Friday, October 11, 2013

Self-Compassion and Life Satisfaction!

"Sanctuary" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
I was reading "Self-Compassion in Clinical Practice" (an article in the JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY: IN SESSION) by Christopher K. Germer and Kristin D. Neff.  They describe self-compassion as having 3 core components: self-kindness (rather than self-judgment), a sense of commonality with humanity (rather than the isolation of an overly well defended ego), and mindfulness (rather than over identification, when relating to painful experiences). Their research evidence demonstrated a high correlation between self-compassion and psychological flourishing.  They also noted a reduction of depression and anxiety. After an 8-week training program in mindful self-compassion Germer and Neff found participants demonstrated a significant increase in self-compassion, mindfulness, compassion for others, and life satisfaction and a decrease in depression, anxiety, stress, and emotional avoidance. All gains in outcomes were maintained at 6 months and 1-year follow-up.  In fact, life satisfaction actually increased significantly at the 1-year follow-up, demonstrating a willingness to continue the self-compassion practices which in turn enhanced the participants' quality of life over time.  For the exercises used in mindful self-compassion see the resources and handouts on Christopher Germer's website.  Really nice!  I'm thinking the Fun Monday 14 Secrets Challenges will have to include some of these ideas!


Anonymous said...

Good stuff Lani, thanks. Here is a link to a TED talk by Kirsten Neff titled "The space between self esteem and self compassion". She presents the ides you discuss above and I think worth a listen. I use this as a basis for a session I take on our Pain Management Program which used to be all about self esteem. Kindest Janet

Lani Gerity said...

Here's Janet's link, and as she says well worth the a listen!

Amanda said...

Hi Lani, thank-you so much for sharing this. Having grown up in an environment focussed on achievement and filled with sarcasm under the guise of humour, showing myself a little compassion is something I struggle with even decades later. i'm looking forward to working through this. :-)