Teaching Self-Compassion to Teens


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Grounded in knowledge about the unique developmental challenges of adolescence, this book presents an innovative 8-week group program for teaching self-compassion to teens and young adults in clinical, educational, or community settings. Lorraine Gonzales Hobbs and Niina Tamura provide guided practices, creative exercises, and teaching strategies adapted from Kristin Neff and Christopher Germers widely disseminated Mindful Self-Compassion program for adults. Case examples, sample dialogues, and scripts illustrate how to set up and run successful groups that address teen concerns such as self-criticism, self-esteem, social comparison, and strong emotions. The book offers guidelines for cultivating a personal practice and working with parents. Tips for providing a safe, effective learning environment are woven throughout; a special chapter covers trauma-sensitive teaching.


  • Forward – Christopher Germer
  • Part l. Self-compassion and adolescence
  • 1. Adolescent challenges and the promise of self-compassion
  • 2. The inner workings of self-compassion during adolescence
  • 3. The landscape of self-compassion training for teens
  • Part ll. Building a personal practice for teaching from within
  • 4. Teacher qualities
  • 5. Deepening your personal practice
  • Part lll. Growing your craft as a self-compassion teacher
  • 6. The essentials of teaching self-compassion to teens
  • 7. The art of inquiry with teens
  • 8. Trauma-sensitive teaching
  • Part lV. Training teens in self-compassion
  • 9. An introduction to mindfulness and self-compassion
  • 10. Mindfulness
  • 11. The wisdom of loving-kindness
  • 12. Stress and the adolescent brain
  • 13. Finding our compassionate voice
  • 14. Self-compassion versus self-esteem
  • 15. What matters most
  • 16. The challenge of strong emotions
  • 17. A step toward gratitude
  • 18. Parenting with presence
  • Afterword – Daniel J. Siegel
  • References
  • Index

 Author Bio:

Lorraine Hobbs, MA, is Founding Director of the Youth, Family, and Education Programs at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of California, San Diego. Formerly a family therapist, Ms. Hobbs has combined her clinical experience with her mindfulness and self-compassion expertise to coauthor curricula including Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens and Young Adults, an adaptation of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program for adults. She is codeveloper of the Making Friends with Yourself teacher training program, and provides trainings internationally. Ms. Hobbs is a certified teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, MSC, and Compassion Cultivation Training.

Niina Tamura, PhD, is a psychologist at the Psychological Institute of the University of Heidelberg, Germany, where she specializes in child and adolescent psychotherapy. She combines mindfulness- and compassion-based approaches with cognitive-behavioral therapy. Before turning to clinical practice, Dr. Tamura was a researcher in developmental psychology at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. She is a trained teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) and of Making Friends with Yourself, the MSC adaptation for teens.