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The Power of Self-Compassion

The Power of Self-Compassion
Using Compassion-Focused Therapy to End Self-Criticism and Build Self-Confidence




The New Harbinger Compassion-Focused Therapy Series

Publication date:




About the Book

If someone told you that you have low self-esteem, would it cause you to bristle? For many, the very concept of self-esteem has negative connotations, because it calls to mind the comparisons we make between ourselves and others. So how do you build real self-confidence?

In The Power of Self-Compassion, you will learn that focusing on self-compassion, rather than self-esteem, is actually the best way to build true, lasting self-confidence. For too long self-esteem has been based on the idea that if you achieve certain goals you are doing okay. This can lead to comparing yourself with others as a way to build confidence. The skills and behavioral techniques outlined in this book are drawn from the groundbreaking compassion-focused therapy (CFT), which holds that being compassionate to yourself-even when things are not going well-is central to building real self-confidence.

With compassion-focused therapy, you will adopt an accepting attitude about your strengths and weaknesses, and a commitment to change that doesn't depend on being overly critical of yourself or comparing yourself with others. In addition, you will learn how the concept of self-confidence fits in the context of our evolution, biology, and life experiences.

If you are looking to improve your self-confidence, the behavioral steps provided in this book can help you focus on the areas in your life that need improvement, so that you can build a stronger sense of self-worth and competence.


Mary Welford, DClinPsy, is a consultant clinical psychologist who lives and works in the South West of England. She is a founding member of the Compassionate Mind Foundation, and she has been involved in the British Association... Read more

Books by Mary Welford


"This book will help you stop undermining yourself with debilitating self-criticism and start giving yourself the same kindness, encouragement, and support you'd give to a good friend. With straightforward explanations of concepts and dozens of easy and practical exercises to build self-confidence through self-compassion, this book has the power to change your life."
-Kristin Neff, PhD, author of Self-Compassion and associate professor, University of Texas at Austin

"Compassionate Mind approaches are one of the most exciting developments in cognitive behavior therapy. Mary Welford has written an easy-to-read interactive book that distils the core features of developing a different relationship with one's mind and paradoxically building one's self-confidence.”
-Professor David Veale, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London

“Hugely approachable, sympathetic, and fun. I'd recommend this book to anyone wanting to improve their self-confidence. Choc-full of brilliant clinical metaphors and creative techniques, it will also be invaluable to any therapist wanting a primer on this fascinating area.”
-Sam Cartwright-Hatton, clinical psychologist and NIHR fellow, University of Sussex

“This is a wonderful book! Welford has beautifully written a remarkable book that takes us to the heart of building self-confidence through developing self-compassion. This book is based on a robust science of mind that leads directly to sensitive and kind-hearted understanding of how we develop self-critical ways of coping with difficult and stressful life experiences. This book enables you to develop an empathic understanding of the origins of shame and also provides practical skills and techniques in developing a compassionate mind as the basis for self-confidence. This book is a highly accessible and practically useful means of developing and overcoming obstacles to self-compassion.”
-Professor Andrew Gumley, University of Glasgow, UK

“Mary Welford's book is helpful, informative, and interesting. The book makes you feel very much 'looked after' and the inclusion of personal stories, including her own, gives the reader a sense of not being on their own. The approach is hugely relevant to those wishing to find their compassionate self and build their self-confidence.”
-Erica Wakeman, reader

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