A Compassion Focused Approach to Recovery


Self-compassion is a practice that takes great courage. It is often easier for us to see the beauty and goodness in someone else than in ourselves.

The voice of the inner critic is often quite loud with statements filled with self-hatred. These are things we would never say to a friend or a child. Yet we find it so difficult to treat ourselves as a person of worth and value.

For those struggling with an eating disorder, the profound emotion of shame is often a central part of the suffering. Healing comes through dedication and effort on many fronts, including learning to relate differently to our suffering.

The practice of  self-compassion is an essential part of the journey and impacts much of the work of recovery. It is a door, an opening, into learning to treat ourselves differently. The practice of directing loving kindness and compassion toward yourself is the antidote to shame, self-criticism, and resulting suffering that exists in our lives.

Although this may feel counter-intuitive or opposite of our instinct to turn from suffering, our action should be to turn toward the parts of ourselves that most need love, care, and attention. This means the parts of ourselves that are in pain.

At Reasons, we incorporate a compassion focused approach into your treatment and give you the skills to begin training your brain to extend compassion and loving kindness toward your inner critic.

We want to help you access your full potential for creativity, love, and meaning in life.

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Shame and self-criticism are common experiences in those with eating disorders. This can make it hard to feel safe in the world. Together we will explore healing concepts such as mindfulness, acceptance, compassion, and loving-kindness to help you develop an inner sense of calm, peace, and warmth.

Our team is informed by a compassion-focused approach to treatment. We are committed to viewing your story through a lens of compassion.
We also encourage you to be compassionate toward yourself as you do the hard work of healing physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually.

A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life. ― Christopher Germer

The core of self-compassion is courage. It takes great courage and strength to turn toward our suffering and extend love toward ourselves. Yet, when we engage in this practice it can be life changing.

When you become overwhelmed by difficult emotions and experiences, self-compassion can be a way of relating to yourself that can promote growth. Self-compassion includes giving ourselves the comfort and love that we need to move through pain. It provides an alternative to self-critical thoughts through a practice that accesses inner wisdom and kindness.

We encourage you to explore more about the practices of self-compassion. These practices can have great benefit in the lives of those suffering with an eating disorder and can also be useful for family and loved ones during difficult times.

For more information about self-compassion, please check out the research and practices from Kristen Neff.

For more information about Compassion Focused Therapy please visit The Compassionate Mind Foundation

Self-Compassion Blog

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