MSC for CareGivers
Here in the UK MSC Teachers are beginning to offer courses for those in caregiving roles which are not the MSC programme but incorporate the principles of the approach. This is happening in the NHS, in charitable organisations and privately.
“Think of all the generous, kind people you know who constantly give compassion and care to others, yet continually beat themselves up. Most of us are quite practiced at being supportive and giving to others, especially those of us who find ourselves in caregiver roles. Whether we have a special needs child, a parent with Alzheimer’s, an ill partner, or are in a caregiving profession such as being a nurse, therapist, or teacher, we know to give support, comfort and compassion to the people who need us. But how many of us offer that same level of compassion and care to ourselves?
For some reason our culture tells us that this is the way we should be – women especially. But when caregivers continually give out to others without being kind, caring and supportive toward themselves, they’ll eventually burn out. We need to have self-compassion in order to recharge our batteries and have the emotional energy needed to serve others. If we continually criticize ourselves, especially for the feeling that we’re never doing enough, we’ll become stressed and depressed, and eventually lash out in moments of frustration toward the people we care for.
For the past decade or so I’ve been conducting research on self-compassion, and have found that self-compassion is strongly related to mental health. Self-compassion is also associated with healthy behaviors. It has been shown to help people quit smoking, stay on their diets, exercise, and seek medical care when needed. Moreover, self-compassion has been shown to protect caregivers from burnout and compassion fatigue, and to increase satisfaction with one’s caregiving role.”
Self Compassion For Caregivers
MSC in the Workplace
Mindful Self-Compassion skills support a healthy optimum work environment. This approach develops those qualities now included in most competency frameworks : emotional intelligence, communication skills, ability to give effective feedback, capacity to develop others and be a great team player.
Building greater resilience is a core benefit of MSC because it gets to the root of self-criticism that undermines our confidence, engagement and performance. True resilience grows from greater self care, reducing negative self-talk, increasing openness to change and embracing opportunities for growth.
Mindful Self-Compassion in the workplace can be built into 1-1, group and leadership programmes as part of existing trainings or stand alone. Participants increase awareness and attention which brings choice and considered action. Levels of conflict are reduced as we come to recognise the commonality of difficult experience, reducing confrontation, bringing an ease to relationships and improving team communication.
MSC for Children and Teens
To support teens in coping more effectively with the ongoing challenges of their day-to-day life, Karen Bluth, Ph.D., and Lorraine Hobbes, M.A., co-created Making Friends With Yourself (MFY), an empirically-supported, 8-week program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion in teens. It was adapted from the original Mindful Self-Compassion program for adults and is endorsed by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer.