, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 196–199 | Cite as

Stripping the Forest from the Rotten Trees: Compassionate Self-Responding Is a Way of Coping, but Reduced Uncompassionate Self-Responding Mainly Reflects Psychopathology

  • Peter MurisEmail author
  • Henry Otgaar
  • Stefan Pfattheicher

Self-compassion is regarded as a cognitive coping strategy that reflects a positive way of relating to oneself when experiencing personal failure, inadequacy, or general problems in life. It entails being kind and understanding to oneself, recognizing that suffering is a common and normal aspect in life shared by all humans, and holding a balanced perspective on one’s difficulties, which constitute the three compassionate characteristics of self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness (Neff 2003b). The construct of self-compassion is typically assessed with the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS), a self-report scale containing 26 items, of which half measure the three abovementioned positive ways of self-responding, while the other half intend to measure their precise counterparts, the uncompassionate features of self-judgment, isolation, and over-identification (Neff 2003a). The SCS yields a total score of self-compassion (that includes the reversely scored uncompassionate features) and...


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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Psychological Science, Faculty of Psychology and NeuroscienceMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Aarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

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