Self-Compassion: Can This Enhance Recovery?

Self-Compassion: Can This Enhance Recovery?

In The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook, authors Kristin Neff and Chris Germer note that we exhibit compassion when we feel warmth, caring and an overall desire to help a suffering person in some way, shape or form. Similarly to this explanation, they defined self-compassion as, “…Acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself.”

A major component of addiction recovery is acknowledging the pain that we’ve caused both for ourselves and others and taking responsibility for the role we’ve had in our addiction’s progression. One of the most challenging areas of recovery can be facing this reality head-on, and nobody likes to be reminded of the ways they’ve hurt themselves or others. What’s important to note, however, is that it’s not self-blame we’re after – it’s responsibility. Self-compassion can foster this by acknowledging that as humans, we all make mistakes – we simply can’t be perfect.

The authors of the book describe 3 areas of self-compassion that influence addiction recovery directly:

1.     Self-kindness vs. self-judgment – being warm and understanding to ourselves versus being harsh, frustrated, and self-critical

2.     Common humanity vs. isolation – recognizing that we all experience pain and suffering, rather than assuming that we’re the only ones going through this issue

3.     Mindfulness vs. over-identification – taking a balanced approach to our negative emotions rather than suppressing our denying them

Self-compassion can greatly enhance recovery because it’s truly a form of self-care. When we acknowledge that as humans, we’re bound to make mistakes and find some bumps in the road, we’re much more likely to address these events with loving-kindness. As you can imagine, employing them in recovery can take us to new, transformative heights once we accept the fact that pain and suffering is to be expected; ultimately, it’s the way we react to it that influences our recovery success.

If you’re ready to begin your journey towards restoration of the mind, body and spirit, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today.

The mission of The Beach House is to provide success in the recovery process and elevate the standard of comprehensive addiction treatment. Located right on the coast of Malibu, California, expert clinical care and a holistic view of the recovery process is provided to ensure Best-in-Class treatment tailored to the needs of each client. If you’re ready to start your recovery journey today, call us at 310-924-0780.

Saving Lives; Healing Families.


Kimberly James

I am the founder and owner of The Beach House Treatment Center, The White House, Indigo Ranch, Sweetwater Mesa and Beach House Center for Wellness, all in Malibu, California.