Mindful Self-Compassion Eight-Week Course
"Self-compassion involves responding in the same supportive and understanding way you would with a good friend when you have a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself."
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically supported 8-week course 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.ChrisGermer.com) and Kristin Neff, PhD, a pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion (www.Self-Compassion.org) and teaches participants skills needed for greater awareness in the present moment of their own distress or suffering so they can respond with kindness and wisdom.
Research is showing that self-compassion is correlated with greater happiness and well-being, decreased anxiety and depression, as well as healthier lifestyle habits. Participants learn how to treat themselves more like someone they love, befriending themselves, cultivating a gentle curiosity about inner experiences, motivating with encouragement rather than punishment, and coping with difficult emotions with greater calm and ease.
My MSC Eight-Week Courses
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Currently offered through Zoom!
January 30 to March 27, 2021
Saturdays, 9:30am to 12:15pm
Silent Retreat | Saturday, March 6, 9am-12pm
Required Orientation | January 16 | 9:30-11:30am
Co-Teacher Tricia Stern, LCSW, MPH
What is Self-Compassion?
Having compassion for oneself is really no different than having compassion for others. Think about what the experience of compassion feels like. First, to have compassion for others you must notice that they are suffering. Second, compassion involves feeling moved by others’ suffering so that your heart responds to their pain (the word compassion literally means to “suffer with”). When this occurs, you feel warmth, caring, and the desire to help the suffering person in some way, without judging them for their situation. When you feel compassion for yourself or another (rather than mere pity), it means that you realize that suffering, failure, and imperfection is part of the shared human experience. “Just like me…”
The Three Components of Self-Compassion
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.
Common Humanity - All humans suffer. The very definition of being “human” means that one is 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.
Mindfulness - Mindfulness is a non-judgmental, 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. 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.
Self-Compassion vs Self-Esteem
Although self-compassion may seem similar to self-esteem, they are different in many ways. Self-esteem refers to our sense of self-worth, perceived value, or how much we like ourselves. In modern Western culture, self-esteem is often based on how much we are different from others, how much we stand out or are special. It is not okay to be average, we have to feel above average to feel good about ourselves. Our self-esteem is often contingent on our latest success or failure, meaning that our self-esteem fluctuates depending on ever-changing circumstances.
In contrast to self-esteem, self-compassion is not based on self-evaluations. People feel compassion for themselves because all human beings deserve compassion and understanding, not because they possess some particular set of traits (pretty, smart, talented, and so on). This means that with self-compassion, you don’t have to feel better than others to feel good about yourself. Self-compassion also allows for greater self-clarity, because personal failings can be acknowledged with kindness and do not need to be hidden.