December 9, 2019

Positive Links Speaker Series

“Finding the Friend Within – The Science and Art of Self-Compassion”

Christopher Germer
Clinical Psychologist
Psychiatry Lecturer, Harvard Medical School
Kristin Neff
Associate Professor of Educational Psychology
University of Texas at Austin

About the talk

When we think of the word “compassion,” it can be tempting to apply it to everyone but ourselves. Yet a growing field of research is showing the importance of self-compassion for our physical and emotional well-being. Germer and Neff will review the theory and latest research on self-compassion, provide a direct experience of self-compassion, describe hidden obstacles to cultivating self-compassion, and discuss the importance of self-compassion in the work environment.

About Germer

Christopher Germer, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and lecturer on psychiatry (part-time) at Harvard Medical School. He is a co-developer of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program, which has been taught to over 50,000 people around the globe, and author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion and co-author of Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program and The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook. He is also a co-editor of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy.

Germer is a founding faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy as well as the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School. He teaches and leads workshops internationally on mindfulness and compassion and has a private practice in Arlington, Massachusetts specializing in mindfulness and compassion-based psychotherapy.

About Neff

Kristin Neff is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research, conducting the first empirical studies on self-compassion over fifteen years ago.

In addition to writing numerous academic articles and book chapters on the topic, she is author of the book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, released by William Morrow. In conjunction with her colleague Christopher Germer, she has developed an empirically supported training program called Mindful Self-Compassion, which is taught by thousands of teachers worldwide. The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook is now available by Guilford, and Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program: A Guide for Professionals will be released by Guilford in August 2019. For more information on self-compassion, including a self-compassion test, research articles, and practices, visit


Jane Dutton, co-founder of the Center for Positive Organizations; Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Business Administration and Psychology


The Center for Positive Organizations thanks University of Michigan Organizational Learning, Sanger Leadership Center, Tauber Institute for Global Operations, Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, Lisa and David (MBA ’87) Drews, and Diane (BA ’73) and Paul (MBA ’75) Jones for their support of the 2019-20 Positive Links Speaker Series.

Additional support for this session provided by the Ann Arbor Center for Mindfulness.

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