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VIDEO: Moving Forward When Treatment Seems to Make a Problem Worse

Chris Germer on shifting the focus from fixing a problem to embracing it with compassion

Christopher Germer

Chris Germer on shifting the focus from fixing a problem to embracing it with compassion

What someone resists persists.

It’s a paradoxical dynamic that you’ve probably seen in the course of your own clinical work. A hyper-focus on anxiety can lead to a panic attack or a single-minded approach to eliminating resentment unfolds into anger.

Now the mindfulness practice of moment-by-moment noticing is a great therapeutic tool for easing this dynamic because it allows clients to recognize and explore an issue without rushing to fix it. But sometimes holding a behavior in awareness does not open the door to healing.


According to Chris Germer—a pioneer of compassion-based psychotherapy—there’s often a tenacious underlying issue such as shame. And nothing is more effective at addressing these tough issues than self-compassion.

In this video, Chris explains how “fixing” approaches can backfire and then he shares an example from his own life of self-compassion’s ability to soften resistance and heal a deep, persistent issue.

I think you’ll find this video clinically helpful and personally inspiring

Christopher Germer, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist specializing in mindfulness and compassion-based psychotherapy. He is a founding member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, a clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School, and author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion.

Want to Know More?

Check out our new video course The Transforming Power of Self-Compassion: A New Paradigm for Deeper Healing and Lasting Change. This course is only available for a limited time.

Mindfulness has profoundly enhanced our practice of therapy, but many therapists are discovering that moment-to-moment awareness has its limits—especially for clients who are overwhelmed by fear, shame, or other intense emotions. What helps clients experience deep transformational healing is self-compassion. Learn more about mindfulness, self-compassion, and how they work together with these resources.

Free Resources

If you like this video, check out all our free videos here.

Or check out Chris Germer on self-compassion and the September/October issue of the magazine--Self-Compassion: Self-Indulgence or Self-Healing?.

Online Learning with CEs

Do you learn by listening? Check out these related audio courses.

Do you learn by watching? Check out our current on-demand video courses here.

From our Friends at PESI

Want to learn more about using self-compassion in therapy? Check out Kristin Neff’s comprehensive course.

Do you have kid or teen clients who could benefit from Mindfulness, Self-compassion, and Yoga practce? Learn 115 mindfulness and yoga skills to teach your young clients for trauma, self regulation, special needs and anxiety in this book.

Topic: Anxiety/Depression | Mindfulness | Trauma

Tags: clinical psychologist | learning | meditation | mindful | panic attack | psychologist | psychology | psychotherapy | resistance | self-compassion | therapists | therapy | yoga | Chris Germer

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