Research indicates that people that are compassionate with themselves and others exhibit more wellness, motivation, take more care of their health, cope more effectively with adverse events and experience better personal relationships.
Moreover, compassion seems to be not a personality trait but something we can cultivate and thus enjoy its benefits in our lives!
The way we can learn a foreign language, a musical instrument or strengthen our bodies using the appropriate exercises, the same way we can strengthen our ability to be compassionate with our own selves and support ourselves when we face adversities, as we do for the people we care for.
How can we cultivate compassion?
There are many ways to cultivate compassion. Recently, special programs have been developed, such as the Compassionate Mind Training, Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer and the Compassion Cultivation Training from Stanford University.
My own experience is based on the three aforementioned approaches to compassion training, and the last years I teach Compassionate Mind Training, that is based on Compassion Focused Therapy.
What is Compassionate Mind Training?
Compassionate Mind Training is a psychoeducation and special course which contributes to the reduction of self-criticism and to the enhancement of empathy and self-compassion, and to the improvement of well-being.
Compassionate Mind Training can be completed during personal therapy, or participating in an 8-week group or an intensive training program.
During the training, the participants learn about the nature of the mind, the functions of emotions and cultivate skills that can help us identify and manage better our emotions and thoughts, such as …More
- Attention training
- Breathing that can support the body
- Imagery – the ability to bring to our imagination mental images that may have a beneficial impact
- Expressing compassion to and receiving compassion from ourselves and others, and receiving compassion from others
How can it help us?
Through Compassionate Mind Training, we can discover many parts that we express in the world, and develop the part that can be more helpful and supportive to us, when we face difficulties, make mistakes, or feel inadequate. During the training, we try to use this part – our Compassionate Self – so as to balance intense negative emotions (e.g. anger, anxiety, shame), to reduce self-criticism, to manage stress better and improve our relationship with ourselves and others.
Who can benefit?
No previous experience is needed to participate in this training. It is addressed to mental health professionals, doctors, carers, nurses, educators, parents as well as to people that are interested in cultivating compassion in their personal or professional life.
Compassionate Mind Training for Therapists
Compassionate Mind training is especially useful for therapists. According to recent research, it enhances self-compassion and decreases self-criticism, which is an aggravating factor for mental health.
The past few years, Compassionate Mind Training and cultivating self-compassion has been a part of therapist training curriculum in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and other approaches.
The Compassionate Mind training, 8-week program for professionals, is a psychoeducation and compassion skills training for deepening self-compassion and cultivating the compassionate self and internal compassionate supervisor.
I have personally practiced Compassionate Mind Training for many years, and I have been trained and supervised by Dr. Chris Irons. I have also personal experience through my practice in Mindful Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff & Chris Germer and Compassion Cultivation Training by Stanford University. Since 2012 I have coordinated dozens of compassion cultivation groups for students and educators in Harokopeion University, Athens, and for athletes and artists. During the past 4 years, I have been successfully teaching Compassionate Mind training in the Greek Institute of Behaviour Research and Therapy to mental health professionals and to the general public.
I am enthusiastic about sharing with you the gifts of compassion through my teaching, clinical, and personal experience for your well-being, and for dealing with self-criticism and difficult emotions.
If you would like to be informed of / participating in the next Compassionate Mind Training, you can send me a message by filling the following application form.
“Our minds are like gardens, where various plants and trees grow, depending on the environment, the climate, the seeds and the soil. We may dislike the plants that grow in them, or the plants may have a hard time growing on their own in the situation they are in. It is not our fault, but we can try using the right tools and the knowledge to take care of our gardens, prepare the soil, select our seeds and cultivate the plants we want”.
”Faster than a speeding critic.
More powerful than a shame activation.
Able to soothe difficult emotions in a single breath!
Is it kindness? Is it being nice?
It’s my Compassionate Self!”
My Compassionate Self and My Compassionate Person.
By Dr Stan Steindl, 2018