Mindfulness & Self-Compassion
Treatment is often integrated with my advanced training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), the gold standard 8-week mindfulness program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). Mindfulness may be defined as “The awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally” (Jon Kabat-Zinn).
MBSR is an intensive training in mindfulness meditation with the goal of creating a structured pathway to relieve suffering and increase wellbeing for people facing a host of challenges arising from a wide range of medical and psychological conditions and the demands and stressors inherent in the every day lives of human beings.
MSC was developed by Chris Germer, Ph.D. & Kristen Neff Ph.D. and incorporates skills of mindfulness and self-compassion to create powerful skills for resilience and wellbeing. Mindfulness is the first step in emotional healing. It is being able to turn toward and acknowledge our difficult thoughts and feelings (such as inadequacy, sadness, anger, confusion) with a stance of openness and curiosity.
Self-compassion involves responding to these difficult thoughts and feelings with kindness, sympathy and understanding so that we soothe and comfort ourselves when we're hurting. Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional well-being. It boosts happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, and can even help maintain healthy lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise. Being both mindful and compassionate leads to greater ease and well-being in our daily lives. These approaches may be particularly important to integrate into therapy around shame and self-criticism.