Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)

You may have heard of mindfulness and self-compassion as separate psychological concepts that promote wellbeing. Mindful Self-Compassion, however, is a defined therapeutic modality that brings these two concepts together to help clients address mental and emotional challenges.

What is Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)?

Mindful Self-Compassion describes a therapy modality that asks clients to practice mindfulness and self-awareness to take a look at their inner worlds. It states that all humans suffer from various harmful inner thoughts, feelings, and reactions – and that these are nothing to experience shame around. By virtue of taking a look inwards, we all will discover things that we don’t like about ourselves and our lives, and self-compassion can be used as a tool to address these difficult feelings.

Mindful Self-Compassion teaches clients how to be present and curious about themselves while at the same time accepting what they discover without judgment. It helps clients react with motivation rather than self-criticism. It also teaches clients how to express love for themselves and how to avoid putting themselves down.

What happens in a Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) session?

In Mindful Self-Compassion therapy, the therapist will teach clients various mindfulness techniques. This may take several sessions, as the therapist and client will collaborate to find a mindfulness practice that is both effective and comfortable for the client. The goal is for the client to become introspective, aware, and present for their thoughts.

Concurrently, the Mindful Self-Compassion therapist will also teach the client various self-compassion tools. This may look like expressing gratitude for the self, examining their innate strengths, finding examples of times that they did something really well, or taking an objective perspective of a situation.

The therapist will guide clients as they practice both mindfulness and self-compassion, giving clients the space to process through the emotions that arise throughout the session. Therapists will also educate clients about growth mindsets, the importance of forgiveness, and how self-love can show up in daily life.

What can Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) help with?

Mindful Self-Compassion is helpful for a wide range of mental health conditions. Many people who have low self-esteem or self-worth benefit from Mindful Self-Compassion therapy. Clients who struggle with self-defeating thoughts or constantly feel disappointed in themselves also benefit from this type of therapy. This could include clients who experience:

Therapists who are trained in Mindful Self-Compassion are most effective at offering this therapy approach. While many therapists bring either mindfulness or self-compassion practices into their sessions with clients, therapists who are certified in Mindful Self-Compassion therapy can help clients integrate their practices to reach a heightened level of wellbeing.