Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is a program developed by Kristin Neff, the pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion (www.Self-Compassion.org) and the author of Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind; and Christopher Germer, a clinical psychologist who specializes in mindfulness and compassion-based psychotherapy (www.MindfulSelfCompassion.org) and the author of many books including A Mindful Path to Self-Compassion.
Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional well-being. It boosts happiness and reduces anxiety and depression. All that’s required is a shift in the direction of your attention–recognizing that as a human being, you, too, are a worthy recipient of compassion.
From the New York Times:
The research suggests that giving ourselves a break and accepting our imperfections may be the first step toward better health. People who score high on tests of self-compassion have less depression and anxiety, and tend to be happier and more optimistic.
This idea does seem at odds with the advice dispensed by many doctors and self-help books, but Kristin Neff, a pioneer in the field and the co-creator of the MSC program, says self-compassion is not to be confused with lower standards.
“I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent,” said Dr. Neff, an associate professor of human development at the University of Texas at Austin. “They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.”
Imagine your reaction to a child struggling in school. Many parents would offer support including tutoring or other emotional support. But when adults find themselves in a similar situation – such as struggling at work or in relationships,– many fall into a cycle of self-criticism and negativity. That leaves them feeling even less motivated to change.
“Self-compassion is really conducive to motivation,” Dr. Neff said. With self-compassion, if you care about yourself, you do what’s healthy for you rather than what’s harmful to you.”
8-Week Course in Mindful Self-Compassion:
The 8-week format consists of eight weekly, 2.5 hour sessions in a classroom/discussion group format, plus a 4-hour retreat. This class is often most easily integrated into our lives and offers an extended opportunity to deepen and solidify our practice.
Schedule (9-11:30am PT):
Throughout this course, participants will learn:
- describe the theory and research supporting mindful self-compassion
- motivate themselves with encouragement rather than self-criticism
- relate to difficult emotions with greater moment-to-moment acceptance
- respond to feelings of failure or inadequacy with self-kindness
- begin to transform difficult relationships, old and new, through self-validation
- practice the art of savoring and self-appreciation
- integrate core mindfulness and self-compassion exercises into daily life
- teach simple self-compassion practices to patients, students, or clients
“The Angelike, Dina, and Megan were very compassionate and responsive to answering questions to the group and individuals. The meditations led were excellent as well as allowing plenty of time to reflect afterwards’ I do not have any suggestions for improvement.”
“I would definitely recommend this course to others and have already recommended it to my sister. It was transformative to me and I wish everyone could experience the comfort and knowledge I gained from this class.”
“This program most definitely taught with research and hands on tools to use in every day for supporting ones self and clients.”
“Angelike is absolutely brilliant. She has such a depth of knowledge that she brings to bear at the appropriate times.”
Continuing Education Hours:
Psychologists: Continuing Education Credit for this program is provided by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course offers 24.0 CE credit.
California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: Continuing Education Credit for this program is provided by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. 24.0 CE credit may be applied to your license renewal through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. For those licensed outside California, please check with your local licensing board to determine if CE credit is accepted.
Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board ofRegistered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 28.75 CE credit.