In Today’s Episode
Dr. Kristin Neff studied communications as an undergraduate at the University of
California at Los Angeles. She did her graduate work at University of California at
Berkeley, studying moral development with Dr. Elliot Turiel. Her dissertation research was conducted in Mysore, India, where she examined children’s moral reasoning. She then spent two years of post-doctoral study with Dr. Susan Harter at Denver University, studying issues of authenticity and self-concept development. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. During Dr. Neff’s last year of graduate school, she became interested in Buddhism and has been practicing meditation in the Insight Meditation tradition ever since. While doing her post-doctoral work she decided to conduct research on self-compassion — a central construct in Buddhist psychology and one that had not yet been examined empirically.
In addition to her pioneering research into self-compassion, she has developed an 8-week program to teach self-compassion skills. The program, co-created with her colleague Chris Germer, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, is called Mindful Self- Compassion. Her book, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, was published by William Morrow in April, 2011.
In our conversation today we talk about the difference between self-esteem and self-compassion, and how self-compassion can help you heal.
Outline of This Great Episode
[3:19] Deborah introduces Dr. Neff.
[5:21] How did Dr. Neff become interested in self-compassion?
[7:18] Self-esteem and self-compassion are intricately connected.
[9:02] Parents aren’t raising their children’s self-esteem in healthy ways.
[13:36] There is such a thing as healthy self-esteem.
[15:14] How does abuse affect self-esteem?
[17:21] Compassionate self-talk and compassionate self-touch are important.
[21:52] You can help yourself through shock and grief.
[25:35] It’s very important to distinguish self-compassion from self-pity.
[28:44] It’s time to take a break! Be sure to check out VidalSpeaks.com, where you
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[30:00] Narcissism levels have raised, but there’s more to the story.
[33:48] Where does narcissism come from?
[39:17] Many compassionate people lack self-compassion.
[45:25] Buddhism is all about compassion.
[48:44] Compassion promotes healing.
[50:19] Dr. Neff has developed a training course to teach people how to practice self-compassion.
[53:43] Dr. Neff leaves us with three tips.
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