Kristin Neff, PhD, received her doctorate in Human Development from the University of California at Berkeley in 1997. She is currently an Associate Professor of Human Development and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the world’s leading expert on self-compassion. In addition to authoring numerous academic articles on self-compassion, she has written a new book titled “Self-Compassion,” released by William Morrow in 2011. She gives lectures and teaches workshops on self-compassion worldwide. Kristin is also featured in the bestselling book and award-winning documentary The Horse Boy (www.horseboyworld.com), which chronicles her family’s journey to Mongolia where they trekked on horseback to find healing for her autistic son.
Keynote – Self-Compassion vs. Self-Esteem: How Being Kind to Yourself is More Powerful than Building Up Your Ego
For many years self-esteem was seen to be the key to psychological health. However, research psychologists have identified several downsides to the endless pursuit of self-esteem such as ego-defensiveness, constant social comparisons, and instability of self-worth. Research suggests that self-compassion is a healthier way of relating to oneself, offering all the benefits of self-esteem without its downsides. Self-compassion involves treating ourselves kindly, like we would a good friend we cared about. Rather than continually judging and evaluating ourselves, self-compassion involves generating kindness toward ourselves as imperfect humans, and learning to be present with the inevitable struggles of life with greater ease.