How to Be a Good Friend to Yourself

self compassion

When a friend comes to you with a problem, how do you respond? Do you listen carefully to what they are telling you, show them that you understand and then try to support them to work things out? It’s most likely that you don’t call them a loser, tell them that they’ve failed and that you always thought they were hopeless!

Why is it then, that we talk to ourselves this way? Why do we criticize and bully ourselves to always do better—to be continuously perfect? For most of us, there is a critical voice in our mind that nags away at us and tells us over, and over again that we are just not good enough. This is exhausting and leaves us feeling down and insecure.

Does this sound familiar?

If your answer is ‘yes’, then this online course on learning to be a good friend to yourself could be just what you are looking for. We will unpack the reasons why we tend to be hard on ourselves. There will be a chance to explore new, kinder and more effective ways in which we can manage our worries and concerns. Through learning a whole range of simple exercises, —backed by scientific research—we can start to put together our own self-compassion kit and apply it whenever the need arises.

How to Be a Good Friend to Yourself: 

making self-compassion part of your life


Start date: 1 February 2018

Duration: 8 weeks of course content + 2 bonus sessions at the beginning and end of the course 

Enrolment is open now

How to Be a Good Friend to Yourself takes you through a process of understanding and applying self-compassion in an engaging, straightforward and interactive way. Throughout the course participants will find up-to-date information on current scientific research into the effectiveness of meditation and compassion.

The course is made up of a combination of text, videos, photos, and written exercises. There are a whole range of techniques to try out and a selection of these are available as audio recordings.

Topics covered in How to Be a Good Friend to Yourself:

making self-compassion part of your life

Bonus starter session

How to get the most out of the course and the qualities of a good friend.

Lesson 1: What is self-compassion?

We will explore how self-compassion works, and the role played by our brain systems. We’ll also look into why happiness is more elusive than we thought and difficult stuff is inevitable.

Lesson 2: How our inner critic works

This is where we will go deeply into where this inner critic comes from and what it is trying to do. We’ll see how we can change the harsh critic into a good friend.

Lesson 3: Meditation: the basis of self-compassion

This lesson is all about how meditation can help and how to set about making it part of our lives.

Lesson 4: The three elements of self-compassion (i) Self-kindness

We know it is important to be kind to other people but in this lesson we see how it is also important to be kind to ourselves

Lesson 5: The three elements of self-compassion (ii) Common Humanity

We live in an interdependent world, in which we all have to deal with very similar worries and concerns, whoever and wherever we are.

Lesson 6: The three elements of self-compassion (iii) Being mindful

If we can learn to be more present to what is happening to us and the people around us, we can find some space to choose how we want to react.

Lesson 7: Some challenges with self-compassion

It is easy to misunderstand self-compassion and to think it is indulgent, or showing weakness. In this lesson we will examine how we can misunderstand and what to do about it.

Lesson 8: The benefits of self-compassion

The course ends with looking again at how self-compassion can help us to be stronger and happier.

Bonus concluding session

We will finish up the course by making a plan for our path to self-compassion. There is also a helpful list of resources for further study.


Outcomes from this course

Changing our habits takes time and effort—just like when we train in the gym, or learn a new language. However, as soon as we begin to work with these habits, things can start to change. By working through this course and making the exercises part of your new routine, you will learn to:

• Identify your inner critic and to take it less seriously
• Turn your inner voice from harsh critic to good friend.
• Understand that kindness is a more effective way of supporting ourselves through difficulties than criticism is.
• Recognise struggle and disappointment as common to all
• To separate a challenge from your reaction to it.
• To understand the benefits of self-compassion.

Maureen has succeeded in developing a very logical, practical, evidence based and fun course to help people train in self-compassion, a key element in wellbeing. It will help people to feel happier and to be more compassionate to themselves and others regardless of their profession, gender, religion or previous experience with meditation. I’m very pleased that this online course will give easy access to these valuable lessons and I hope many people will benefit from them!

Peter Vermeiren, Founder of Health Leads and
President of Compassion for Care.

Being a working mum with a 9-month-old son I have very little time to dedicate to 'me'. Maureen's course is perfectly designed to allow busy people to digest the lessons in their own time, and each lesson is short and focused. The course has armed me with tools to help me deal with life's pressures and I feel great for having invested a little time in my own personal growth.

Lucy Thornton

Whether you are an “expert” on the matter, or a lay person wanting to deepen your knowledge and understanding of meditation and compassion, this course will not disappoint you. The course is very well structured, and Maureen Cooper is impeccable in providing constant encouragement, guidance and support. Throughout the course, there is a genuine concern of linking learning activities with updated scientific evidence, in a way that is widely comprehensible. I definitely recommend it as a worthy opportunity for personal and professional development.

Carlos Carona

I booked on to this course looking to find ways to support myself after a particularly difficult time, and was not disappointed. I really appreciated the flexibility of completing the course in my own time and encountered many useful pieces of information and practices. I found Maureen warm, supportive and understanding, and can recommend the coaching option which helped me work through my specific struggles. Finding the time to look after ourselves is often hard these days and this was a great option for me.

Dr Carole Francis-Smith CPsychol

This course has been a life-changing experience for me. Through encouraging us to become familiar with positive mind states such as self-kindness, and self-love, together with the scientific evidence to prove this, Maureen shows us how to change the way we view ourselves and our world. She shows us through her guidance, exercises, and meditations how to dispel our self-doubts, self-judgement, insecurities, uncertainty and fear and to replace these experiences with joy, courage and fearlessness. And if we use the wisdom illustrated in the course we can cultivate new habits and effect great change in ourselves. We can practice self-compassion every day, anytime, anywhere. This is a course which I cannot recommend highly enough. 

Mary Duffy

Enrolment and cost


Course fee $ 95.00

This includes:

• Access to content, activities and exercises for 8 lessons and 2 bonus lessons.

• A variety of downloadable reflection and meditation exercises in written and/or audio format

• Unlimited interactive emails with the course facilitator throughout the course

Course + coaching option

Course fee ¢180.00

This includes:

• Access to content, activities and exercises for 8 lessons and 2 bonus lessons.

• A variety of downloadable reflection and meditation exercises in written and/or audio format

• Unlimited interactive emails with the course facilitator throughout the course

• 2 individual coaching sessions by SKYPE with course facilitator during the course and/or within one month of completion of the course. (Normal price for coaching alone $155)

What are the special features of this course?

• The 8 lessons of How to Be a Good Friend to Yourself: making self-compassion part of your life are all online with easily downloadable reflections, exercises and quotes.

• There are 2 bonus sections to help you work your way into the material and plan for how to continue with it when the course ends.

• As long as you have an internet connection you can access the content anywhere and at any time.

· Lessons will be made available on the Thursday of each week giving you plenty of time to work with each one.

• We recommend something between one hour and one and a half hours on each lesson.

• This is self-paced course, so you can catch up and review past materials at any time.

• You can add comments and ask questions as you go through the materials.

• As your facilitator I will read all your comments and answer your questions and perhaps add some of my own.

Maureen Cooper: your course facilitator

Maureen Cooper is the founding director of Awareness in Action, an organization dedicated to showing people how to combine well-being and excellence in the work environment. Drawing on more than twenty years of experience as a professional educator, senior manager in a non-profit organization, an entrepreneur and as an accomplished practitioner of Buddhist meditation, she leads the in-demand Awareness in Action workshops and training programs all over the United States and Europe.

Her acclaimed book, The Compassionate Mind Guide to Reducing Stress is a groundbreaking effort that brings together the best of modern science and the wisdom of the world’s ancient contemplative traditions into a practical manual for thriving in today’s insanely fast-paced world.

When she’s able to take a break from rigors of the road, Maureen lives stress-free in Amsterdam, The Netherlands with her husband.

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