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Episode #5

SHOW NOTES – Interview with Dr. Karen Bluth

EPISODE 5, SERIES 1

Teaching Adolescents Self-Compassion with Dr. Karen Bluth

About Karen:

Karen Bluth, Ph.D. is faculty at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina Medical School and a Research Fellow in the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. Dr Bluth is a certified instructor of Mindful Self-Compassion and co-creator of the curriculum Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens. She is also the author of The Self-Compassion Workbook for Teens: Mindfulness and Compassion Skills to Overcome Self-Criticism and Embrace Who You Are. Dr. Bluth’s research focuses on the roles that self-compassion and mindfulness play in promoting well-being in youth. A new line of her research centres on the role of self-compassion in caregiving. In addition, she is Associate Editor of the academic journal Mindfulness and co-editor of a special issue of the academic journal Self and Identity on self-compassion with Dr. Kristin Neff. As a mindfulness practitioner for 40 years, a mindfulness teacher, and a lifelong educator with 18 years of classroom experience, Dr. Bluth frequently gives talks, conducts workshops, and teaches classes in self-compassion and mindfulness in educational and community settings. In addition, she trains teachers in Making Friends with Yourself internationally.

Key information:

  • What self-compassion is.
  • How can mindfulness and self-compassion tangibly benefit adolescents?
  • Why does the research say we should be actively cultivating self-compassion in adolescents?
  • What elements of the Making Friends with Yourself program lead to a boost in self-compassion?
  • How do you introduce mindfulness and self-compassion practices to apprehensive adolescents?
  • How does the compassionate friend exercise lead to profound benefits in students?
  • How do students respond to mindfulness and self-compassion practices?
  • Why are you more likely to work hard if you engage in self-compassion practices?

    Episode Content:

    00:00 – Introduction and welcome
    02:02 – What led Karen to an interest in mindfulness and self-compassion?
    04:43 – Kristen Neff’s work around self-compassion.
    06:38 – Karen’s PhD expanding Neff’s work on self-compassion to adolescents.
    08:22 – What is the Making Friends with Yourself program?
    10:45 – What are the benefits of cultivating self-compassion in adolescents?
    12:41 – What are some of the core practices of the Making Friends with Yourself program?
    16:38 – How do you engage apprehensive teenagers with these self-compassion practices?
    18:32 – Is it enough to understand self-compassion on a conceptual level, or is it best to engage with more explicit self-compassion practices?
    20:12 – What is the ‘compassionate friend’ exercise?
    22:06 – How do students respond to these practices?
    23:55 – What is the mindful art program and why was it included in the adult program?
    26:26 – What have Karen’s observations been on teens who’ve engaged with the Making Friends with Yourself program?
    28:20 – Where should teachers begin with mindfulness and self-compassion?
    30:53 – What are some of the misconceptions of self-compassion and why are they not true?
    33:41 – What is Karen working on at the moment?
    34:50 – Where can people learn more about mindfulness and self-compassion?
    36:25 – Which book on self-compassion would Karen recommend people start with?
    37:42 – Wrap-up and farewell

      Episode Resources:

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