The psychological benefits of mindfulness are well established. Yet for people who struggle with difficult emotions like anxiety, guilt, anger, loneliness, sadness, or low self-esteem, mindfulness practices can be enhanced by adding a simple yet powerful ingredient: self-compassion. Without it, we all too often respond to emotional suffering with self-criticism, shame, or defensiveness-tough-to-break habits that only make suffering worse. This wise, eloquent, and practical book illuminates the nature of self-compassion and offers easy-to-follow, scientifically grounded steps for incorporating it into daily life. Vivid examples and innovative exercises and techniques make this an ideal resource for readers who arenew to mindfulness or want to bring an important new dimension to their meditation practice.
--- from the publisher
Library Journal Starred Review -- 5/09
The Boston Globe -- 5/2/09
Time.com -- 5/2/09
"Those of us treating people who struggle with addictions know all too well how clients' feelings of shame or self-blame often undermine efforts to achieve effective interventions. In this remarkable book, Germer shows readers how to use mindfulness and self-compassion to open up to their pain and treat themselves with kindness. Ideal for recommendation to clients who have fallen off the wagon or who are blaming themselves for failed relationships, lost jobs, and scattered lives, this book offers a way out of a vicious cycle."
-G. Alan Marlatt, PhD, Department of Psychology and Director, Addictive Behaviors Research Center, University of Washington
"In this important book, Christopher Germer illuminates the myriad synergies between mindfulness and compassion. He offers skillful and effective ways of making sure that we are inviting ourselves to bathe in and benefit from the kind heart of awareness itself, and from the actions that follow from such a radical and sane embrace."
-Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, author of Arriving at Your Own Door and Letting Everything Become Your Teacher
"Explains both the science and practice of developing kindness toward ourselves and others. Dr. Germer offers powerful and easily accessible steps toward transforming our lives from the inside out. It's never too late to start along this important path."
-Daniel J. Siegel, MD, author of The Mindful Brain
"Self-compassion is the ground of all emotional healing, and Dr. Germer has produced an invaluable guide. Written with great clarity, psychological wisdom, and warmth, this book will serve anyone seeking practical and powerful tools that free the heart."
-Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance
"Loving-kindness and compassion are the basis for wise, powerful, sometimes gentle, and sometimes fierce actions that can really make a difference-in our own lives and those of others....In the following pages you will find a scientific review, an educational manual, and a practical step-by-step guide to developing greater loving-kindness and self-compassion every day."
-from the Foreword by Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness
Foreword, Sharon Salzberg
I. Discovering Self-Compassion
1. Being Kind to Yourself
2. Listening to Your Body
3. Bringing In Difficult Emotions
4. What's Self-Compassion?
5. Pathways to Self-Compassion
II. Practicing Loving-Kindness
6. Caring for Ourselves
7. Caring for Others
III. Customizing Self-Compassion
8. Finding Your Balance
9. Making Progress
Appendix A. Emotion Words
Appendix B. Additional Self-Compassion Exercises
Appendix C. Further Reading and Practice
About the Author:
Christopher K. Germer , PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in the Boston area, Clinical Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School, and a founding member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy.