The Power of Self-Compassion: Using Compassion-Focused Therapy to End Self-Criticism and Build Self-Confidence

The Power of Self-Compassion: Using Compassion-Focused Therapy to End Self-Criticism and Build Self-Confidence


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781572249837
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
Publication date: 03/01/2013
Series: The New Harbinger Compassion-Focused Therapy Series
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Mary Welford, DClinPsy, is a consultant clinical psychologist who lives and works in the South West of England. She is a founding member of the Compassionate Mind Foundation, and she has been involved in the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) for several years. Working alongside Paul Gilbert, she helped to develop compassion-focused therapy (CFT).

Foreword writer Paul Gilbert, PhD, is a professor at the University of Derby in the United Kingdom. In addition, he is the director of the Mental Health Research Unit at Derbyshire Mental Health Trust, the founder of compassion-focused therapy (CFT), and the author of The Compassionate Mind.

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Introduction 1

How to Use This Book

1 Self-Confidence Is Something We Build and Maintain, Not Something We Have 11

Where Does It All Start?

The First Secret of Building Self-Confidence: Beware of Your Own Undermining

The Second Secret of Building Self-Confidence: Self-Compassion


2 Understanding the Impact of Evolution on Us 17

Our Emotion Regulation Systems

Creating and Maintaining Balance: Physiotherapy for the Brain


3 How and Why We Undermine Ourselves and How Compassion Can Help 29

How Shame Undermines Our Self-Confidence

How Overstriving and Perfectionism Can Undermine Our Self-Confidence

How Self-Criticism Undermines Our Self-Confidence

Hope in the Shape of the Brain's Amazing Abilities


4 Making Sense of Our Experiences 51

Our Influences: Nature and Nurture

Key Concerns and Fears

Coping Strategies and Their Consequences

Putting All the Elements Together: A Formulation


5 What Is Compassion? 72

Traditional Views of Compassion

The Compassionate-Mind Approach to Compassion

Compassionate Attributes

Skills of the Compassionate Mindset

How Compassionate Attributes and Skills Fit Together

How to Cain Compassionate Attributes and Skills


6 Obstacles to the Development of Self-Compassion 85

Ten Thoughts That Interfere with Practicing Self-Compassion

Emotional Obstacles to Experiencing Self-Compassion

Environmental Obstacles to Building Self-Confidence

Negotiating the Obstacles to Self-Compassion


7 Preparing for Compassion Using Mindfulness 104


Problem Solving Common Difficulties with Mindfulness Exercises

How to Develop a Mindfulness Self-Practice


8 Further Preparation for Compassion 122

Developing Your Soothing System


9 Developing Your Compassionate Mind 131

Developing Different Aspects of Your Compassionate Mindset


10 Using Compassionate Thinking in Response to Your Own Undermining 152

Understanding Your Thinking and the Views You May Hold

How You Can Recruit Your New Brain to Assist You

Generating Compassionate Alternative Thoughts and Images

Chair Work


11 Compassionate Letter Writing 178

Guidelines for Compassionate Letter Writing

Guiding Principles for Compassionate Letters

Compassionate Letter-Writing Practices

Reviewing Your Compassionate Letters

Adaptations to Compassionate Letter Writing


12 Taking Action with Compassionate Behavior 198

Generating Personal Goals and Breaking Them Down into Manageable Steps

Preparing to Take Action

Doing and Reviewing


13 Additional Strategies to Help Build Your Self-Confidence 222

Assertiveness Strategies

Making Seemingly

Small Behavioral Changes

Savoring Positive



Using Self-Compassion to Guide Your Day

Using Self-Compassion in Difficult



14 Reflections and Future Directions 249

Looking at Your Life as a Story of Strength and Resilience

Developing a Template for Self-Practice

Final Thoughts

Resources 261

Further Reading

Organizations and Websites

References 265

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