Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is a research-backed 8-week course designed to cultivate your self-compassion skills.
MSC was developed by Christopher Germer, PhD, a leader in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy, and Kristin Neff, PhD, a pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion.
The class meets once a week, for 1.5 hours each week, for six weeks. Program activities include self-compassion meditations, brief talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices, all in a supportive environment
- Practice mindfulness and self-compassion in your daily life
- Gain a new perspective on stressful situations
- Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
- Motivate yourself with encouragement rather than criticism
- Work with challenging relationships, both old and new
- Manage caregiver fatigue
- Practice the art of savoring and self-appreciation
- Become your own best teacher
This program is designed for members of the general public. Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in MSC. All are welcome!
MSC is a useful tool to use in mental health settings. Mental health professionals and clients can use these skills to promote emotional regulation and self-advocacy.
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 is 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, which suggest that willpower and self-discipline are the 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 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.”
What to Expect:
The MSC program is a journey—an adventure in self-discovery and self-kindness. Self-compassion has the paradoxical effect of both soothing our emotional distress as well as opening us to the pain 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. MSC teachers are committed to providing an environment of safety, support, privacy, individual responsibility, and a common commitment to developing compassion for oneself and others.
MSC is therapeutic, but it’s not therapy. The emphasis of the program is on enhancing emotional resources to meet emotional challenges, old and new.