Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Cheryl-Anne Cait

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Lori Hill

Advisor Role

Committee member


Given the benefits seen in the literature with regards to mindful self-compassion, embodiment of positive emotion, and the efficacy of brief interventions, this study sought to advance an understanding of the experience of mindful self compassion. Eight participants were taught a brief self-compassion exercise along with a step that embodies a feeling of comfort. The participants were drawn from a wait-list for counselling services at a Family Health Team site. They were interviewed using a semi-structured interview format following training and practice with the self-compassion exercise. Qualitative phenomenological analysis was used in order to gain an understanding of the essence of their experience. Analysis of the transcribed interviews identified five themes and seven sub-themes. The five major themes are as follows: (a) qualities of self-compassion; (b) experiences of self-compassion (“agency,” “awareness,” “positive emotions,” and “interpersonal improvement”); (c) blocks to self-compassion (“internal,” “external,” and “assumptions”); (d) helpful factors; and (e) prompts for using the exercise. This study contributes to knowledge about the experience of mindful self-compassion. The results are discussed in light of the related literature.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Social Work Commons