The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions (Paperback)
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“Buck up.” “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.” “Don’t ruin everything.” When you are anxious, sad, angry, or lonely, do you hear this self-critical voice? What would happen if, instead of fighting difficult emotions, we accepted them? Over his decades of experience as a therapist and mindfulness meditation practitioner, Dr. Christopher Germer has learned a paradoxical lesson: We all want to avoid pain, but letting it in--and responding compassionately to our own imperfections, without judgment or self-blame--are essential steps on the path to healing. This wise and eloquent book illuminates the power of self-compassion and offers creative, scientifically grounded strategies for putting it into action. You’ll master practical techniques for living more fully in the present moment/m-/especially when hard-to-bear emotions arise/m-/and for being kind to yourself when you need it the most. Free audio downloads of the meditation exercises are available at the author's website: www.mindfulselfcompassion.org.
About the Author
Christopher K. Germer, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in the Boston area, Clinical Instructor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School, and a founding member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. He is the coeditor of an acclaimed book for professionals, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy.
Praise for The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions…
"Those of us treating people who struggle with addictions know all too well how clients' feelings of shame or self-blame often undermine efforts to achieve effective interventions. In this remarkable book, Germer shows readers how to use mindfulness and self-compassion to open up to their pain and treat themselves with kindness. Ideal for recommendation to clients who have fallen off the wagon or who are blaming themselves for failed relationships, lost jobs, and scattered lives, this book offers a way out of a vicious cycle."--G. Alan Marlatt, PhD, Department of Psychology and Director, Addictive Behaviors Research Center, University of Washington "In this important book, Christopher Germer illuminates the myriad synergies between mindfulness and compassion. He offers skillful and effective ways of making sure that we are inviting ourselves, as well as others, to bathe in and benefit from the kind heart of awareness itself, and from the actions that follow from such a radical and sane embrace."--Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, author of Arriving at Your Own Door and Letting Everything Become Your Teacher "Loving-kindness and compassion are the basis for wise, powerful, sometimes gentle, and sometimes fierce actions that can really make a difference--in our own lives and those of others....In the following pages you will find a scientific review, an educational manual, and a practical step-by-step guide to developing greater loving-kindness and self-compassion every day."--from the Foreword by Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness "Self-compassion is the ground of all emotional healing, and Dr. Germer has produced an invaluable guide. Written with great clarity, psychological wisdom, and warmth, this book will serve anyone seeking practical and powerful tools that free the heart."--Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance "Explains both the science and practice of developing kindness toward ourselves and others. Dr. Germer offers powerful and easily accessible steps toward transforming our lives from the inside out. It's never too late to start along this important path."--Daniel J. Siegel, MD, author of The Mindful Brain "An elegant and practical guide to cultivating self-compassion, by a dedicated and wise clinician and meditation teacher. The author offers time-honored practices and exercises with the potential to illuminate and transform the background chatter of our minds that determines so much of the course of our lives."--Samuel Shem, MD, author of The House of God
"A very accessible introduction....[Germer] writes in a relaxed style that makes the book easy to read, without skimping on detail....The layout is clear and uncluttered, with a mix of explanation, theory, practice, along with case study examples from Germer's own life and that of his clients. There are useful websites scattered through the book....Mindfulness could well become an important part of my own self-care, which will also feed into my client work. This book is a helpful start and a handy resource."--Independent Practitioner
"Very well written...filled with practical suggestions and methods....Both the reasoning supporting the importance of the method and the method itself are presented in a clear and compelling fashion. I felt excited, touched, and enriched as I read on, and I am sure most readers will have a similar response....Offers a good integration of Eastern spirituality with Western science to make a compelling argument for the values and effectiveness of mindfulness and compassion meditation. Not only is the argument clear and convincing, but the book also offers plenty of practical aids....Should you read this book? Enthusiastically, yes....An excellent review of the evidence for mindful self-compassion in a psychoeducational manual and a step-by-step guide to developing awareness, self-compassion, and loving kindness."--PsycCRITIQUES
"In this intelligent, concise, and easy-to-read book, Christopher Germer presents an exciting synthesis of mindfulness and self-compassion that is much needed and long overdue. Drawing upon decades of practice as a clinician and meditator, Dr. Germer offers a rich and insightful guide to emotional healing. While thoroughly covering the relevant psychological research, the book is written for a general audience, and will be of enormous benefit to both therapists and their clients....Germer's narrative voice is warm, gentle, and down-to-earth. His years of meditation practice have clearly paid off in the writing of this book: every word is infused with wisdom and compassion. An invaluable guide to anyone wanting to learn how to transform their relationship with difficult emotions, this important book will undoubtedly change the lives of many who read it."--British Journal of Psychology
"This book is a gem. It offers readers a lucid, succinct, and honest look at the value of mindfulness and self-compassion in everyday life and clinical practice....This book is highly readable, informative, and compatible with Gestalt theory's emphasis on awareness, the paradoxical theory of change, contact, and connection. Germer comes across as a dedicated and wise clinician, who sees that the ground of healing is rooted in awareness and compassion, for ourselves and for others. Through the combined cultivation of mindfulness and compassion practices, the book offers a number of very useful strategies for building clients' awareness, self-support, and relational capacity."--Gestalt Journal of Australia and New Zealand
“In an insightful contribution to the literature, Germer provides a book full of ideas and techniques aimed at the reduction of self-critical thinking using self-compassion and mindfulness....The book achieves a good balance between theory and practice. Explanation of different aspects of mindfulness and compassion are placed alongside 'Try This' boxes containing strategies that relate to them. It is written for the client rather than the clinician and the author uses clear, everyday language....One of the things that make the book interesting and engaging is the eclectic source material, which is built into a rich tapestry....Although positioned within the self-help literature, the book offers pragmatic strategies that could be adapted to fit a wider treatment program. Given this adaptability, I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in self-compassion, both clinicians and clients, whether they are beginners or experienced practitioners."--Journal of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (British Publication)