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Self-Compassion

“Self-compassion entails being kind and understanding toward oneself in instances of pain or failure rather than being harshly self-critical; perceiving one’s experiences as part of the larger human experience rather than seeing them as isolating; and holding painful thoughts and feelings in mindful awareness rather than over-identifying with them” (Neff, Kirkpatrick, & Rude, 2007). Gilbert’s evolutionary account of compassion argues that the self-soothing qualities of self-compassion allow for more effective affect regulation, greater capacity for intimacy, and more adaptive behavior (Gilbert, 1989, 2005). Many individuals who have experienced neglect or abuse struggle to offer compassion toward themselves and struggle with shame and self-criticism as a result. Within compassion-focused therapy (CFT) techniques for fostering and developing self-compassion are referred to as compassionate mind training (CMT). Read more
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Problem

Therapy tool

Language

Assertive Communication

Communicating assertively is an essential skill for maintaining healthy self-esteem and strong relationships. This information handout describes the k ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/assertive-communication/

Information Handout

Autonomic Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) automatically regulates the function of body systems outside of voluntary control. The Autonomic Nervous System han ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/autonomic-nervous-system/

Information Handout

Barriers Abusers Overcome In Order To Abuse

Individuals who have experienced abuse often focus on their own actions (or inactions) and blame themselves for their own abuse. This client informati ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/barriers-abusers-overcome-in-order-to-abuse/

Exercise

Coercive Methods For Enforcing Compliance

Individuals who have experienced abuse often focus on their own actions (or inactions) and blame themselves for their own abuse. This client informati ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/coercive-methods-for-enforcing-compliance/

Exercise

Compassionate Thought Challenging Record

Thought challenging records are commonly used in CBT to help people to evaluate their negative automatic thoughts for accuracy and bias. This Compassi ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/compassionate-thought-challenging-record/

Worksheet

Gratitude Journal

Cultivating gratitude is an evidence-based positive psychology technique. This information handout describes reasons to cultivate a grateful attitude ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/gratitude-journal/

Exercise

Motivational Systems (Emotional Regulation Systems)

At the heart of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is an evolutionary model of human motivational systems. Developed by Paul Gilbert it is a helpful len ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/motivational-systems-emotional-regulation-systems/

Information Handout

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Muscle tension is one reaction to stress and anxiety. This exercise includes instructions for Progressive Muscle Relaxation, a technique for promoting ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/progressive-muscle-relaxation/

Exercise

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (Audio)

The Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercise guides the listener through a sequence in which muscle groups are tensed and relaxed. ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/progressive-muscle-relaxation-audio/

Audio

Relaxed Breathing

Practising Relaxed Breathing serves to reduce physiological arousal and can be an excellent grounding technique. This client information handout descr ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/relaxed-breathing/

Exercise

Responses To Threat: Freeze, Appease, Flight, Fight

Human beings are programmed to respond automatically in a variety of ways to a threat including freezing, escaping, and dissociation. Traumatized indi ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/responses-to-threat-freeze-appease-flight-fight/

Information Handout

Case Conceptualization / Case Formulation

Intervention

Treatment guides

Exercises, Worksheets & Workbooks

Self-Help Programmes

Developing self-compassion

Videos

Recommended Reading

References

  • Gilbert, P. (1989). Human nature and suffering. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Gilbert, P. (2005). Compassion and cruelty: A biopsychosocial approach. In P. Gilbert (Ed.), Compassion: Conceptualisations, research and use in psychotherapy(pp. 9–74). New York: Routledge
  • Neff, K. D., Kirkpatrick, K. L., & Rude, S. S. (2007). Self-compassion and adaptive psychological functioning. Journal of Research in Personality, 41(1), 139–154.