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