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.
In this program, you will learn:
– Self compassion as a skill that can help you to meet life’s difficulties with more wisdom and kindness.
– How to offer yourself the compassion you would naturally extend to a dear friend or stranger.
– A courageous attitude of mind that will give you emotional stability and resilience to be more fully present with uncertainty so that you can recover from life’s difficulties and move on with more ease and confidence.
Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional well-being. It boosts happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, and can even help you stick to your diet and exercise routine. 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. Preliminary data suggest that self-compassion can even influence how much we eat and may help some people lose weight.
This idea does seem at odds with the advice dispensed by many doctors and self-help books, which suggest that willpower and self-discipline are the keys to better health. But Kristin Neff, a pioneer in the field, says self-compassion is not to be confused with self-indulgence or 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 or eating too much junk food. Many parents would offer support, like tutoring or making an effort to find healthful foods the child will enjoy. But when adults find themselves in a similar situation – struggling at work, or overeating and gaining weight – 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. “The reason you don’t let your children eat five big tubs of ice cream is because you care about them. 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. The class begins July 22nd and ends September 16th, skipping September 2nd which is Labor Day. There will be a half-daylong on August 24th 9-1pm.
Throughout this course, participants will learn:
- How to stop being so hard on yourself
- How to handle difficult emotions with greater ease
- How to motivate yourself with encouragement rather than criticism
- How to transform difficult relationships, both old and new
- Mindfulness and self-compassion practices for home and everyday life
- The theory and research behind mindful self-compassion
- How to become your own best teacher