MSC was developed by Christopher K. Germer, PhD, leader in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy, and Kristin Neff, PhD, pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion. MSC combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion, providing a powerful tool for emotional resilience. Mindfulness is the first step in emotional healing—being able to turn toward and acknowledge our difficult thoughts and feelings (such as inadequacy, sadness, anger, confusion) with a spirit of openness and curiosity. Self-compassion involves responding to these difficult thoughts and feelings with kindness, sympathy and understanding so that we soothe and comfort ourselves when we’re hurting. Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional wellbeing. It boosts happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, and can even help maintain healthy lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise. Being both mindful and compassionate leads to greater ease and well-being in our daily lives.
Who can benefit from MSC?
MSC can be learned by anyone. It’s the practice of repeatedly evoking good will toward ourselves especially when we’re suffering—cultivating the same desire that all living beings have to live happily and free from suffering.
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 a shift in the direction of our attention—recognizing that as a human being, you, too, are a worthy recipient of compassion.
In MSC you’ll 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
Is MSC effective?
A randomized, controlled trial demonstrated that MSC significantly increased self-compassion, compassion for others, mindfulness, and life satisfaction, as well as decreased depression, anxiety and stress. Improvements were linked to how much a person practiced mindfulness and self-compassion in their daily lives. For the full-text article, please click here (PDF).
To find out about becoming a teacher of MSC, contact the USCD Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute