Mindful Self Compassion

Mindful Self Compassion 8-week course

The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self Compassion: Kristin Neff at TEDx Centennial Park Women

How do you typically react to difficulties in life—work stress, feeling rejected, physical problems, or financial hardship? As human beings, most of us instinctively fight negative experiences and find fault in ourselves when things go wrong: “This shouldn’t be happening!” “What’s the matter with me!?” Unfortunately, this tendency just adds stress to our lives and the critical self-talk defeats us before we know what’s happening. For example, the more we struggle to fall asleep, the harder it is to sleep; fighting with anxiety makes us feel worried all the time; and blaming ourselves for feeling bad just makes us depressed. But what would happen if, instead, you took a moment to calm and comfort yourself when you felt bad, just because you felt bad—much like you’d do for others? In other words, what if you learned the art of mindful self-compassion?

Self-compassion is a skill that can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection in childhood or who find it embarrassing to be kind to themselves. Self-compassion is actually a courageous mental attitude that stands up to harm—the harm that we inflict on ourselves every day by overworking, overeating, overanalyzing, and overreacting. With mindful self-compassion, we’re better able to recognize when we’re under stress and face what’s happening in our lives (mindfulness) and to take a kinder and more sustainable approach to life’s challenges. Self-compassion gives emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to recover more quickly from bruised egos to admit our shortcomings, forgive ourselves, and respond to ourselves and others with care and respect. After all, making mistakes is part of being human. Self-compassion also provides the support and inspiration required to make necessary changes in our lives and reach our full potential.

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. And it’s easier than you think. Most of us feel compassion when a close friend is struggling. What would it be like to receive the same caring attention whenever you needed it most? All that’s required is shift in the direction of our attention—recognizing that as a human being, you, too, are a worthy recipient of compassion.

8-Week Course in Mindful Self Compassion

Self Compassion Book Mindful Path to Self Compassion Book

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 . . .

  • 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

The Mindful Self Compassion program is offered in three different formats for the maximum flexibility:

The 8-week format - consists of eight weekly, 2 ½ -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 5-day format - consists of a five-day retreat. The course is typically offered in a retreat setting and offers the ability to learn self-compassion while taking time away from our ordinary stressors and immersing ourselves in practice.

NOTE: We recommend that if your schedule will not allow you to attend the first session, or prevents from attending any two sessions of the course, that you consider waiting until the next offering of the program.

The course includes handouts, guided meditations and instruction and is offered for $545 ($495 if you register more than 30 days in advance for the course). Please Note: Those who have completed a UCSD Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program can receive a $50 discount on the MSC program.

Program Schedule and Registration

Center for Mindfulness
UC San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine and Department of Psychiatry
5060 Shoreham Place, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92122-0980
858-334-4631
Fax: 858-334-4601
mindfulness@ucsd.edu