*Workshop in English with simultaneous translation in French
**Formation en anglais avec traduction simultanée en français
Description of problem:
Self-acceptance is the implicit goal most psychotherapies pursue through the therapist’s unconditional acceptance of the client. What happens when therapy is finished? Would it not be wise to explicitly teach our clients to love and accept themselves in the midst of shame and despair? That is the skill of self-compassion. What lived example of self-compassion and compassion do we set? How can we, as therapists, be loving and accepting of our clients when caring for others exhausts and frustrates us?
When we experience emotional pain we usually tend to resist our experience in some way: we fight it, try to flee from it or we freeze, which only serves to increase our pain. Individuals who have experienced little affection or even threats from early attachment figures commonly learn to self-regulate emotional pain through shame and harsh self-criticism. Shame and harsh self-criticism are important transdiagnostic mechanisms, which maintain many psychological disorders. To effectively regulate such aversive social emotions, we need to cultivate a kind internal relationship based on safeness and social connectedness to provide the antidote to any hostile internalized relationships. Turning the compassion, we offer a loved one in distress towards ourselves leads to self-compassion. This skill of self-compassion can be learned by anyone. Research shows the positive impact on compassion on emotion regulation, perspective-taking and well-being as well as reduction in anxiety, depression and stress in clinical and non-clinical groups.
Studies suggests that self-compassion is a core mechanism of change in psychotherapy and in mindfulness training. In recent years training programmes and psychotherapeutic interventions have been developed to explicitly train compassion for ourselves and for others.
Adding an explicit focus on compassion to psychotherapy can help vulnerable clients establish a secure base from which to explore and manage the complexities of their lives. In clinical settings, self-compassion can be taught through the therapeutic relationship and by applying individualized and collaboratively-designed interventions and home practices. Clients with high shame, insecure attachment, neglect or abuse often experience significant obstacles and fears, for which they require sensitive individual support. Self-compassion practice can protect therapists from burnout, increase personal resilience and make therapy more effective.
Recommended for psychologists, psychotherapists and clinical social workers.
Have knowledge in CBT