Meet the SCIP Experts.

This week we present an interview with Chris Germer & Kristin Neff and we will dive into our first topic Therapeutic Presence & Embodiment, followed by SCIP expert interviews with Shari Geller and Ann Biasetti.

Meet Chris & Kristin

Chris Germer, Ph.D. and Kristin Neff, Ph.D. co-developed an empirically-supported training program called Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) in 2010.

Following explosive interest and growth in their research findings and significant evidence-based transformation people were experiencing from MSC, they co-founded the nonprofit Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (CMSC) in 2014. Since then CMSC has trained over 2500 teachers worldwide who have taught MSC principles and practices to more than 100,000 people worldwide. In 2021, they are introducing the next level of education through the groundbreaking new Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy Certificate Program for psychotherapists. They are also the co-authors of The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook as well as Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program: A Guide for Professionals

  • Interview Chris Kristin

Chris is a clinical psychologist, lecturer on psychiatry part-time at Harvard Medical School and maintains a private practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, USA. Chris spends most of his time lecturing and leading workshops around the world on mindfulness and self-compassion. In addition to the books he has written with Kristin, he is the author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion and the book Shame through New Eyes: The Transformative Power of Mindful Self-Compassion to be published in 2021. 

He is the co-editor of two influential volumes on therapy, 
Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy. 

Kristin received her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley and is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. 
A pioneer in the field of self-compassion research, Kristin created a scale to measure the construct almost 20 years years ago. Fast-forward to this year and Kristin’s work is now cited and applied worldwide in healthcare, education, government, the military, business, the media, and sports as well as by the general public. In addition to writing numerous academic articles and book chapters on the topic, she is the author of the book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, and in June 2021 she will be releasing her new book Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power and Thrive.

Why Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy?

We are creating a foundation of personal practice of self-compassion that is influencing every part of our professional and personal lives. When attempting to apply self-compassion with a particular client suffering from a specific burden, we need to learn different ways of doing that. We need to integrate compassion with clinical wisdom.
Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy is a transtheoretical, transdiagnostic core technique of relationship in therapy that alleviates suffering more effectively and rapidly in and out of the clinical setting.

One of the concerns that arise with non-self-compassion-based therapists is that the application could be perceived as a bit negative, dealing with the problems and suffering of the clients. The beauty of the systemic view of self-compassion is that 1) self-criticism is the other side of the continuum of self-kindness, 2) the sense of isolation is the opposite of common humanity, and 3) ruminations are at the opposite end of the continuum of mindfulness. When we target self-compassion in psychotherapy we are simultaneously targeting, for example, kindness as we target self-criticism. It brings a sense of balance, health, positivity, and resilience to the therapeutic world.

Therapeutic Presence & Embodiment


Embodying therapeutic presence (TP) is at the heart of positive and effective therapeutic relationships and outcomes. Therapeutic presence is a way of being that optimizes the doing of therapy. Presence involves therapists offering their whole self – physically, emotionally, cognitively, relationally, and spiritually – to be receptively attuned and deeply engaged with clients, moment by moment. Therapeutic presence provides a neurophysiological sense of safety allowing clients to feel safe, seen, heard, understood, and to ‘feel felt’. This can strengthen the therapeutic alliance and promote clients’ optimal engagement in the work and practice of therapy.

Presence also allows therapists to be attuned within themselves as well, which supports the ability to stay grounded and centered amidst difficult emotions and challenging moments. It also includes the intention and self-care required to sustain a presence in therapeutic relationships. Self-compassion (SC) is an important part of therapeutic presence, and it supports the cultivation of this foundational way of being. SC allows therapists to return to the present when they are hijacked by difficult emotions or stress and to experience a sense of spaciousness.

Galia Tyano Ronen

Galia Tyano Ronen loves life on earth with all it brings into her soul and vice versa. She loves the diversity of connections with people, nature, arts, body, music, and spirit. She is a clinical psychologist, focusing-oriented therapist, artist, and specializing in children, adolescents, and adults. She walks a path accompanying people over a section of their lives—a mindfulness teacher for therapists and educators, incorporating mind-body-spirit work in her encounters. Galia’s training and experience as an organizational consultant in psychoanalytic theory assists corporations, businesses and educational institutions with mindfully identifying obstacles, leading with strengths, and creating more compassionate workplaces and teams.

  • Interview Galia Tyano Ronen

Shari Geller

Dr. Shari Geller is an author, clinical psychologist, and a trained teacher of mindful self-compassion (MSC). With over twenty years of experience weaving psychology and mindfulness, Dr. Geller offers practical guidance for cultivating therapeutic presence, grounded in neuroscientific and clinical research. Dr. Geller has a long-term mindfulness meditation and self-compassion practice. Her publications include two seminal books: A Practical Guide for Cultivating Therapeutic Presence and a co-authored book with Leslie Greenberg, Therapeutic Presence: A Mindful Approach to Effective Therapy.

  • Interview Shari Geller

Ann Biasetti

Ann Biasetti has been a practicing Psychotherapist for 29 years. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology with a Transpersonal concentration and is licensed as a Clinical Social Worker. She is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDS) through IAEDP. Her doctoral research explored the role of self-compassion in eating disorder recovery. Her first book, Befriending Your Body: A Self-Compassionate Approach to Freeing Yourself from Disordered Eating, was released through Shambhala Publications in August 2018.

  • Interview Ann Biasetti

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Join SCIP community.

Feel free and inspired to join together with like-minded psychotherapists in our private SCIP Facebook group to discuss Therapeutic Presence & Embodiment, insights from the interviews, or other thoughts you like to share.

Joining the Facebook Group is optional and not required for the SCIP Certificate Program.

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