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The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions Paperback – April 29, 2009


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The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions + Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself + The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (April 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593859759
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593859756
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Those of us treating people who struggle with addictions know all too well how clients' feelings of shame or self-blame often undermine efforts to achieve effective interventions. In this remarkable book, Germer shows readers how to use mindfulness and self-compassion to open up to their pain and treat themselves with kindness. Ideal for recommendation to clients who have fallen off the wagon or who are blaming themselves for failed relationships, lost jobs, and scattered lives, this book offers a way out of a vicious cycle."--G. Alan Marlatt, PhD, Department of Psychology and Director, Addictive Behaviors Research Center, University of Washington
 
"In this important book, Christopher Germer illuminates the myriad synergies between mindfulness and compassion. He offers skillful and effective ways of making sure that we are inviting ourselves, as well as others, to bathe in and benefit from the kind heart of awareness itself, and from the actions that follow from such a radical and sane embrace."--Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, author of Arriving at Your Own Door and Letting Everything Become Your Teacher
 
"Loving-kindness and compassion are the basis for wise, powerful, sometimes gentle, and sometimes fierce actions that can really make a difference--in our own lives and those of others....In the following pages you will find a scientific review, an educational manual, and a practical step-by-step guide to developing greater loving-kindness and self-compassion every day."--from the Foreword by Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness
 
"Self-compassion is the ground of all emotional healing, and Dr. Germer has produced an invaluable guide. Written with great clarity, psychological wisdom, and warmth, this book will serve anyone seeking practical and powerful tools that free the heart."--Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance
 
"Explains both the science and practice of developing kindness toward ourselves and others. Dr. Germer offers powerful and easily accessible steps toward transforming our lives from the inside out. It's never too late to start along this important path."--Daniel J. Siegel, MD, author of The Mindful Brain
 
"An elegant and practical guide to cultivating self-compassion, by a dedicated and wise clinician and meditation teacher. The author offers time-honored practices and exercises with the potential to illuminate and transform the background chatter of our minds that determines so much of the course of our lives."--Samuel Shem, MD, author of The House of God


"In this intelligent, concise, and easy-to-read book, Christopher Germer presents an exciting synthesis of mindfulness and self-compassion that is much needed and long overdue. Drawing upon decades of practice as a clinician and meditator, Dr. Germer offers a rich and insightful guide to emotional healing. While thoroughly covering the relevant psychological research, the book is written for a general audience, and will be of enormous benefit to both therapists and their clients....Germer's narrative voice is warm, gentle, and down-to-earth. His years of meditation practice have clearly paid off in the writing of this book: every word is infused with wisdom and compassion. An invaluable guide to anyone wanting to learn how to transform their relationship with difficult emotions, this important book will undoubtedly change the lives of many who read it."--British Journal of Psychology
(British Journal of Psychology 2009-05-01)

"Very well written....filled with practical suggestions and methods....Both the reasoning supporting the importance of the method and the method itself are presented in a clear and compelling fashion. I felt excited, touched, and enriched as I read on, and I am sure most readers will have a similar response....Offers a good integration of Eastern spirituality with Western science to make a compelling argument for the values and effectiveness of mindfulness and compassion meditation. Not only is the argument clear and convincing, but the book also offers plenty of practical aids....Should you read this book? Enthusiastically, yes....An excellent review of the evidence for mindful self-compassion in a psychoeducational manual and a step-by-step guide to developing awareness, self-compassion, and loving kindness."--PsycCRITIQUES
(PsycCRITIQUES 2009-05-01)

"A very accessible introduction....[Germer] writes in a relaxed style that makes the book easy to read, without skimping on detail....The layout is clear and uncluttered, with a mix of explanation, theory, practice, along with case study examples from Germer's own life and that of his clients. There are useful websites scattered through the book....Mindfulness could well become an important part of my own self-care, which will also feed into my client work. This book is a helpful start and a handy resource."--Independent Practitioner
(Independent Practitioner 2009-05-01) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Best Consumer Health Books, 2009" - Library Journal

"In this intelligent, concise, and easy-to-read book, Christopher Germer presents an exciting synthesis of mindfulness and self-compassion that is much needed and long overdue. Drawing upon decades of practice as a clinician and meditator, Dr. Germer offers a rich and insightful guide to emotional healing. While thoroughly covering the relevant psychological research, the book is written for a general audience, and will be of enormous benefit to both therapists and their clients....Germer's narrative voice is warm, gentle, and down-to-earth. His years of meditation practice have clearly paid off in the writing of this book: every word is infused with wisdom and compassion. An invaluable guide to anyone wanting to learn how to transform their relationship with difficult emotions, this important book will undoubtedly change the lives of many who read it." -British Journal of Psychology

"Very well written...filled with practical suggestions and methods....Both the reasoning supporting the importance of the method and the method itself are presented in a clear and compelling fashion. I felt excited, touched, and enriched as I read on, and I am sure most readers will have a similar response....Offers a good integration of Eastern spirituality with Western science to make a compelling argument for the values and effectiveness of mindfulness and compassion meditation. Not only is the argument clear and convincing, but the book also offers plenty of practical aids....Should you read this book? Enthusiastically, yes....An excellent review of the evidence for mindful self-compassion in a psychoeducational manual and a step-by-step guide to developing awareness, self-compassion, and loving kindness." -PsycCRITIQUES

"A superb introduction to mindfulness meditation....This brilliant manual demonstrates how by accepting and embracing emotions, one can move to a higher plane of harmony with oneself and others. Interspersed with supporting data from psychology experiments, this book provides practical, life-changing self-help techniques and suggestions for further readings and practice. Highly recommended. (starred review)." -Library Journal

"A very accessible introduction....[Germer] writes in a relaxed style that makes the book easy to read, without skimping on detail....The layout is clear and uncluttered, with a mix of explanation, theory, practice, along with case study examples from Germer''s own life and that of his clients. There are useful websites scattered through the book....Mindfulness could well become an important part of my own self-care, which will also feed into my client work. This book is a helpful start and a handy resource."--Independent Practitioner
(Independent Practitioner )
"Those of us treating people who struggle with addictions know all too well how clients' feelings of shame or self-blame often undermine efforts to achieve effective interventions. In this remarkable book, Germer shows readers how to use mindfulness and self-compassion to open up to their pain and treat themselves with kindness. Ideal for recommendation to clients who have fallen off the wagon or who are blaming themselves for failed relationships, lost jobs, and scattered lives, this book offers a way out of a vicious cycle."--G. Alan Marlatt, PhD, Department of Psychology and Director, Addictive Behaviors Research Center, University of Washington
 
"In this important book, Christopher Germer illuminates the myriad synergies between mindfulness and compassion. He offers skillful and effective ways of making sure that we are inviting ourselves, as well as others, to bathe in and benefit from the kind heart of awareness itself, and from the actions that follow from such a radical and sane embrace."--Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, author of Arriving at Your Own Door and Letting Everything Become Your Teacher
 
"Loving-kindness and compassion are the basis for wise, powerful, sometimes gentle, and sometimes fierce actions that can really make a difference--in our own lives and those of others....In the following pages you will find a scientific review, an educational manual, and a practical step-by-step guide to developing greater loving-kindness and self-compassion every day."--from the Foreword by Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness
 
"Self-compassion is the ground of all emotional healing, and Dr. Germer has produced an invaluable guide. Written with great clarity, psychological wisdom, and warmth, this book will serve anyone seeking practical and powerful tools that free the heart."--Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance
 
"Explains both the science and practice of developing kindness toward ourselves and others. Dr. Germer offers powerful and easily accessible steps toward transforming our lives from the inside out. It's never too late to start along this important path."--Daniel J. Siegel, MD, author of The Mindful Brain
 
"An elegant and practical guide to cultivating self-compassion, by a dedicated and wise clinician and meditation teacher. The author offers time-honored practices and exercises with the potential to illuminate and transform the background chatter of our minds that determines so much of the course of our lives."--Samuel Shem, MD, author of The House of God

More About the Author

For more info and free downloads of self-compassion meditations, please visit www.MindfulSelfCompassion.org

Christopher Germer, PhD is a clinical psychologist in the Boston area, specializing in mindfulness and compassion-based psychotherapy. He has been applying the principles and practices of meditation in psychotherapy since 1978 and has taken numerous journeys to India to explore the varieties of meditation.

Dr. Germer is a clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School and he's a founding member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, an organization dedicated to teaching mental health professionals how to integrate Buddhist psychology and modern psychotherapy. Dr. Germer lectures internationally on mindfulness and self-compassion and he's currently co-developing (with Dr. Kristin Neff, pioneering researcher on self-compassion) an 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion training program.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 57 customer reviews
This was an excellent book on the subject of mindfulness and metta meditation, and applying them to emotional issues.
ks6079
I have found this book incredibly valuable overall and the step-by-step guide to the meditative practice has made it easy to follow.
DS
Dr. Germer makes a good case for self-compassion as the ground for all emotional healing, and for developing compassion to others.
Dr. Lynn A. Paulus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

132 of 136 people found the following review helpful By Judi Tota M.S. LCAT on June 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to understand how to apply Mindfulness and Loving-Kindness Practice in daily life to reduce suffering; it is described in this book in clear, cliche-free language. The author, a seasoned meditation practitioner, teacher, and psychotherapist, includes excerpts from contemporary brain research to bring this outstanding treatment of the topic, to a higher level. This book is highly readable, and the descriptions of how to put Self-Compassion into practice, make this book especially user-friendly. As a psychotherapist, Mindfulness Meditation practitioner, and reader of a lot of books on Mindfulness, Psychology, and the brain, I HIGHLY recommend this book. It is truly OUTSTANDING!
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79 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Lynn A. Paulus on August 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
The "mindful path to self-compassion" is my new favorite book. This book has wisdom with universal appeal. Who among us, can truly say they practice self-compassion and self-kindness on a regular basis, in their daily lives? Dr. Germer has a clear and engaging writing style that outlines the importance of mindful living with self awareness and compassion. He suggests practice tools to engage in the process and substaniates them with research vignettes that support the benefits. Dr. Germer makes a good case for self-compassion as the ground for all emotional healing, and for developing compassion to others. As a psychologist, I have referred several of my patients to this book. This book may very well maintstream the practice of Self-Compassion, as Kabat-Zinn did with Mindfulness. And if more and more people engage in self-compassion practices, we may all live more peacefully among one another...
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Enamorato on March 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Meditation practice isn't about trying to throw ourselves away or become something better. It's about befriending who we are already." - Pema Chodron

How do we subvert our deeply conditioned tendencies towards self-criticism? In this competitive, stressful society, we are easily thrown into competition with ourselves - fighting desperately to eradicate the more vulnerable parts of ourselves and cultivate the qualities, experiences and possessions that we think will help us get ahead. In this struggle, we often lose touch with the capacity to have compassion for our plight, a plight shared by everyone. In "The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion", psychologist Christopher K. Germer offers a way out of this often demoralizing battle. In the introduction, Germer calls this an "un-self-help book." In many ways, the methods of befriending difficult emotions and practicing compassion could directly neutralize what sends many of us to the self-help section of the bookstore. This book presents an engaging, friendly guide to navigating this often very subtle, tricky work.

The book is divided into three parts. Part I (Discovering Self-Compassion) is a guided introduction to mindfulness meditation and the concept of self-compassion. Customers may have noticed this book is similar in title to another from the same publisher: The Mindful Way through Depression. That book has actually has helped me prevent a relapse of depression for two years now and I recommend it highly. Both "The Mindful Way through Depression" and "The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion" present much of the same material in much the same manner.
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67 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Happy Reader on December 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
I recommend this book for EVERYONE. The author explains mindfulness with a step by step approach that is understandable and inviting. And the miracle is that as you try the simple exercises the author describes, you find yourself smiling and feeling calmer and just plain happier with yourself. I have been reading the book a few pages at a time, letting the ideas sink in, and trying them out during the day. It has been a wonderful, life changing experience. I'm less anxious in my work, and more accepting and pleasant with my family. What a gift the author has given us!
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Russell Kolts on May 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I won't go into a description of this book, because there are plenty of reviews that do that. What I will say is that as a psychology professor and psychotherapist, I have a few "go-to" books - books that I constantly have to replace because I end up giving them out to students or loaning them to clients. For couples, for example, it's Notarius & Markman's "We Can Work It Out." For people that need to work on mindfulness and learning to relate compassionately with themselves, this excellent book is it. I finally bought it on kindle as well just to have a copy that I could count on being able to get my hands on! Probably my favorite part about this book is the way that it uses mindfulness as a vehicle for the development of self-compassion, such that as readers move through the book, they develop both of these capacities. I can see it not appealing to some - it might be too psychological for those who prefer Thich Nhat Hahn, or not empirical enough for psychology professionals looking for empirically-validated treatment approaches supported by dozens of clinical trials...but for those who want a readable, sensitive path that is rooted in both spirituality and psychology, it is a tremendous resource. Highly recommended.
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