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Compassion is the heart of emotional healing.
Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive for Professionals is a wonderful didactic and experiential workshop presenting powerful practices from the empirically validated Mindful Self-Compassion program (designed by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer) that you can use in your own life and also teach your clients.
This workshop is for Professionals who would like to feel more compassionate and resilient from the inside out. As helping professionals, we know the power of compassion. We use it every day when we care for others. It contains what we all yearn: feelings of acceptance, comfort, kindness and love. What happens when we turn this power onto ourselves? Mindful Self-compassion (MSC) is a brave new way to care for ourselves that is uplifting and empowering. The training program consists of easy, simple ways to soothe and calm that you can use on the go, during times of stress to increase the ability to resolve challenges and to enjoy life. Once we learn those skills for ourselves, we can teach them effectively to others. Everyone will benefit!
An ever-growing body of research is showing over the last 30years that mindfulness and self-compassion benefit mental and physical health by reducing depression, anxiety, trauma, burnout, caregiver fatigue while promoting wellbeing, resilience, positive relationships and meaningful life.
More research indicates that Health Professionals benefit from mindfulness and self-compassion because it:
• strengthens their relationships with clients/patients,
• reduces the chances of empathetic distress fatigue and burnout
• increases resilience, well-being and meaningful engagement in the workplace.
Does your compassion include yourself?
Many of us realize that when our compassion does not include our self it is not sustaining, and we risk burnout. We offer support, understanding and patience to our friends (or clients, patients, customers) when they make a mistake or experience difficulties. We acknowledge and validate their feelings; we support and encourage them, we help them to feel stronger, so they heal or become more confident in overcoming their challenges. In addition, we forgive others for many things, but not our own shortcomings. We have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and when we fail from our high standard, we criticise ourselves harshly hoping for a better performance which may or may not come. Depriving ourselves of our own compassion makes us more needy, lonely and vulnerable. The practise of compassion is a super strength where we become self-sufficient, resilient, with an open heart that is sustaining ourselves, where we feel more connected and engaged.
Mindfulness + Self-Compassion
Mindfulness and self-compassion are about being present with connection and warmth during times of pain and struggles. Mindfulness increases our ability to deal with the inevitable stresses and struggles with more calm. When we add Self-Compassion, we greatly increase our capacity for equanimity and happiness. We cultivate the ability to be aware in the present moment, to step out of thoughts, to opt-out of automatic ways of reacting, to gain more perspectives, for better self-care and wisdom. In the moment, when difficult emotions are met with compassion rather than fear, anger or shame, there is a change in body chemistry which can lead to profound transformation.
In Mindful Self-Compassion we learn easy and quick tools that can be integrated in a busy day to mindfully attend to struggles and to respond with understanding and kindness to encourage and to empower. Mistakes, shortcomings, failures can be met with more calm and acceptance so there is a greater possibility to problem solve, to learn from experiences, to gain strength, to heal and to thrive. Mindful Self-Compassion greatly increase the ability to regulate emotions, to ease toxic inner criticisms, while promoting confidence, and inner strength.
The Physiology of Mindfulness and Self-Compassion
Compassion, including self-compassion, activates the emotions of bonding and safety from our mammalian-care system to allow access to our more evolved human capacities of perspective-taking and problem-solving. When difficult moments are met with mindfulness and self-compassion, the stress response is reduced, the automatic fight/flight/freeze response (sympathetic nervous system) is eased. This helps to restore a sense of safety, to restore calm and the rest-digest or tend-befriend response (parasympathetic nervous system), to allow access to higher brain functions, to enable to deal with challenges more effectively.
The Yin and the Yang of Self-Compassion
Often, to restore calm we think of compassion as passive or yin, that is comforting, nurturing and soothing but, self-compassion can also be very active or yang, that is motivating, empowering, giving the courage to act, to assert, to protect, to defend as required.
The Mindful Self-Compassion program contains a wide variety of yin and yang tools, practices and exercises that each person can explore to discover which ones work best for them to meet their needs and circumstances. Some practices are more yin and others are more yang, while some have both aspects.
Mindfulness and Self-Compassion in the last 30 years have been found to:
• Increases resilience to stress, fostering emotional strengths and flexibility
• Promotes emotional regulation, relaxation and calm
• Prevent burnout, vicarious trauma and caregiver fatigue
• Activates brain circuits to promote well-being, confidence, problem-solving and flexibility
• Reduces risk of illness by boosting the positive effects of the parasympathetic/vagus nerve and strengthening the immune system
• Promotes healthy lifestyle habits such as diet/exercise, to assist in maintaining a healthy weight
• Increases happiness, curiosity, enthusiasm, commitment and satisfaction, while decreasing negative emotions
• Promotes better communication, social intelligence and stronger relationships
• Increases ability to focus, to concentrate, to be open to new ways, to innovate
• Promotes leadership skills
• Increases life satisfaction, social connectedness, vitality, optimism and joy of living
Who is it for
This workshop is for professionals who value and wish to integrate mindfulness and self-compassion into their life and work to enhance their clinical skills while preventing burnout.
Mindful Self-Compassion has been very popular among professionals such as psychologists, social workers, counsellors, medical practitioners, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, teachers, yoga/mindfulness teachers, personal trainers, coaches, nurses, lawyers, managers, accountant and so on, who wish to integrate mindfulness and self-compassion in their personal life and in their work practices.
We target a wide variety of professionals in our program, and we use a broad definition. Professionals are defined as anyone who is employed or volunteer in some capacity to help others, be it in the health or medical sectors as well as in education, welfare, wellness, legal, business, defence, or environmental sectors. Students are also welcome and can apply for discounts.
Beginners are welcome as well as others who may have a more regular practice in mindfulness or meditation. If you have attended other mindfulness-based programs such as MBSR or MBCT this course will help you to extend and deepen your practice in self-compassion.
The workshop is endorsed by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and promoted on the Australian Psychologist Society(APS) on the calendar of events.
After participating in this workshop, you’ll be more able to:
• Practice mindfulness and self-compassion in daily life
• Become more aware and able to attend skillfully to your needs and the needs of others
• Cultivate feelings of goodwill, kindness and warmth towards self and others
• Motivate ourself and others with encouragement rather than harsh self-criticism
• Deal with struggles with courage, acceptance and resilience
• Regulate difficult emotions with more ease
• Learn from failures and inadequacies with understanding and kindness
• Find the silver lining in our challenges
• Live life intentionally, imbued with core values for more meaning and satisfaction
• Become aware and able to attend skilfully to your needs and needs of others
• Begin to transform difficult relationships
• Manage burnout, caregiver fatigue and vicarious trauma
• Practice the art of savouring, self-appreciation and gratitude
• Teach simple mindfulness and self-compassion practices to patients, clients, students and children
Day 1: Applying Mindfulness and Self-Compassion in daily life.
Day 2: Benefits and applications of loving-kindness in daily life. Followed by making peace with the inner critic and positively motivate ourselves.
Day 3: Explore values, strengths and silver lining in times of crisis/challenges promoting growth. Followed by tools to ease difficult emotions and shame.
Day 4: Managing difficult relationships, caregiver fatigue, anger, forgiveness of others/self. Followed by a mini-retreat in the afternoon of MSC guided-meditations.
Day 5: Embracing your life and hard-wiring for happiness. Finish at 1:00 pm
The Mindful Self-Compassion training workshop consists of:
• Guided meditations, visualisations, talks, experiential exercises, self-reflective writing, group discussions, strategies, tools and suggested home practices.
• Meditations and informal practices with mp3downloads
• You will be given the Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook written by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer ( worth $35.00)
What to Expect
This workshop consists of the complete Mindful Self-Compassion program designed by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. It is an empirically supported since 2013. This course presents simple and quick tools that you can use in your busy life to increase the ability to attend to the self, compassionately, whenever there is struggle or pain, to ease stress, to gain balance and resilience.
The program introduces 25 powerful simple tools to soothe, to calm as well as strategies to promote emotional strength, resilience, flexibility, acceptance and positive motivation that you can practice in your daily life and teach your clients. Mindful Self-Compassion is about being present with connection and warmth during times of pain and struggles. We increase our ability to ease difficult emotions, care for others compassionately and be more fully ourselves in our roles. Mindful self-compassion has transformed the lives of many professionals as well as their clients.
The goal is to directly experience and learn practices that evoke mindfulness and self-compassion that can be used into daily life. The emphasis is on learning mindfulness and self-compassion to build emotional resources that can be used simply and quickly anywhere, anytime.
This program, integrates other concepts and practices from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Dialectic Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy(ACT), Compassionate Mind Training + Compassion-Focused Therapy(CFT) and Cognitive Therapy(CBT), as well as Positive Psychology adding the element of self-compassion based on the latest neuroscience research findings.
Mindful Self-Compassion is an adventure in self-discovery and personal growth. During the program, we can open up to our struggles in a way that is soothing and comforting to uncover our inner strengths. The group comes together to provide a safe, supportive, confidential environment to develop compassion for ourselves and others.
Difficult emotions may arise as we give ourselves the kindness that we need. Participants are asked to attend to their safety and wellbeing. We will support participants as we proceed together through the course. We are committed to making the journey safe, interesting and enjoyable for everyone.
What Mindful Self-Compassion for Professionals is not:
This program is not group therapy and does not replace individual psychotherapy. Mindfulness and Self-Compassion is an educational group program to build emotional resources and is not a substitute for individual medical or psychological treatments.
Participants are encouraged to share their experiences on the path of mindful self-compassion which can be very healing. The emphasis of the training program is on skill-building to enhancing emotional resources and personal capacities to learn for ourselves and to teach others.
Continued Professional Development-CPD
A Certificate of attendance of 32 hours will be given to professionals requiring evidence of professional development training such as psychologists, social workers, teachers, doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapist, etc.
Becoming a Teacher in Mindful Self-Compassion
Completing this MSC Intensive workshop for Professionals satisfies one of the prerequisites to attend an Online Teacher Training Program for Mindful Self-Compassion for adults or Making Friends with Yourself for teenagers.
For more information on requirements and to enrol in the Online Mindful Self-Compassion Teaching Training program, you can visit the Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion.
It is recommended, but not required, that participants read one of the following books before the training program:
• Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind by Kristin Neff
• The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher Germer
• Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer
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