About MindfulSelf-Compassion

About Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)

The 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program is a journey of discovering how styles of relating to ourselves contribute directly to the experience of stress and harshness towards out own self. The program builds skills to interact with greater understanding, warmth and compassion; retraining the brain, and opening a door to greater freedom, ease, and peace in life.

Mindful Self Compassion is an empirically-supported program designed by Kristin Neff  & Chris Germer, teaching principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult emotions with understanding and kindness. 

Mindful Self-Compassion involves balanced mindful awareness, a sense of common humanity, and self-kindness. 

Participants gain skills to:
– practice self-compassion in daily life
– motivate themselves with kindness rather than criticism rather than kindness
– handle difficult emotions with greater ease to live life more mindfully
– manage “compassion fatigue” – ideal for care givers and health professionals

Mindfulness Awareness
Enables us to notice in the moment when we are experiencing emotional or physical discomfort, or pain. It is the courageous practice of learning to simply be with that experience just as it is without trying to avoid, change or judge it. When we observe from this perspective, a choice in how we might respond becomes available to us. A more common scenario is over-identification with our experience (getting lost in our story) or completely alienating ourselves from our experience (denying its existence). Mindfulness has us simply there with ourselves, experiencing life just as it is as it unfolds

Common Humanity
Self-Compassion reminds us that we are not alone. All human beings, all creatures on this earth experience pain in similar ways to us. Our shared emotional pain is an inevitable, common, human experience. Rather than judging ourselves and a experiencing a sense of isolation, remembering we are not alone, returns us to the reality that we are part of humanity bringing feelings of connection; a powerful antidote the sense of isolation.

Once we have learned to be with our experience, we can then have a relationship with it. And developing a caring relationship with our experience of ourselves is part of self-compassion practice. It is possible to be mindful but  not compassionate or kind towards ourselves. Compassion is an added component to awareness, an inclination of the heart toward our experience and ourselves. Compassion doesn’t question or blame us in the midst of our difficult experience; it joins with us and includes us in the way a parent might be drawn toward a child who is in pain, not in order to judge, but to soothe and comfort.

Strong evidence for connection between self-compassion and emotional well-being
Over the past few years, mindfulness has become mainstream in the general population and is being increasingly integrated into professional practice (e.g. mental health, medical care, education, business, law). As the demand grows, the demand for quality professional training in these practices and techniques is growing each year.  Self-compassion is a “trending health term” (Reader’s Digest, 2012) and an area of burgeoning research that is following in the wake of mindfulness.  However, misunderstandings about self-compassion abound, such as conceptual confusion with self-esteem, self-indulgence, and existing notions of self-care.  Despite impressive scientific evidence for the connection between self-compassion and emotional well-being, explicit training in the skill of self-compassion is still relatively rare.

Target Audience
This program is suited to the general public, as well professionals who wish to integrate self-compassion into their work with clients. Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in this MSC program. All are welcome!

Learning Objectives
MSC is designed to enable participants at completion of the program to:

  • 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 savouring and self-appreciation
  • integrate core mindfulness and self-compassion exercises into daily life
  • teach simple self-compassion practices to patients, students, or clients

Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. The MSC program is not group therapy, although participants are encouraged to share their experiences on the path of mindful self-compassion. The emphasis of the program is on enhancing emotional resources and personal capacities. For more information on self-compassion, please see http://www.centerformsc.org/

Participant Guidelines
The MSC program is a journey—an adventure in self-discovery and self-kindness. Compassion has the paradoxical effect of both soothing and comforting as well as opening us to emotional distress that we may have been unconsciously holding inside, often for many years. Therefore, some difficult emotions are likely to surface during the program as we grow in our capacity to embrace and heal them. The teachers are committed to providing an environment of safety, support, privacy, individual responsibility, and a common commitment to developing compassion for oneself and others.

Participants are recommended to  read the following two books before the training
Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind by Kristin Neff 
The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher Germer

Christopher Germer notes “Mindful self-compassion is the foundation of emotional healing – being aware in the present moment when we’re struggling with feelings of inadequacy, despair, confusion, and other forms of stress (mindfulness) and responding with kindness and understanding (self-compassion). Mindful self-compassion also means holding difficult emotions – fear, anger, sadness, shame and self-doubt – in loving awareness, leading to greater ease and well-being in our daily lives.MSC is  an adventure and an experiment in self-discovery and self-transformation. Christopher Germer PhD

Kristen Neff writes “Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment? of mercilessly judging and criticising yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?” Dr. Kristen Neff

 If you have any questions please contact John at john.julian56@gmail.com or text him on 0439 901 795

Unsure about which program to do? If you would like to learn more about mindfulness skills or self compassion, then check out our Introduction to Mindfulness program, a four week program.  (Please note that this is just an exploratory group, it may not have significant benefit but provides a taster of both mindfulness and mindful self-compassion.  This group occurs for one hour a week over four weeks and costs $110.00.

Booking for all programs are available from our ‘What’s On’ page.


Copyright Thinking Healthy - John Julian