Self-Compassion and Psychological Well-Being

Presented by Kristin Neff, PhD on 12-02-2011 at 9 a.m. Pacific

What is the key to psychological health? For years it was believed to be self-esteem. However, research psychologists have highlighted several downsides to the endless pursuit of self-esteem, including constant social comparisons, ego defensiveness, narcissism, and the instability and contingency of self-worth. As suggested by research, self-compassion is a healthier way of relating to oneself. Self-compassion offers all the same benefits as self-esteem, without the same downsides. It requires that people treat themselves with kindness, just as they would treat a good friend whom they cared about. Rather than people continually judging and evaluating themselves, self-compassion involves having people generate kindness toward themselves as imperfect humans and learn to be present with the inevitable struggles of life with greater ease. Self-compassion motivates people to make desired changes in their lives because they care for themselves and want to lessen their suffering, not because they are inadequate or worthless.

In this web conference, Dr. Kristin Neff will present research and theory on self-compassion, which has been strongly associated with positive states such as life satisfaction and happiness and negatively associated with maladaptive states such as depression and anxiety. Dr. Neff will explain the differences between self-compassion and self-esteem, self-pity, and self-indulgence. She will also discuss the ways in which self-compassion is more effective and powerful as a motivational tool than self-criticism. The efficacy of Mindful Self-Compassion, a program developed recently by Dr. Neff and her colleague Chris Germer, will be demonstrated by data from a randomized controlled trial. Ample time for questions and answers will be provided throughout this live event for participants to chime in and interact. In addition, a few simple tools will be highlighted for people--people in therapy and clinicians alike--to respond in kind, compassionate ways when experiencing painful emotions. It is normal for people to want to avoid pain, however, letting pain in--and responding compassionately to one’s own imperfections without harsh self-condemnation--is essential for living happier and more fulfilling lives.

This web conference is designed to help clinicians:

  1. Identify the three key components of self-compassion;
  2. Understand the difference between self-compassion and self-esteem;
  3. Motivate oneself with kindness rather than self-criticism;
  4. Describe key research that supports the benefits of self-compassion.

If you have any questions about this web conference or would like more information, please contact us here.

How the Web Conference Works

In short, participants will be able to listen to the event by calling in to our teleconference center. Prior to the event, all participants will be sent an email with instructions on how to login to the teleconference and video conference center. This event will include lecture, interaction, and question and answer periods. A recording of the event, including video, will be made available within one week after the conclusion of the live event.

403.5CE hours and counting!

All are available to GoodTherapy.org members at no additional cost.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

1.5 CE credits will be provided by GoodTherapy.org for attending this web conference in its entirety.

GoodTherapy.org is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within counseling services.

GoodTherapy.org is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.

GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. ASWB Approval Period: March 30, 2016 through March 30, 2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social workers participating in this course will receive two clinical continuing education clock hours.

GoodTherapy.org is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content and is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

GoodTherapy.org, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395. 

Registration Information

This Web Conference is available for free to GoodTherapy.org members.

This event has already taken place. An audio recording for this event may be available in the Member's Area.

Event Reviews from Members

This is information I can use in my practice AND in my life - thank you. - Tammy Fletcher, MA, MFT

Meet the Presenter

Kristin Neff, PhD

Kristin Neff, PhD

In 1997, Kristin Neff, PhD, earned her doctorate in Human Development from the University of California. Currently, Dr. Neff is an Associate Professor of Human Development and Culture at the University of Texas in Austin, TX. A pioneer in the field of self-compassion research, Dr. Neff conducted the first empirical studies on self-compassion over ten years ago. In addition to writing academic articles and book chapters on self-compassion, she authored Self-Compassion (William Morrow, 2011). Dr. Neff’s work has been featured extensively in the media, including CBS News, The New York Times, MSNBC, Fitness Magazine, Spirituality and Health Magazine, National Public Radio, Reader’s Digest, and GoodTherapy.org. In collaboration with Dr. Chris Germer, Dr. Neff has developed an eight-week training program called Mindful Self-Compassion, and she offers workshops on self-compassion throughout the world.

More information about self-compassion—including guided meditations, videos, research articles, exercises, and a way to test your personal self-compassion level—is available at www.self-compassion.org. Kristin is also featured in The Horse Boy, an award-winning documentary and bestselling book chronicling her family’s journey to the reaches of Mongolia where together they trekked on horseback to find healing for her son, who has autism.

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • ace
    GoodTherapy.org is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content. APA approval applies to all events listed after May 2011.
  • Logo
    GoodTherapy.org has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. GoodTherapy.org is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo
    This course has been approved by GoodTherapy.org, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. GoodTherapy.org is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  • ace
    GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 03/30/2016 – 03/30/2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 2 clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • GoodTherapy.org, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.