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Editor's note: The following was adapted from The ACT Practitioner's Guide to the Science of Compassion, by Dennis Tirch, PhD, Benjamin Schoendorff, MA, MSc, and Laura Silberstein, PsyD. Dennis Tirch will be presenting a two-day Introduction to Compassion-Focused Therapy in San Rafael, California on September 5 - 6, 2015.

Editor’s note: This is the second half of a two-part exploration of the construction of self-hatred through the lens of contextual behavioral science. For part one, go here.                                                                 

A Letter from Tirch, Schoendorff & Silberstein

In Buddhism’s Metta Sutra, the centrality of compassion and kindness is made clear when the Buddha advises his followers to wish, “May all beings be at ease. Whatever living beings there may be, whether they are weak of strong, omitting none…the seen and the unseen, those living near and far away, those born and to-be-born, may all beings be at ease! Even as a mother protects with her life her child, her only child, so with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings” (in Salzberg, 1995).

Stop being so sensitive. For many of us who feel things intensely, these words are all too familiar, extremely frustrating, and often end up making us feel worse. Now, for the first time ever, psychologist and author of the new book The Emotionally Sensitive Person, Karyn D. Hall offers compassionate, effective techniques to help emotionally sensitive people manage emotions, develop an unshakable sense of self, and strengthen relationships.

What is emotional sensitivity and how does it manifest?

In his recent edited volume, Mindfulness and Acceptance in Multicultural Competency: A Contextual Approach to Sociocultural Diversity in Theory and Practice, Akihiko Masuda, PhD, explores the growing applicability of mindfulness- and acceptance-based therapeutic modalities like acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and compassion-focused therapy (CFT), among others, to the development of cultural sensitivity and competency among today’s therapists.


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