by Laura Deneen, Refuge Center Intern
Self-compassion is a multifaceted term that requires thoughtfulness, and may evoke various meanings for different people. It may be difficult in considering the purpose of self-compassion, or how this may be incorporated into a busy lifestyle. Germer (2009) describes self-compassion as the ability to “bear witness to our own pain and respond with kindness and understanding” along with “taking care of ourselves just as we’d treat someone we love dearly” (p. 1-2). While the holiday season is supposed to be a joyful time, oftentimes planning events or buying gifts may induce stress or lead to unfulfilled expectations.
The idea of extending compassion towards self is not a concept with which most people are familiar. Taking the time to slow down, to be mindful of emotional pain, and forgiving oneself are all examples of self-compassion. At The Refuge Center for Counseling, we welcome the opportunity to create an environment that promotes self-compassion. We strive to engage with clients by explaining the purpose of self-compassion and the way it may fit into daily life. There is always hope for learning the skill of self-compassion, and The Refuge Center for Counseling considers it a privilege to journey with clients in this process.
Germer, C. (2009). The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion. New York, N.Y.: The Guilford Press.