Kristin Neff

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Kristin Neff is an associate professor in the University of Texas at Austin's department of educational psychology.[1] Dr. Neff received her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, studying moral development.  She did two years of postdoctoral study at the University of Denver studying self-concept development. She is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. During Kristin’s last year of graduate school she became interested in Buddhism, and has been practicing meditation in the Insight Meditation tradition ever since. While doing her post-doctoral work she decided to conduct research on self-compassion – a central construct in Buddhist psychology and one that had not yet been examined empirically. Kristin developed a theory and created a scale to measure the construct almost 20 years ago. She has written over 50 academic articles and book chapters on the topic, and has been cited almost 35,000 times by other scholars. She created the Self-compassion Scales.[2][3] The long scale consists of 26 items and the short scale consists of 12 items.[2][4] She has been credited with conducting the first academic studies into self-compassion.[5] Well over 3000 studies have been conducted on self-compassion since her seminal articles were first published in 2003.

In addition to her academic work, she is author of the bestselling book "Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself," released by William Morrow. In conjunction with her colleague Dr. Chris Germer, she has developed an empirically supported training program called Mindful Self-Compassion, which is taught by thousands of teachers worldwide. She is co-founder of the nonprofit Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, which offers self-compassion training in a variety of forms.  Drs. Neff and Germer co-authored the bestselling book The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook, which was published by Guilford in 2018, and Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program: A Guide for Professionals in 2019.

Neff has been interviewed for The Atlantic[6] and has written for University of California, Berkeley's Greater Good Magazine.[7]

Her newest work focuses on how to balance self-acceptance with the courage to make needed change. In June 2021, she will publish Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness toSpeak Up, Claim Their Power, and Thrive.


  1. ^ "Kristin Neff". University of Texas. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b Neff, K. D. (2003a). "The development and validation of a scale to measure self-compassion". Self and Identity 2(3): 223–250.
  3. ^ "Resilience Through Self-Compassion". Spark Podcast. Retrieved 2020-09-21.
  4. ^ Raes, F., Pommier, E., Neff, K. D. and Van Gucht, D. (2011), Construction and factorial validation of a short form of the Self-Compassion Scale. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 18: 250–255.
  5. ^ Dembling, Sophia (15 June 2015). "Feel better about yourself: Understanding the power of self-compassion". Dallas News. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  6. ^ Khazan, Olga (6 May 2016). "Why Self-Compassion Works Better Than Self-Esteem". The Atlantic. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  7. ^ Neff, Kristin (30 September 2015). "The Five Myths of Self-Compassion". Greater Good Magazine. Retrieved 14 July 2020.

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