Connection Through - and Compassion for Others: Reaching the and Hearts of Those We Serve

Roseann Cervelli, MS, LACDC, CCS, CPS [email protected] 732-937-5437 Ext.122

Compassion, COVID 19 And the Year 2020: A New Threshold for Humanity Objectives

• To analyze and explore how Mindful Self-Compassion serves as an antidote to and disconnection in today’s world. • To define Mindful Self-Compassion and Compassion for Others as an approach to well-being, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. • To describe how Compassion Awareness can address meeting Basic Core Needs and healing Core Wounds • To explore the Neuroscience within Compassion Focused Therapy and Compassion Awareness. • To introduce and experience several Mindful Compassion Exercises and Practices

What words come to when you hear or see the word "APATHY"?

ⓘ Start presenting to display the poll results on this slide.

What Is Apathy ?

A and/or attitude of indifference, unconcern, unresponsiveness, detachment, dispassion.

An absence of or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical and/or physical life and the world.

Why Apathy? To understand the part of us that Rarely is it good to run, but we are wants nothing to do with the full wiser, more present, more mature, necessities of work, of more and more relationship, of loss, of seeing thoroughly when we realize what is necessary, is to learn we can never flee from the need to , to cultivate self- run away. compassion and to sharpen that - David Whyte, Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and sense of humor essential to a Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words (2106) merciful perspective of both a self and another. Why Are We Here? The Compassion of Mr. Rogers

In 2013, in response to the Boston Marathon Bombing, Fred Rogers said, “When I was a boy and would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping…”

You are the helpers…Welcome

Run to the rescue with , and peace will follow…. (River Phoenix) Our Basic Core Needs

• To be safe • To love and be loved • To belong, to bond • To be connected • To have purpose meaning and direction • To be confident and competent • To be able to make decisions • To have freedom • To experience fulfillment • To survive, thrive Core Needs

• When our Core Needs are met, we feel a basic sense of reward, security, relief and control of life.

• When our Core Needs are not met or neglected, we can become powerless, uncertain, alienated, estranged, lonely, blameworthy, shamed, ill, lost, anxious, depressed. Core Wounds

• Loss of love • Loss of belonging and connection • Loss of safety • , physical, mental, emotional • Insecurity • • Trauma • and self- • Loss of What is Compassion? Compassion Given and Received

Breakout Rooms: 6 minutes • 1-2 minutes to introduce yourselves to each other • Total of 2 minutes for each to share #1 • Total of 2 minutes for each to share #2

Reflect about a time when: 1. Someone offered compassion to you & how it made you feel 2. You offered compassion to someone & how you felt

“The unique quality of compassion is that its benefits extend to the one who offers it, the one who receives it, and all those who witness compassion in .” - Kelly McGonigal Reflection: Components of Compassion

Enter into chat a word that describes that come from giving or receiving Compassion. I was riding a subway on Sunday morning in New York. People were sitting quietly, reading papers, or resting with eyes closed. It was a peaceful scene. Then a man and his children entered the subway car. The man sat next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to his children, who were yelling, throwing things, even grabbing people’s papers.

I couldn’t believe he could be so insensitive. Eventually, with what I felt was unusual patience, I turned and said, “Sir, your children are disturbing people. I if you could control them a little more?” The man lifted his gaze as if he saw the situation for the first time. “Oh, you’re right,” he said softly. “I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think and I guess they don’t know how to handle it either.”

Suddenly, I saw things differently. And because I saw differently. I felt differently. I behaved differently. My irritation vanished. I didn’t have to about controlling my attitude or my behavior. My heart filled with compassion. “Your wife just died? Oh, I’m so sorry. Can you tell me about it? What can I do to help?” Everything changed in an instant.

How Much Do We Really See and Know?

Sometimes we to judgment and we don’t get the whole story… • Research shows we are exposed to 11 million pieces of information at any given time, but our brain can only handle about 40.

• Our brain creates shortcuts so that we can make decisions quickly without overwhelm.

• Automatic responses create bias, judgment, criticism for self/ others.

• Implicit/unconscious bias, micro/macroaggressions and lack of compassion result. What Is Compassion? • According to religious historian, , the word for Compassion in Semitic languages (rahamanut in Hebrew and Rahman in Arabic) is related to the word for “womb,” evoking the mother’s love for her child, as an archetypal expression of our compassion.

• At its roots, compassion means “to suffer with.”

• Compassion is a sense of concern that arises when we are confronted with another’s , understand and feel their , and feel motivated to see that suffering relieved.

What is Compassion?

• Compassion is a function of the heart that is loving and quivers in response to suffering and that has the capacity to respond with appropriate action. (Kate Johnson)

• Compassion is always a response to suffering. (Kelly McGonigal)

• Compassion is the AWARENESS of our own and other’s suffering, the ATTITUDE that we are all one, and that it takes ACTION in choosing what we are to do about awareness and action. (Joyce Rupp)

Y Yin and Yang of Self-Compassion

Yin: Physical movements: open palms, extend embracing arms, hands on heart – Comforting, soothing, validating – Being with ourselves

Yang: Physical movements-hand with a “stop” message, arms/hands giving and receiving, thumbs up sign! – Protecting, providing, motivating – Acting in the world Components of Compassion

Kelly McGonigal describes the Components of Compassion:

• AWARENESS and RECOGNITION of suffering. We see, realize someone or some community is suffering, is in distress, struggling in pain.

• A FEELING of concern or connection to the one or community that is suffering. We understand, care, and feel connected in some way.

• A to relieve the suffering. We see the pain, feel it, care and want the person to suffer less, to relieve some of the pain and struggle. Now there is a behind our feeling.

Components of Compassion

• A that you can make a difference, a sense of “I can do something. I can help in some way, I can stay and listen even if I can’t solve it. I can do some small thing to make a difference. • A WILLINGNESS to RESPOND and take ACTION. The opposite of , giving up, shutting down, running away or distracting oneself. • A WARM GLOW of satisfaction that comes from the sense of connection you feel, feeling closer to others. A heart- warming feeling or glow that comes from a sense of knowing that you made a difference. Feeling a sense of yourself as part of the common humanity, that we all suffer and we all have something to offer. Compassion and Connection

Sympathy, , Compassion- What is the Difference?

Sympathy - I can understand or imagine how you feel. • Caring and understanding for the suffering of others • Not always truly involved in the feeling of others • Sympathy says, “I understand and feel sorry for you.”

Empathy – “I see empathy as a piece of compassion-building.” (Cindy Wigglesworth) • The ability to actually feel, understand and experience the feelings of another person • Putting oneself in the shoes of another • An emotional response and a cognitive understanding • Empathy says, “I am you.”

Source: Scott Stabile, from the “The Difference Between I’m Sorry and I’ve Been There.” Sympathy, Empathy Compassion What’s the Difference?

Compassion - I feel with you and act skillfully to relieve your suffering

• Perceiving and connecting with another’s suffering, joined with readiness to want to see the relief of suffering; a more empowered state

• Responding to suffering with understanding, patience and , rather than with repulsion and

• Opening up to the of suffering and seeking its alleviation.

• Compassion says, “I am here to help relieve your suffering.” About Empathy & Sympathy

The Seven Components of Empathy Source: Helen Weiss, from The Empathy Effect

The Neuroscience of Empathy & Compassion

Empathy is located in the pain Compassion is located in the: regions of the brain • • Amygdala (fight, flight, freeze, • Medial fawn) (learning and reward) • Insula ( and self- • Ventral (also reward) awareness) • Prosocial regions of the brain • Anterior (emotion and ) It is the ability to not just care for Developed as part of the brain that those close to us, but to care for makes us stand together as family, everyone. Compassion raises us to society. Keeps us more on an the solution level. emotional reaction level. “When someone feels compassionate, the feeling is other-focused, positive and protects against burnout.”

Source: Veronika Tait, Ph.D., Psychology Today.Turn Empathy into Compassion without the Empathetic Distress. Dec. 2019. Compassion and Neuroscience

Compassion is a MIND-BODY state. Three systems of the brain become activated during the Compassion Process

1. SOCIAL - helps us to understand what other people are experiencing; helps us to put ourselves in their footsteps.

Parts of Brain involved in Social Cognition: a) Posterior singular cortex, temporal parietal function for language and imagination b) Medial prefrontal cortex helps give perspective

Compassion and Neuroscience

2. VISCERAL EMOTIONAL EMPATHY- enables us to get a taste of it ourselves, as it causes our own empathetic distress, for example, when we tear up when we see someone crying, or we become angry at injustice. Gives us the desire to relieve suffering.

Parts of brain involved in Visceral Emotional Empathy a) Amygdala- registers the alarm b) Interior Cingular Cortex-senses something is wrong and allows you to have the motivation to do something to relieve the suffering c) Interior Insular-senses when you are experiencing physical pain, , , strong .

Compassion and Neuroscience

3. THE MOTIVATION - make you feel that there is something you can do that will feel good. The promise of reward, the biology of . It is the opposite of shutting down or feeling there is nothing you can do. or Empathy Fatigue??

Empathy - If you are frequently feeling the pain of another, you may experience a great deal of burnout. A common problem for and health care providers, it’s been labeled “empathy fatigue.”

Compassion - If you have the ability to feel empathy for the other person but then extend a hand to alleviate someone’s pain, you are less likely to burn out. Research indicates that compassion is a “renewable resource,” and can combat empathetic distress.

Source: Shairer, S. Nov. 2019. What’s the Difference Between Empathy, Sympathy and Compassion? Still Face Experiment: Our Need to Be Seen, Connect and Belong Dr. Edward Tronick Compassion Focused Therapy

A system of developed by Paul Gilbert which includes: • Cognitive behavioral therapy • Evolutionary Psychology • Social Psychology • • Buddhist Psychology • Neuroscience A key therapeutic technique is compassionate mind training to help people develop experiences of inner warmth, safety and soothing, through compassion and self-compassion.

Wandering Mind & the

• Killingsworth and Gilbert in 2010 – found that mind wandering occurred 46.9% of the time, and rarely less than 30% with any activity (except for love making when minds wandered 10% of the time).

• When not engaged, the brain defaults to the negative.

• Evolutionary social survival mechanism.

• Anne Lamott - “My mind is a bad neighborhood I try not to go into alone.” Default Mode Network

• Likes to leave the present moment; focuses on what’s wrong or how things “should” be. • Remembering the past- What happened to me in the past? • Envisioning the Future- What will happen to me in the future? What are others thinking? • Judges self/others; finding fault • Projects things that aren’t true. • - we can “catch” our DMN sooner and be more intentional about our thoughts and behaviors. Compassion Image Exercise 1. Bring to mind any symbol or image of compassion (person, religious figure, nature) that represents , warmth, strength, non-judgment. 2. Imagine being in its presence and being the recipient of its compassion. What would it say to you? How would it relate to you. 3. Allow yourself to feel that you are the recipient of its great compassion.

Source: Paul Gilbert, University of Derby, UK Self-Compassion Self-Compassion

• Self-Compassion is extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure or suffering. It is offering non-judgmental loving kindness, and care to oneself and one’s circumstances.

• To be compassionate toward others, we first have to learn to be merciful with ourselves. (Sheikh Jamal Rahman)

• Self- Compassion is composed of three main components- self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness. (Kristen Neff)

Components of Self-Compassion

• Self-Kindness: Warm, loving, non-judgmental towards oneself when encountering pain or difficulties • Common Humanity: Recognizing that suffering and personal failure are part of shared human experience • Mindfulness: Non-judgmental awareness: mind state in which persons observe their thoughts and feelings, in the present moment, as they are, without suppressing or denying them.

The Inner Critic and the Compassionate Self Inner Critic- • both the attacker and the attacked • activates amygdala- fight, flight, freeze, fawn • sympathetic nervous system-release of adrenaline and cortisol • increased , blood pressure, cardiovascular stress Compassionate Self- • both the giver and receiver of love and kindness • activates attachment/affiliation/mammalian care-giving system • parasympathetic nervous system-release of oxytocin • increased trust, calm, safety, generosity, warmth, connectedness

How Loving Kindness Enhances Compassion

• Learns how to treat themselves with the same kindness they would give to their best friend. • Learns coping skills to self-soothe-breathing, loving and self- accepting affirmations, hands over their heart, giving self a hug, etc. • Learns to be more gentle, understanding and forgiving of themselves, rather than beating themselves up with self-criticism and comparing themselves to others.

Source: Karen Bluth, 2017, How To Help Teens Become More Self-Compassionate.

How Sense of Common Humanity Enhances Compassion

• Learns and truly come to understand they are not alone. • Comes to see that feelings of insecurity, exclusion, anger, exclusion or etc. are common to all persons. • Learns that all people have , concerns, make mistakes, experience uncertainty etc.- part of being human. • Diminishes the sense of “I am the only one,” or “Life is against me.”

Source: Karen Bluth, 2017, How To Help Teens Become More Self-Compassionate

How Mindfulness Enhances Compassion • Encourages openness, , and of what is happening in the moment.

• Encourages getting in touch with one’s thoughts and feelings, and not identifying dramatically with them.

• Less likely to run from, avoid or suppress emotions as they become less threatening.

• Self-criticism lessens, as one learns not to be judgmental of self and practices extending self-kindness instead.

• Accepting things as they are for that moment; not resisting “what is.” Self-, Self-Esteem and Self- Compassion

• Self-Pity: a state of mind or emotional response of a person believing themselves to be a victim, immersed in their own problems, forgetting others have similar problems.

• Self-Esteem: is based on self worth, perceived value, social comparisons with others, accomplishments, self-perceptions. It often fluctuates, dependent on external , latest successes or failures.

• Self-Compassion: unconditional, non-judgmental love and care for oneself, even in the midst of perceived inadequacy, failure or suffering.

Why Compassion for Self & Others?

Widely researched and scientifically proven, Self-Compassion…

1. Reduces the intensity and frequency of stress, , self- judgment and self criticism. 2. Mitigates negative thinking, including rumination. 3. Moderates , anxiety and neurotic perfectionism. 4. Diminishes production of stress related cortisol. 5. Enhances the reward system’s production of dopamine and oxytocin-good feeling and bonding chemicals.

Why Compassion for Self & Others

Research indicates: cultivating compassion contributes to beneficial physical, emotional, mental and interpersonal changes. 1. Provides a comforting coping strategy for difficult emotional experiences, thereby enhancing emotional regulation and well-being. 2. Promotes better relationships, kindness, patience, acceptance, caring, , less negativity towards one’s perceived failings and misfortunes. 3. Enhances generosity, , humility, openness and gentleness toward self and others. 4. Increases , , personal initiative and connectedness. Meeting Core Needs…Healing Core Wounds… Compassion Works!

Exercises for Self-Compassion

• Writing a compassionate letter to a friend who is experiencing a challenge or a difficult time. Feeling Compassion for Others. • Writing a loving letter to yourself from the perspective of an unconditional loving imaginary friend. • Treat yourself kindly as you would a friend you really care about. As you are more kind, loving, understanding to yourself, you will feel more kind, loving, understanding to others. • Mindfully and non-judgmentally, become aware of your inner critic voice; change that voice to more conscious and compassionate voice that brings you back to your inherent goodness. Exercises for Self-Compassion

• Give yourself a Self-Compassion break by acknowledging mindfully the feelings you are having. Ex. “This really hurts” or “This is a moment of suffering.” Then add, “May I be kind to myself” or “May I be comforted.” • Give yourself positive self-talk with loving physical gestures, like gently stroking your arm, giving yourself a hug, caressing your face with your both hands, placing your hands upon your heart. These will eventually lead to genuine feelings of warmth and love for yourself. • Identify friends, family members or other loved ones who are supportive of you and your passions and gifts. Cherish your relationships with these positive presences and give back to them when you can. Exercises for Self-Compassion

Use the “Just like me”… To feel compassion for others, as well as for self, this exercise can be done anywhere people congregate (airports, train stations, baseball games, school assemblies etc.) It can be applied to relatives, friends, co-workers, strangers…

• Just like me, this person is seeking happiness for his/her life. • Just like me, this person seeks to avoid suffering in his/her life. • Just like me, this person has known sadness, loneliness, despair. • Just like me, this person is seeking to fulfill his/her needs. • Just like me, this person is learning about life.

Exercises for Self-Compassion

Allow yourself and others such Loving Kindness thoughts/meditations as: May I ( you) be happy. May I ( you) be peaceful. May I (you) be healthy. May I ( you) live with ease.

Journal and create your own thoughts and inspirations…

May I be comforted. May I feel . May I be . May I be forgiven. May I be forgiving etc.

Source: Kristen Neff

Loving Kindness

• Send Loving Kindness to a loved one or ones. • Send Loving Kindness to oneself. • Send Loving Kindness to a neutral person(s), co-workers, clients, the supermarket employees etc. • Send Loving Kindness to someone who is mildly annoying or hurtful to you. • Send Loving Kindness to someone who is difficult for you to forgive. • Send Loving Kindness to all Beings, Animals of Land, Sea and Sky, all Sentient Life. • May all beings be free from suffering and the root of all suffering. May all beings be happy. Compassion for Self and Others

“May I be a guard for those who need protection A guide for those on the path A boat, a raft, a bridge for those who wish to cross the flood May I be a lamp in the darkness A resting place for the weary A healing medicine for all who are sick A vase of plenty, a tree of miracles And for the boundless multitudes of living beings May I bring sustenance and awakening Enduring like the earth and the sky Until all beings are free from And all are awakened.”

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” The Dalai Lama “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” ― Dalai Lama Bibliography

• The Self- Compassion Work of Kristen Neff. • Germer, Christopher. The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions. The Guilford Press 2009. • Germer, Christopher and Neff, Kristen. Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program: A Guide for Professionals. The Guilford Press 2019. • https://positive psychology • • Kolts,Bell, Bennett-Levy, Irons. Experiencing Compassion Focused Therapy from the Inside Out. The Guilford Press.2018. • McGonigal, Kelly. The Mindfulness and Meditation Summit, “The Neuroscience of Compassion.” • Neff, Kristen. Self-Compassion. The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. Harper Collins Publisher.2011. • Neff, Kristen. The Chemicals of Care: How Self-Compassion Manifests in the Body. Oct. 24, 2019.


• Neff, Kristen. Why We Need to Have Compassion for our Inner Critic. ways-mindfulness-can-help-us-as-we-age/March, 2018 • Tartakovsky, Margarita. Cultivating Self-Compassion. https://psychcentral.comblog/cultivating compassion/ • Thupten Jinpa, A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives. Hudson Street Press, 2015. • Tait,Veronika. Turn Empathy Into Compassion Without Empathic Distress. Psychology Today. Dec. 5,2019. • Weiss Helen. The Empathy Effect, 2018. • Well Tara. Compassion is Better Than March 2017. • Youtube. Paul Gilbert . Compassion Focused Therapy . Palo Alto University. Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4. Nov. 26, 2013