Saturday, February 27, 2016 | 8:30 am-9:30 am
Young people in our society face a tremendous amount of stress. Pressures related to self-concept formation, perfectionistic striving, body image, academic achievement, and peer acceptance leads to feelings of inadequacy for many. While high self-esteem has long been promoted as a remedy for teen angst, there are many problems with the pursuit of self-esteem such as bullying, narcissism, and contingent self-worth. Self-compassion – which involves treating yourself with the same kindness, understanding and support you’d show to a good friend – shows great potential for alleviating some of the suffering associated with this time of life, offering the same benefits of self-esteem without its pitfalls. A summary will be provided of the self-compassion research conducted with youths using self-report, experimental and intervention methodologies. Findings suggest that self-compassion increases motivation and resilience among youths while decreasing psychopathology.
Kristin Neff, Ph.D. is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on self-compassion, being the first one to define and conduct research on the topic over a decade ago. In addition to her pioneering research into self-compassion, she has developed an eight-week program to teach self-compassion skills. The program, co-created with her colleague Dr. Chris Germer, is called Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). Her book, Self-Compassion, was published by William Morrow in April, 2011.