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date: 21 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Self-compassion involves being touched by and open to one’s own suffering, not avoiding or disconnecting from it, generating the desire to alleviate one’s suffering and to heal oneself with kindness. Self-compassion also involves offering nonjudgmental understanding to one’s pain, inadequacies, and failures, so that one’s experience is seen as part of the larger human experience. This chapter will provide an overview of theory and research on self-compassion and its link to psychological well-being, which is the goal of clinical practice. It will discuss what self-compassion is and what it is not (e.g., a form of weakness, selfishness, etc.), and provide empirical evidence to support these distinctions. Finally, it will discuss methods that have been developed to teach individuals how to be more self-compassionate in their daily lives, some clinical implications of self-compassion training, and future directions for research.

Keywords: self-compassion, self-kindness, common humanity, mindfulness, therapeutic intervention

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