Book Review: Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff

san jose counseling self compassionI was immediately interested in the idea of self-compassion. I routinely hear my clients being very self-critical. They beat themselves up over large and small things. And often they don’t even know they are doing it. So, a better understanding of self-compassion was in order.

I found the book Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff helpful. It is easy to read. Her personal stories are honest and refreshing. They add a layer of vulnerability that reinforces her point that all humans make mistakes. The book contains many exercises to build self-compassion. I found many helpful. A few were not by style, but that’s to be expected in a self-help book. Her work is also backed up by research which adds credibility.

Dr. Neff explains that self-compassion is a healthier alternative to self-esteem. I accept her premise, although personally never defined self-esteem as so much of a social comparison. This section of the book was less important to me. Regardless, I found this book to be a great resource, full of useful information.

I have suggested Self-Compassion to at least 8 clients and all have had a favorable opinion. I will definitely continue to recommend this book.

Sharon Martin, a licensed counselor and psychotherapist in the San Jose area, specializes in helping adult children of alcoholics and others who struggle with anxiety, perfectionism, and self-criticism. She has a private psychotherapy practice in CA where she is available for online counseling. Sharon is also the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism and write the blog Conquering Codependency for Psychology Today.

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