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

4.6 out of 5 stars 654 ratings

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  • The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions
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  • Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
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From the Publisher

How can you use this book for self improvement? Accept self-critical thoughts to move forward on the path to healing Cultivate mindfulness to live a more balanced life Break free from anxiety by changing how you relate to it Learn to move through painful emotions without being ruled by them
Discover self-compassion through creative strategies and techniques Use effective strategies and step-by-step action plans Follow along with examples and step-by-step strategies Use meditation and acceptance practices to build self-knowledge and self-compassion
Live more fully in the moment and practice being kind to yourself Become more focused, cope with difficult emotions, feel less stressed, and more Achieve a new level of emotional and physical well-being Overcome the stumbling blocks of worry, fear, and negativity

Editorial Reviews


"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

About the Author

Christopher Germer, PhD, has a private practice in mindfulness- and compassion-based psychotherapy in Arlington, Massachusetts, and is a part-time Lecturer on Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance. He is a founding faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and of the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion. His books include The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook and The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion (for the general public) and Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program, Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy, and Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, Second Edition (for professionals). Dr. Germer lectures and leads workshops internationally. His website is

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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 1593859759
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ The Guilford Press; 1st edition (April 29, 2009)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 306 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9781593859756
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1593859756
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 14.3 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.9 x 1 x 8.9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 654 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
654 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece on the Subject - Brilliant and Simple with Practice
By Charles E Bradley on July 10, 2016
This is by far the "closest thing" I have ever come to ("in my emotional life,") which I truly feel is answering my deepest questions for why I have not been able to overcome my "multi-faceted" anxieties. The approach is entirely new to me and comes from a completely different angle (quite the opposite actually) from my self-critical approach. The heart of this book for me personally has much to do with seeing and feeling (and allowing with softness and kind loving awareness) the suffering I "endured" as a young child. The solution Christopher write about has been for me (for us) to love that hurt little boy and to accept that there were causes -- which in my case had to do with my mother (God bless her) who was in many ways unavailable to me physically and emotionally -- and who was quite opinionated and critical of others. I now see my anger clearly in my body (when it is revisited) and how I am now more able to accept it with a self-loving and compassionate attitude. I highly recommend this book as a tool for many people who suffer from childhood trauma whether it be slight or deep.
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Top reviews from other countries

A. E. Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 22, 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 5, 2018
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Niamh O'Reilly
5.0 out of 5 stars this book helped me
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rebecca simpson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 27, 2020
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S. Mckenzie
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent self help book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 15, 2020
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