Mindful Self-Compassion or “MSC” is an empirically-supported 8-week training program developed by Drs. Chris Germer and Kristin Neff. It helps participants cultivate the mental and emotional habit of mindful self-compassion by learning the process of infusing our moment-to-moment experience with kindness, especially when we feel frustrated, hurt, inadequate, or overwhelmed. Mindful self-compassion is the first step in emotional healing—being able to be-friend oneself, turn inwardly and acknowledge our difficult thoughts and feelings with a spirit of openness, curiosity and love, rather than self-judgment, or self-criticism.
Perhaps most importantly, cultivating self-compassion means that we honor and accept our humanness. Things will not always go the way we want them to. We often encounter frustrations and losses. We make mistakes and bump up against our limitations, or fall short of our ideals. This is the human condition, a reality shared by us all. The more we open our heart to this reality instead of constantly fighting against it, the more we will be able to feel compassion for ourselves and all our fellow humans.
Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional well-being. It boosts resilience, 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. MSC can be learned by anyone. It’s the practice of recognizing moments of difficulty, and repeatedly evoking good will toward ourselves. It extends cultivation of that same desire beyond ourselves to all living beings to live happily and free from suffering. In the weekly program, participants will learn through activities such as meditation, experiential exercises, short presentations, group discussion and home practices. Learning is mostly experiential and includes current theory and research on self-compassion.
Yaffa Maritz, LMHC is a co-founder of Listening Mothers and clinical director of both Listening Mothers and Reflective Parenting, two research based parenting programs. She is the founder and director of the Community of Mindful Parenting. Yaffa was born and trained in Israel as a clinical psychologist. She is also a licensed mental health counselor with advanced training in infant mental health. She is an advocate for the well-being of children and their families and served on several local and national boards that promote this agenda, including the Governor’s Commission for Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention.Yaffa believes that by supporting parents and creating nurturing communities for them, we can set the foundation for the positive growth of children’s social, emotional, and mental health. Yaffa participated in the Stanford yearlong teachers training program called CCT (Compassion Cultivation Training) that was offered through CCare, and also completed the advanced training program in MSC (Mindful Self-Compassion) with Drs. Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. She is looking forward to working together with Elizabeth Lin and sharing the wisdom of this program with our community.
Elizabeth H. B. Lin, MD, MPH. Dr. Lin, a family medicine physician, is a clinical professor at the School of Medicine, University of Washington and an affiliate scientific investigator at the Group Health Research Institute. As a physician researcher, Dr. Lin is well-known for research on improving mind-body health in general medical settings. Elizabeth has had a daily meditation practice for more than 20 years. She has trained extensively with leaders in mindfulness programs, and began teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction 4 years ago. Dr. Lin recently trained with Drs. Chris Germer and Kristen Neff, to become a teacher in Mindful Self-Compassion. She is very much looking forward to co-teaching this course with Ms. Yaffa Maritz.
*CCFW has a limited number of financial aid awards available. To apply, please visit https://catalyst.uw.edu/webq/survey/mindful/237140 (priority deadline: Feb 26, 2015)