Self-Compassion in Clinical Practice: Evidence and Key Strategies

Dr. Chris Germer, Psychologist and
Dr. Shari Geller, Psychologist

How to prevent caregiver fatigue with soothing techniques geared towards integrating the quality of the moment.


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  • 4h of continuing education
  • 31 lessons that last from 5 to 15 minutes each
  • 1 certificate of achievement
  • 1 PowerPoint
  • 1 bibliography
  • 1 course evaluation
  • 4 months unlimited access
  • 7-day money back guarantee
  • 88% of participants who completed the satisfaction survey declare they would recommend this course to a colleague


How do we typically react when things go wrong in our lives—when we suffer, fail or feel inadequate? Our first instinct is to avoid uncomfortable feelings, a strategy which usually just makes things worse. What is a healthier alternative? Mindfulness is the first step—turning with loving awareness toward difficult experience (thoughts, emotions, and sensations). Self-compassion comes next—bringing loving awareness to ourselves. Together, mindfulness and self-compassion comprise a state of warm, connected, presence during difficult moments in our lives.

Self-compassion is an important inner resource that increases resilience during challenging and difficult times. It involves the capacity to comfort and soothe oneself, and to motivate ourselves with encouragement when we struggle, fail, or feel inadequate. Thousands of studies shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, better coping, healthy habits, more satisfying relationships, and lower levels of anxiety and depression. Developing this resource is especially important now, as people are growing weary after months of dealing with changes, uncertainty and losses related to the pandemic.

Many helping professionals have been introduced to the concept of self-compassion, but they may not have been taught how to explicitly integrate this knowledge into clinical practice. Self-compassion can be integrated into clinical work by:

  1. how clinicians relate to themselves (compassionate presence),
  2. how clinicians relate to their clients (compassionate relationship)
  3. how clients relate to themselves (home practice).

In addition to helping clients increase resilience, self-compassion is an important resource for clinicians. It enables clinicians to maintain emotional balance in the midst of challenging clinical work, to enjoy their work and their clients more fully, to be fully present and attuned with their clients, and to prevent caregiver fatigue.

About the experts

Picture of Christopher K Germer

Dr. Chris Germer is a clinical psychologist and lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

He co-developed the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program with Dr. Kristin Neff in 2010, with whom he also authored two books, The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook and Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program. MSC has since been taught to over 150,000 people worldwide.

In addition to having a clinical practice in Massachusetts, USA, Dr. Germer spends most of his time lecturing and leading workshops around the world on mindfulness and self-compassion.
He is also the author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion and he co-edited two influential volumes on therapy, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy.

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Picture of Shari Geller

Dr. Shari Geller is an author and leader in the field of Therapeutic Presence, clinical psychologist, trained teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion and creator of the Therapeutic Rhythm and Mindfulness Program. With over twenty-five years of experience weaving psychology and mindfulness, Dr. Geller co-authored the book Therapeutic Presence: A Mindful Approach to Effective Therapy with Dr. Leslie S. Greenberg.

She has released a companion CD on cultivating presence, with guided practices using the healing power of music and the health benefits of mindfulness. Her second book, A Practical Guide For Cultivating Therapeutic Presence, offers practical guidance for cultivating and strengthening therapeutic presence as a foundational approach.

Dr. Geller serves on the teaching faculty in Health Psychology at York University and for the Applied Mindfulness Meditation (AMM) program at University of Toronto, and is Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, in association with Music and Health Research Collaboratory (MaHRC). She is the co-director of the Centre for MindBody Health in Toronto, where she offers training, supervision and therapy in Emotion-Focused Therapy and mindfulness and self-compassion modalities for individuals and couples.

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Learning objectives

  1. Describe theory and research of self-compassion in psychotherapy
  2. Improve the therapeutic relationship through compassion and self-compassion practices during the clinical hour
  3. Define the role of shame in psychotherapy and implement self-compassion to alleviate shame.
  4. Explain how to cultivate and practice self-compassion at home, between sessions.

Learning material

A theoretical course illustrated with clinical examples. This course is composed of videos of 5 to 15 minutes each. The PowerPoint of the course to download.


  • PowerPoint
  • Foundations of Self-Compassion

  • 1. Meditation of self-compassion
  • 2. Introduction
  • 3. Shari's background
  • 4. Christopher's background
  • History of Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy

  • 5. Brief history of self-compassion in psychotherapy
  • 6. CFT, IFS and EFT
  • Neurobiological Mechanisms and Obstacles to Self-Compassion

  • 7. The neurobiological mechanisms of action
  • 8. The obstacles of self-compassion
  • 9. 3 Levels of Integration Into Psychotherapy
  • 10. Why presence
  • 11. TP Practice- Grounding
  • 12. How does presence promote change
  • 13. Pre-session Arrival practice
  • 14. Strengthening attunement skills
  • Practical Exercises for Clinicians

  • 15. Self-Attunement Practice
  • 16. Exercise- giving and receiving compassion
  • 17. Q&A
  • 18. Meditation soft landing on giving and receiving compassion
  • 19. Exercise- Silver Lining
  • 20. Challenges to listening compassionately
  • 21. Listening and speaking from the heart
  • 22. Listening and speaking from the heart- reflection
  • Clinical Applications

  • 23. Attachment theory
  • 24. An antidote to shame
  • 25. Self-compassion break for shame
  • 26. Working with trauma
  • 27. Therapeutic interventions
  • 28. Clinical role-play
  • 29. Analyze of the clinical role-play
  • 30. Final Q&A
  • 31. Conclusion
  • SC in Clinical Practice
  • Cultivating online therapeutic presence
  • Cultivating Self-Compassion in Trauma Survivors
  • Mindfulness and Compassion: Similarities and Differences
  • Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy
  • The Five Myths of Self- Compassion
  • Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy: Clinical Integration, Evidence Base and Mechanisms of Change
  • Therapeutic Presence: Therapists’ experience of presence in the psychotherapy encounter
  • Therapeutic Presence: Neurophysiological Mechanisms Mediating Feeling Safe in Therapeutic Relationships
  • Bibliography

CE Credits

Download a certificate of successful completion.


This training is intended for mental health professionals.


  • 4h of continuing education
  • 31 lessons that last from 5 to 15 minutes each
  • 1 certificate of achievement
  • 1 PowerPoint
  • 1 bibliography
  • 1 course evaluation
  • 4 months unlimited access
  • 7-day money back guarantee

Legal notice

The courses offered by ASADIS are accredited by different professional organisations. In addition, ASADIS is approved by the Canadian Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. ASADIS maintains responsibility for the program.

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