Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens

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"At long last, a self-compassion training for teens! This delightful, innovative program captures the essence of self-compassion for an age group that needs it the most.  Wholeheartedly recommended!”   Christopher Germer, PhD

Making Friends With Yourself (MFY) is an empirically-supported 8-week program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion in teens. MFY teaches core principles and practices that enable teens to respond to the challenges of these critical years with kindness and self-compassion.

Adolescence is a time of change and growth. It is the period of life reserved for rebellion and self-discovery, but as the demands in life increase for teens, this time is often fraught with confusion, anxiety or depression. For many teens these challenges lead to disconnection and isolation.

In this 8-week long course which meets weekly for 1.75 hours, teens engage in developmentally appropriate activities and carefully crafted practices and meditations, which provide them with the opportunity to learn how to navigate the emotional ups and downs of life with greater ease.   Backed by research, findings indicate increases in emotional well-being and greater resilience after taking the course.

“So like stressful situations and stuff happens... I’m able to handle it more easily and more quickly, and able to, I don’t know, to calm myself down and put it into perspective.” – Teen participant

Following in the footsteps of the adult MSC program, MFY is rooted in the three key components of self-compassion: self-kindness, common humanity and mindful, balanced awareness. These elements serve to open the hearts of teens to their own suffering, so they can learn to give themselves what they truly need, recognize that they are not alone in their suffering, and encourage an open-minded acceptance of the struggle they are facing.

“It’s cool to see after we took [the class] how much life in general has improved, like not necessarily the situations, but the ways I can handled it. This is so important, so I’m going to take it again and then maybe make it even better.” – Teen participant

This curriculum was adapted from the adult Mindful Self-Compassion created by Drs. Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, and has been endorsed by the founders.