What is Mindful Self Compassion?
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically-supported 8-week program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. It was developed by Christopher Germer, PhD, a leader in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy (www.MindfulSelfCompassion.org) and Kristin Neff, PhD, a pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion (www.Self-Compassion.org).
MSC combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion to enhance our capacity for emotional wellbeing. Mindfulness is the first step—turning with loving awareness toward difficult experience (thoughts, emotions, and sensations). Self-compassion comes next—bringing loving awareness to ourselves. Together, mindfulness and self-compassion comprise a state of warm, connected, presence during difficult moments in our lives.
Most of us feel compassion when a close friend is struggling. What would it be like to receive the same caring attention from yourself when you needed it most? All that’s required is a shift in attention—recognizing that as a human being, you, too, are a worthy recipient of compassion. Self-compassion involves the capacity to comfort and soothe ourselves, and to motivate ourselves with encouragement, when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate. Self-compassion is learned in part by connecting with our innate compassion for others, and self-compassion also helps to grow and sustain our compassion for others.
Burgeoning research shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, coping with life challenges, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships. It is an inner strength that enables us to be more fully human—to acknowledge our shortcomings, learn from them, and make necessary changes with an attitude of kindness and self-respect.
Fortunately, self-compassion can be learned by anyone.
Here's a short video of Kristin Neff talking about Mindful Self Compassion
I am a fully Trained Teacher with the Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion (based in San Diego, California, USA), the global body overseeing the delivery of the 8-week training programme. I was fortunate enough to be trained by Kristin Neff and Steve Hickman, the Director of the Centre for MSC. I run 8 week MSC courses as well as MSC workshops. As MSC is fundamentally relational (like CAT) I incorporate MSC principles and practice into my therapy. I can also deliver tailored MSC interventions on a one-to-one basis either face-to-face or via Skype.
Visit the website of the Centre for Mindful Self Compassion here
Mindful Self Compassion meditations guided by me!
These were recorded while I was in solitary retreat at Rinchen Ling - a small retreat centre in the woods of north Dordogne. It is a wonderfully peaceful place: I hope that some of this peace and calm is transmitted through the recordings.
1. Mindful Self Compassion break
2. Affectionate breathing
3. Loving kindness for a loved one
4. Loving kindness for ourselves
5. Giving and receiving compassion
6. Soften, soothe, allow
7. Compassionate Friend
8. Compassion with Equanimity
9. Giving and Receiving Compassion