Monday, April 26, 2010

Website Spotlight: Self-Compassion

Kristin Neff, PhD, a researcher at the University of Texas – Austin, has created a research program around the concept of Self-Compassion. Self-Compassion is a construct based on Buddhist notions of compassion, mainly karuna (the word is the same whether one is using Pali or Sanskrit).

I think self-compassion is a really exciting offshoot of mindfulness research. Many Buddhist traditions have meditations specifically targeting compassion, and Dr. Neff (along with Paul Gilbert), has been a pioneer in transforming Buddhist conceptions of compassion into a legitimate area of scientific inquiry. I think self-compassion is a useful companion to understanding the processes of mindfulness, and researchers have already begun using the Self-Compassion Scale in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction studies. In the interests of self-disclosure, I conducted a study a few years ago examining self-compassion in individuals with trauma, that is available on the site.

The regularly updated Self-Compassion website contains research articles, a self-report measure, exercises, and a whole host of extra goodies and links. Check it out at

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