Limited to 18 participants
Compassion is as essential to our wellbeing, as the air that we breathe. What would our life be, without the kindness and support that we have received from others along the way? What would the world be like without the compassionate endeavours of Mother Teresa, Florence Nightingale, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Dalai Lama and so many others?
We also know that compassion is the key to the provision of health care. As health professionals, we aim to attend compassionately to our clients/patients, because we know that compassion has the capacity to ease suffering, to heal and to empower. But often for a variety of reasons, health professionals cannot offer themselves the same compassionate care.
The research indicates that for health workers to have a sustaining practice in compassion, they also need to attend to themselves with self-compassion. Compassion for others, as well as self-compassion, promotes well-being, and engagement in the workplace to promote better mental health and relationships, to reduce fatigue and “burn-out”.
Healing the healer
Burnout stress can reduce our compassion for our clients/patients and crush the joy and passion that led us initially to choose a career as a health professional. This program aims to assist you in dealing with stress and potential burnout, empathy/compassion fatigue, anxiety and depression. Cultivating mindfulness and compassion can bring back your enthusiasm and satisfaction for your work again.
Compassion is a superpower
Compassion is much more than just being kind. When we attend to others with compassion, empathising with their struggle and responding with care, we use our higher brain functions in the cerebral and frontal cortex enabling us to better regulate emotions and problem solve. When we are compassionate, we increase our level of oxytocin, a “feel good” endorphin, which assists in regulating the automatic response of distress that comes from the empathic response, so we can perform more skilfully and experience positive feelings of connection, meaning and satisfaction in helping others. Similarly, when we attend to ourselves with warm, care and compassion, in the moment when we are experiencing pain or struggle, we will also release oxytocin, to assist in regulating our difficult emotions, to promote courage and bonding with others.
Compassion improves lives in many ways:
The research has found that those who practice compassion and self-compassion:
• Have reduced risk of heart disease with a stronger immunity system
• Are more resilient to stress
• Are more socially adept and connected, having more satisfying relationships
• Have better mental health with less anxiety and depression and trauma distress
• Experience better emotion regulation
• Perform more skilfully in stressful and demanding emotional workplace
• Engage meaningfully with their clients/patients.
Compassion is not about doing more and does not require more time
Cultivating compassion for ourselves or others does not necessarily mean that we add to our already busy list of things to do. The training involves thinking and relating to our self and others differently in the moments of stress in your daily life. You are thinking and relating to others already, so it is not about doing more, it is about becoming aware, setting your intention, using your tools, so that you can respond differently with more ease, resilience and compassion. It is about doing less of what is not working and more of what is working. Initially, it will require some effort in changing thought patterns, but after some practice, it will become easier and you will reap the benefits.
What to expect:
In this program, health professionals will be encouraged to cultivate the three flow of compassion for more balance into their lives as follow:
-sending compassion to others
-receiving compassion from others
-receiving and sending compassion from the self to the self
Each session will consist of topics and experiential exercises/meditation/visualisation to cultivate the three flow of compassion. This includes cultivating self-compassion, strengthening our capacity to offer compassion to others as well and to be open to receive compassion from others. The focus is on the experience of compassion as we offer it to others, as we open our heart to receive compassion to others, and to engage in a warm and caring relationship with our self, from self to self.
The aim is to develop a stronger sense of our best compassionate self, starting with promoting a compassionate mind through meditation, visualisation and reflective exercises. We will present concepts and practices mostly from Compassion-Focused Therapy (Paul Gilbert) and Mindful Self-Compassion (Kristen Neff and Chris Germer). This program will integrate evidenced-based practices with the neuroscientific research on mindfulness, compassion and self-compassion. The focus of this workshop will be on personal practice and its application to our professional work. Previous experience in meditation is not required.
Who is it for:
The expectation is for the participants to have some personal experience in mindfulness and self-compassion. Many have attended mindful self-compassion, compassion mind training, or compassion-focused therapy workshops. This program is an opportunity to refresh, extend and deepen personal practices. Some additional new tools, meditation and visualisation will also be introduced.
The program is targeting health professional (psychologists, social workers, nurses, medical practitioners, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, counsellor) who value compassion in their personal and professional life. It will also be relevant for other helping professionals who similarly wish to cultivate compassion, such as professionals who are working in the educational, legal, welfare, emergency, wellness, business, defence or environmental sectors (school teachers, lawyers, mindfulness/yoga teachers, coaches, managers, students and so on).
This course includes:
The program consists of 6 weekly meetings of approximately 1.5 hours. There will be topics on compassion and self-compassion with relevant meditation/visualisation, short practices and exercises to assist in cultivating the three flow of compassion in your professional as well as your personal life. There will also be handout detailing the key points, with mindfulness scripts and exercises. After each session, you will receive an email with the key points and home practice reminders.
The aim is to come together to support one another in our practice in mindfulness, compassion and self-compassion for more well-being, resilience, connection and engagement.
At the end of the program, participants will be better able to:
• Cultivate the three flow of compassion
• Aware of interconnection and common humanity
• Empathise and be present with the suffering of others with equanimity
• Practice mindfulness, self-compassion and compassion in daily life
• Act on core values and intention
• Engage with the courage to take compassionate actions
• Handle difficult situation and emotions with resilience
• Use tools to manage stress and burnout
• Teach simple mindfulness and self-compassion practices to others
Content of program
Mindful Self-Compassion for Professionals
Session 1: Introduction of the three flow of compassion. Mindfulness and self-compassion practices to promote calm and balance in our busy daily life. Grounding practices for a soft front and strong back.
Session 2: Compassion for ourselves and others through Loving-kindness. Exploring resistances and obstacle as well as the practice of Loving Kindness meditation in formal and informal ways.
Session 3: Embracing Common humanity and connections with ourselves and others. Practice “setting intention” and “just like me”.
Session 4: Sending Compassion to our self and others through expectations and forgiveness. Practice of forgiveness for others and ourselves.
Session 5: Cultivating the ability to receive compassion openly from our self and others. Exercises in self-appreciation and gratitude.
Session 6: Opening to our inner wisdom. Guided visualisations: “healing the healer" and "flow of life”
Continued Professional Development (CPD)
A Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or Certificate of attendance of 10 hours will be given to the participants following their attendance to the program. This Mindful Compassion program is endorsed by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and promoted on the Australian Psychological Society (APS) on the calendar of events.
What Mindful Compassion for Professionals is not:
This Self-Compassion course is an educational group program to build emotional resources and is not a substitute for individual medical or psychological treatments. This program is not group therapy.
The Self-Compassion program is an adventure in self-discovery and personal growth. During the program, participants can open up to their struggles in a way that is soothing and comforting to uncover inner strengths. The group comes together to provide a safe, supportive, confidential environment to cultivate the three flow of compassion for ourselves and others.
You can share your experience as much or as little as you like. Participants who share their experiences on the path of building compassion, usually, find that the sharing and participation in the program are very helpful. The emphasis of the program is enhancing emotional resources and personal capacities in the three flow of compassion for more engagement in the workplace.
It is recommended, but not required, that participants read one of the following books before the training program:
Mindful Compassion by Paul Gilbert and Choden, 2014
Living with an Open Heart by Russell Kolts and Thubten Chodron, 2013
A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to be Compassionate can Transform our lives, Thupten Jinpa, 2015
For more information contact us
Date: Sep 7, 2020 - Oct 13, 2020
Time: Monday 7:00-8:30pm AEST
Location: Event Online- Webinar
Price: Early bird(25 August ) $99.00 Regular $120.00
Presenter: Marie Bloomfield, Clinical Psychologist and John Julian, Social Worker, both Senior Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teachers.
Disclaimer from the presenter: Who am I to teach compassion to others? I want to say that I am an imperfect, vulnerable, fallible human being like everyone, but I value compassion in myself and in the world. I am not a perfect example of compassion and self-compassion. Many times in the past, I could have been more compassionate for greater benefits of myself and others. But I sincerely wish to learn and grow in compassion. I am teaching what I am wishing to deepen in my life. I believe in the power of compassion and a more compassionate world. The program is designed to support other like-minded professionals who also wish to be more compassionate. Together we can support each other on this journey, so we can improve our lives and the lives of others, to make the world a better place.
Disclaimer about the program: This Mindful Compassion program is educational and is not meant to treat psychological disorders.