Self-Compassion as a Resource of Resilience

Judith Austin*, Stans C.H.C. Drossaert, Ernst T. Bohlmeijer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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From risk to resilience and from mental illness only to including mental well-being, a paradigm shift occurs within the field of clinical psychology. Resilience, consisting of recovery as well as sustainability and growth processes, pertains to the successful (and common) adaptation to adversity. This includes a return to baseline functioning or a new emotional equilibrium, as well as maintaining approach motivations toward personal values and goals. There is growing evidence that self-compassion is an inner resource that promotes resilience. Self-compassion aspects of mindfulness, self-kindness, and common humanity facilitate both short-term and long-term adaptation processes. Using examples of going through war (veterans) and going through cancer, this chapter illustrates how self-compassion can contribute to decreased mental distress (including anxiety and loneliness) and increased mental well-being (including emotional stability and self-care behaviors). Compassion-based interventions, both face-to-face and in online format, can contribute to facilitating resilience in the face of adversity. Future research should further investigate the different ways in which self-compassion can promote resilience, taking into account both mental distress and mental well-being aspects of mental health.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Self-Compassion
Subtitle of host publicationMindfulness in Behavioral Health
EditorsA. Finlay-Jones, K. Bluth, K. Neff
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-22348-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-22347-1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2023


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