Writing about mental health from a feminist counselling perspective
Most people who have seen me in the last few years know how much I rely on self-compassion - in my own life and in my life as a clinician. I've seen so many amazing people struggle with never feeling good enough and self-compassion is the foundation I return to again and again.
This is wildly different than what our culture focuses on. The temptation is to try to simply argue back when the amazingcreativeintelligent person in front of us talks about how messed up they feel they are "No! You're great!" we want to say, and we can get caught in trying to bolster self-esteem by reassuring people of their greatness. But for most people on the receiving end of those well-intentioned reassurances, it doesn't do any good. They question it. And they wonder, "what will they think of me when they find out I'm not so great after all?"
That's where self-compassion comes in. It doesn't require us to be perfect, or great. It doesn't require us to hold up a mask and only show others the good parts. Instead, it focuses on making room for us to be human. Broken, imperfect humans who bungle things up sometimes. Self-compassion says "yes, you mess things up. You're in pain and struggle. And you deserve kindness in that."
For anyone working on self-compassion or interested in learning more about it, I've included some resources below, beginning with my upcoming group on shame resilience and self acceptance!
"Never Good Enough": Moving from Shame to Self-Acceptance
What if you turned toward yourself with kindness instead of judgment? What if instead of berating yourself for all the things you "should" be doing, you were able to appreciate all that you already do? This 8 week group provides the space for that journey.
I run this group twice a year and would love to tell you more about it so that you can consider registering! Just head on over here to get an overview and a week by week breakdown.
Kristen Neff's "Self-Compassion Break" is absolutely my favorite go-to exercise to boost self-compassion on a daily basis. It only takes about 30 seconds and can make a huge difference to how we treat ourselves. The three steps are:
2. Common Humanity
And the full exercise in all of its wonderfulness can be found here.
Kristen Neff also has a number of other exercises and information on her website. I like "soften soothe allow" - though I'd love to hear what works for you the most!
5/8/2018 06:10:05 am
Yup. You are true. Self-compassion is a powerful nostrum to humiliation. It is a gentle and warm relationship with ourselves, including during the period of embarrassment. I think shame is the stickiest emotion. It is a gut-wrenching feeling of discomfort, especially caused by the responsiveness of the wrong etiquette. No doubt, a number of exercises are there practicing which you can be compassionate and can get through the period of indignity. You need to configure your own exertion pattern that you can easily follow in order to handle the loss of face with love and care.
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Nicole Perry is a Registered Psychologist and writer with a private practice in Edmonton. Her approach is collaborative and feminist at its heart. She specializes in healing trauma, building shame resilience, and setting boundaries.
About the Blog
This space will provide information, stories, and answers to big questions about some of my favorite topics - boundaries, burnout, trauma, self compassion, and shame resilience - all from a feminist counselling perspective. It's also a space I'm exploring and refining new ideas.
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