Learn how to give up insecurity and self recrimination in this tender conversation with Kristin Neff, PhD, author of Self-Compassion. Compassion is one of the most misunderstood yet life-changing skills in our emotional toolkit. It connects us deeply to all of humanity and in doing so offers us access to true open-heartedness.
Kristin got her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley in 1997 in the field of moral development. She then spent two years of post-doctoral study in the field of self-concept development at Denver University. Her current position is in the Human Development and Culture Program, Dept. of Educational Psychology, at the University of Texas at Austin. She started at UT in 1999 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2006.
During Kristin’s last year of graduate school in 1997 she became interested in Buddhism, and has been practicing meditation in the Insight Meditation tradition ever since. While doing her post-doctoral work she decided to conduct research on self-compassion – a central construct in Buddhist psychology and one that had not yet been examined empirically. The scale she created to measure self-compassion was published in 2003 and is now being used by hundreds of researchers worldwide. She is widely considered the world’s foremost expert on self-compassion.
Kristin lives in the countryside in Elgin, Texas with her husband Rupert Isaacson – an author and human rights activist – and with her young son Rowan. She and her family were recently featured in the documentary and book called The Horse Boy, which chronicles her family’s adventure to Mongolia to search for healing for their autistic son.
Listen to how in practicing self compassion we give up the painful judgments that turn normal human suffering into failure and replace it with a self soothing voice of kindness. By applying the Buddhist tradition of loving kindness to our own experience, we can learn to heal destructive emotional traps and become our own best friend.