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Kayla completed her Masters of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN after obtaining her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Winona State University.  Kayla completed her internship at Lighthouse counseling working with individuals, families, and couples.  Her professional experience has included personal growth counseling with college students, inpatient counseling with adolescents, as well as adult clients.  As an a clinician Kayla uses a framework of cognitive behavioral therapy, Gestalt therapy, and family systems.

Having Compassion for Yourself

“Having compassion for yourself means that you honor and accept your humanness”

Kristen Neff

For years people have talked to me about self-esteem and the importance of having high self- esteem, yet I was never taught about self-compassion.

The way we achieve high self-regard is often a flawed process because in doing so we under- mine others or compare our achievements to those around us. In the pursuit of self-esteem we often look for ways in which we better than others. Additionally, when we experience periods of failure, which is an inevitable part of life, self-esteem desserts us there. This is due to self- esteem being highly contingent upon an individuals success.

The question is how to develop a high self-regard without undermining others or comparing our life and achievements to others.

Think about how you treat your best friend. When they fail are you critical of them or are you compassionate? Compare this to when you fail. Do you treat yourself the same way? If you extend your friend compassion, but not yourself, learning about self-compassion is for you.

In the seasons of life with struggle and failure where self-esteem desserts us having self-com- passion is vital.

Building self-compassion begins with mindfulness. Recognizing the tone of your self-talk helps. This inner dialogue is something we have developed throughout our life. Often our inner dialogue plays a greater role in our suffering than we recognize.

In your next moment of suffering I challenge you to speak these words to yourself

  • This is is moment of suffering.
  • Suffering is a part of life.
  • May I be kind to myself in this moment. May I give myself the compassion I need.

At Lighthouse Counseling I strive to help all of my clients learn self-compassion even when it is secondary to why they have sought out counseling.

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