Self-compassion.  We hear about it all the time.  It’s quite a popular buzzword in mental health social media circles.  But what really is self-compassion?  What does it look like?  What role does it play in the recovery process?  How important it is?  This week we are fortunate to Kimberley Quinlan, LMFT on the podcast to teach us about this oh-so-important concept. Kimberley is the author of The Self-Compassion Workbook for OCD, an amazing resource that hit the shelves earlier this week.  Check the link below.

The Highlights

  • In her work in the OCD and anxiety community, Kimberley has seen
  • Pain, suffering, and self-compassion are the places where Kimberley finds the most peace, safety, and comfort when in her role as a helper and guide.
  • Practicing self-compassion is still a very important part of Kimberley’s life.
  • I’m very compassionate to myself until I have to do something hard!
  • Doing hard things is such a big part of OCD and anxiety recovery, that this statement strikes at the core of the OCD and anxiety struggle.
  • People that suffer with OCD often become highly judgmental and critical of themselves.
  • Self-criticism can often progress to to self-punishment. This can take very subtle forms, but it matters and it needs to be addressed.
  • Suffering, pain, self-criticism and self-punishment were the motivators behind creation of The Self-Compassion Workbook.
  • Self-compassion is NOT self-absorption or narcissism.
  • Self-compassion is just holding space for what you’re struggling with in a warm environment instead of a critical environment.
  • Self-compassion is NOT letting yourself off the hook.  Self compassion is resolving to face your fear because you deserve to live a life where fear does not rule you.
  • Doing hard things as part of recovery might sound like the opposite of self-compassion, but getting in touch with that part of yourself that knows what really is best for you in the long term means that you can start to see the trends and patterns that are not working for us.  This can be a brutal process, but being gentle with ourselves can get us to where we need to be.
  • The benefits of self-compassion are many.  A generally improved sense of well being is observed, along with a decreased desire to procrastinate and an increased level of motivation to do the hard things needed to recover.
  • Thankfully, humans are generally warm-hearted by nature.  We treat people warmly and with caring and concern.  Self-compassion is the practice of treating ourselves the way we naturally treat others.
  • Unfortunately, we have to learn self-compassion and practice being compassionate to ourselves.  We are often not automatically self-compassionate.
  • Often just the act of “dropping down” out of one’s head, and acknowledging at an emotional level that what you are dealing with is hard, can kick start self-compassionate treatment of oneself.
  • Kimberley describes the relationship between ERP and self-compassion as a complete “meal” that includes a main course and complimentary side dishes that enhance and improve the whole experience.
  • Self-compassion is not just a practice for use during recovery or therapy. Self-compassion is a life skill that will impact you in a positive way for the rest of your days.

Get The Self-Compassion Workbook for OCD

The Self-Compassion Workbook for OCD

Find Kimberley Online Here:





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Founder and host of The Anxious Truth podcast. Graduate student and therapist-in-training. Author and educator on the topic of anxiety disorders and anxiety recovery. Former anxious and depressed person.