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Self Compassion Resources for School Psychologists – A Coffee Chat with Kristin Neff

In this 20-minute coffee chat, I (virtually) sit down with Kristin Neff, who is a pioneer in the research on self-compassion, and she shares some practical self compassion resources for school psychologists! We talk about how self-compassion is different than self-care (I was dying to ask her this!). She also shared some really interesting cutting edge research on why self-compassion is so essential for our well-being as school psychologists (and how our own self-compassion is contagious for our students and others we interact with…whoa!).

0:20 I introduce Dr. Kristin Neff and her work as a leading expert in self-compassion
0:45 Dr. Neff explains what self-compassion is and the difference between self-care and self-compassion
1:48 I ask why school psychologists can give advice about self-care to others, but it’s often hard to give to ourselves!
3:13 Dr. Neff talks about the concept of “giving ourselves permission” to do self-care is so important, and what the cultural blocks are to self-compassion.
3:29: Dr. Neff shares the difference between self-compassion and self-pity
4:09: Why self-compassion is not self-indulgent, and does not undermines motivation
5:23: Dr. Neff shares why caregivers, like school psychologists, need to practice self-compassion.
6:21: What “empathetic resonance” is and why caregivers get burned out.
7:18: Two ways self-compassion helps you be a better school psychologist!
8:58: I talk about the mental traps school psychologists get into that create burnout and ask Dr. Neff about practical ways to give ourselves permission to do self-care.
9:41: Dr. Neff defines self-compassion and distinguishes is from self-care.
11:58: I ask Dr. Neff, why do we need to turn toward our suffering?
12:49: Dr. Neff shares three steps to self-compassion.
13:41: Dr. Neff talks about what to do when we make mistakes or having a struggle.
16:09: How school psychologists can model self-compassion as a tool to teach self-compassion.
17:43: How to not judge yourself for not being self-compassionate!
18:43: How unconditional acceptance is not the same as being free of self-evaluation.
19:41: Dr. Neff shares the research on the benefits of self-compassion.
22:09: Dr. Neff shares where school psychologists can get more information on Self Compassion at

Many thanks to Dr. Neff in sharing her wisdom and self compassion resources for school psychologists with us!

Rebecca Branstetter is a school psychologist and the creator of the Thriving School Psychologist Collective™, which provides online professional development for school psychologists and a community dedicated to thriving so we can better serve our school communities. To learn how to spend more time with actual students rather than spending time with students’ paperwork (and earn NASP-approved CEUs doing it!) visit

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