log  Click Here to Download

Growing Down Chapter Resources:

Self-Forgiveness

Dumping Negative Garbage for Growing Down

 Session 8

MSC Session 8: Embracing Your Life with Chris Germer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyId4BGNxrQ&list=PLBXi5XsPcRJxi6hj0tpj1w0BVNqTP9LGM&index=9

Directions: During the Session 8 read the following chapters and do the exercises in each chapter and then in Session 8 Progress Log record your response and reactions to what you read and you experienced in these exercises.

Chapter 22: Embracing the Good p. 160 – 165

Chapter 23: Self-Appreciation p. 166 -172

Chapter 24: Taking It Forward p. 173 - 176

Meditations:

Loving-Kindness for Ourselves Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mILRWPdQPKs

Compassionate Walking Audio Meditation with Chris Germer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhX8Yl8UFew&list=RDR5uGzt6LD4I&index=15 

Session 8 Progress Log  Click Here to Download

Growing Down Chapter Resources:

Growing Down by Having Fun
Child Play for Growing Down
Growing Down With Body Movement
Growing Down With Children's Games
Growing Down With Creativity
Growing Down With Children's Books


Books on Mindful Self-Compassion

The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive
The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook (2018) by Kristin Neff & Christopher Germer, New York, NY: Gilford Press

Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program: A Guide for Professionals

Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program - A Guide for Professionals (2019) By Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff. New York, NY: Guilford Press

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself (2011) by Kristin Neff. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers

The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions
The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion  (2009)  by Christopher.Germer, New York, NY: Guilford Press

Continuing Education Program for Mental Health and Nursing Professionals

Offered by COPING.US Training Programs 

with Troy University's Tampa Bay Site

COPING.US Training Programs is a CEU Provider for CE Broker

CE Provider # 50-21474

Courses approved by  

  • Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling for: LMHC's, LMFT's, LCSW's & CMSW's
  • Florida Board of Nursing for: RN's, ARNP's, LPN's & Clinical Nurse Specialists

Uncovering Happiness with Mindful Self-Compassion Practices

By Coralis Solomon, Ph.D., LMHC, NCC


CEU’s 3  based on request, CE Broker Tracking #: 20-698126


Program Description: 

Self-compassion transforms lives! It is re-defined as the ability to care, to soothe, and to comfort, but also to strengthen when it is needed. It is revolutionizing self-care and emotional coping skills in psychology.  Self-Compassion is a new skill- building program to harness the power to cultivate inner strengths; to courageously attend to difficulties with understanding and kindness in order to empower the self. During this experiential presentation, participants will learn the core principles and practices of self-compassion to learn how to cope with stressors in their professional and personal lives.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the presentation participants will be able to:

1. Describe the theory and research supporting self-compassion by understand the three key components of self-compassion.

2. Understand the differences of self-compassion vs. self-esteem.

3. Practice motivation with encouragement rather than harsh self-criticism

4. Manage stress, anxiety, anger, guilt and shame with greater ease to resolve challenges at work by integrating core self-compassion exercises into daily life.