All Things Self-Compassion with Kristin Neff

guest interview kristin neff mindfulness self-compassion

I am BEYOND excited that we have Kristin Neff as our guest in this episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast!  If you beat yourself up, are hard on yourself, or need help with self-compassion, THIS IS THE PODCAST EPISODE FOR YOU!

Don’t miss this podcast episode!

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Kristin Neff is a renowned and ground-breaking self-compassion researcher and the author of The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook, which is one of my favorite workbooks ever.  She’s a developed an 8-week online program that teaches self-compassion, and she is such a wise and informative teacher.  Kristin co-created the program with her colleague Chris Germer, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, which is called Mindful Self-Compassion.  

As Kristin Neff talks about in this episode, self-compassion is treating yourself with the same kindness, care, and support that you would to a good friend.  There are different components of self-compassion: mindfulness (noticing and acknowledging when you are struggling or in pain), common humanity (suffering is part of being human and everyone has their own flavor of struggle), kindness (showing ourselves the same warmth that we would show to others).  I found this explanation to be very informative, especially for people who struggle to differentiate self-esteem and self-compassion.  Whereas self-esteem is contingent, here for us when we succeed but deserts us when we fail or struggle, self-compassion is an UNCONDITIONAL sense of self-worth.  Self-compassion does not need to be earned.  You just have to be a struggling human being, which we all are.

Kristin  Neff also addresses why some people struggle with practicing self-compassion, and specifically addresses the cultural and political aspects of this topic.

My favorite part of this episode is Kristin Neff’s discussion of what self-compassion looks like, sounds like, and feels like.  If you need a very literal description of self-compassion, you will find this incredibly useful. 

We also address the Yin & Yang of Self-Compassion, and how they need to be in balance.  The Yin of compassion is tender, soothing, and comforting parenting energy.  The voice tends to be more gentle.  The Yang, which we frequently forget about, is the fierce energy.  It is the mama bear protecting her cubs.  Sometimes we need that protective energy to care for ourselves. 

Kristin Neff also talks about a concept called Backdraft, which is important for people whose negative self-talk increases during their practice of self-compassion.  Kristin normalizes this as a part (even a positive part) of Self-Compassion. 

For more information on Kristin Neff, visit:




About Kimberley Quinlan

Kimberley Quinlan is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Eating Disorders, Panic Disorder and Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB’s).  Kimberley is highly trained in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), with a heavy emphasis on Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), and has been practicing meditation and mindfulness for many years.  Kimberley has a special interest in the integration of mindfulness principles with CBT for OCD, Anxiety Disorders, and Eating Disorders.  Kimberley has experience treating adults, adolescents, and children, and tailors each program to suit the age and cognitive development of each client.  Kimberley has a private practice in Calabasas and Westlake Village. 

For more information, you can find Kimberley at the following: