Your Compassionate Self

Your Compassionate Self with Robin Beardsley MDOne of my greatest yearnings is for harmony. It is so hard to imagine peace sometimes in today’s world. It can feel so hopeless or powerless to make a difference. Virginia Satir always said, “Peace within, Peace between and Peace among”. One of her beliefs and now mine is that we are all interconnected on a spiritual level. All living beings have Life Energy or Life Force. Take a moment to think of the last time you were in nature, watching a sunset, lying on a beach , on a mountain, in a forest or perhaps the last time you were listening to your favourite piece of music and you found yourself just being with your music or with nature as if nothing else mattered. This is your Life Energy engaged.


The good news is that because we are all interconnected, if we bring a little kindness, light or peace to ourselves, then for a moment there is a beacon of light that others can benefit from. Out of this wish for harmony, I tended to be there for others, however, in the process at times though, I had to shut down parts of me. I forgot to include me in this kindness. Let’s face it we are generally kinder to others than we are to ourselves. We have many parts or aspects of ourselves that criticize other parts, sometimes it is not very peaceful within. In 2013 I came across Dr. Kristen Neff’s work on self -compassion and then did the teacher training of Mindful Self Compassion with her and Dr. Chris Germer (the co-founder). I learned that self-compassion could be described as treating yourself as you would treat a friend. I learned that I could be kind to myself when I was struggling or in distress. I also learned that I had a lot of compassion already within me as everyone does. I just didn’t have as much access of it for myself. This takes practice. We can connect with our compassionate self and be a friend to ourselves, which then benefits those around us. Taking care of ourselves really helps us to be there for others.

My website Your Compassionate Self is where you will find more information on Mindful Self Compassion and the courses I lead. Meditations are available to practice mindfulness and self-compassion. Information about upcoming workshops, courses and retreats can all be found there. I have always had an interest and passion in care for the caregiver and I see now that I was searching for a way to find harmony within. I am honoured and excited to share with you what I have learned. My hope is to develop and teach more workshops around living compassionately and skillfully, so that we can navigate this World we live in. I love teaching and I bring my joy, fun, presence and compassion to my workshops and courses. May there be peace on Earth and May peace begin with me.

Upcoming Courses, Workshops & Retreats by Your Compassionate Self with Robin Beardsley MD
In Person Events Currently POSTPONED Due to COVID-19

Contact Robin to inquire about online teaching.

Mindful Self-Compassion (Online)

with Robin Beardsley, MD & Elizabeth Parsons, MD

This course is now FULL. Contact Robin Beardsley MD to be put on a waiting list.

Thursdays: 4:00 – 6:15pm
Sept. 30 – Nov. 25, 2021 (miss Oct. 21, 2021)

Location: Online via ZOOM telehealth (PHIPA compliant) platform

Retreat: Sun., Nov. 7, 2021
Location: ONLINE 9:30am – 12:30pm
By invitation and consultation only

Please Note: If you are interested and have not received an invitation Register Now below and you will be contacted for a consultation prior to admittance to the course.

Administration Fee: $35 if you would like to receive the Handbook The Self-Compassion Workbook (delivery included)
Course otherwise covered by OHIP


Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically-supported, 8-week, training program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion through self-kindness, common humanity, and mindful awareness. “With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend.” ~ Kristin Neff

Learn more about Mindful Self-Compassion


  • Practice self-compassion in daily life.
  • Understand the empirically-supported benefits of self-compassion.
  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism.
  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease.
  • Transform challenging relationships, old and new.
  • Manage caregiver fatigue.
  • Practice the art of savoring, gratitude, & self-appreciation.

What to Expect

Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. The intention over the 8-week course is for participants to directly experience self-compassion and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life. MSC includes 8 weekly sessions of 2.5 hours each, in addition to a 3-hour retreat. Prior to registering, participants should plan to attend every session and practice mindfulness and self-compassion at least 30 minutes per day throughout the program.


No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required to attend MSC. Interested participants are required to attend a 60 minute Information Session prior to starting the course.

Presenters: Robin Beardsley, MD & Elizabeth Parsons, MD

Robin Beardsley, MD CCFP is a physician who practices psychotherapy and a trained teacher in Mindful Self-Compassion. She has always had a passion for care for the caregiver. MSC helps to meet this passion and fits with her positive psychology approach.

Elizabeth Parsons, MD CCFP is a physician who practices psychotherapy in Ottawa. She has training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Internal Family Systems therapy. She loves bringing the concepts and practices of Mindful Self Compassion to her work with both individuals and groups.

The concepts, practices, and practical tools that you both offered, emulate, and taught feel like the missing puzzle piece for me. Although the course was eight weeks long, and I am only entering the threshold of this journey, I finally feel equipped, with tangible, concrete ways, to actually take care of myself. To give myself what I need, instead of looking for it somewhere else. In really difficult moments, I am beginning to know how to actually care for myself, in a very authentic and visceral way. This feels so hopeful, and so empowering.

Adding the self-compassion component to my already established mindful practice has given me a new foundation of hope to move forward from.

Ann-Marie, Mindful Self-Compassion Participant

This course is “Life Changing”. The gratitude I feel for these two women, teachers with such skill and so much heart and wisdom who skillfully shared their knowledge and created a “safe space” to learn, heal and grow. My heart goes out to them and all the amazing women who participated in this course. May we meet again.

Kim, Mindful Self-Compassion Participant

Self-Compassion for Health Care Communities (SCHC)

with Robin Beardsley, MD

Cost: $200 Dates & Times to be discussed • 1 hour for 6 weeks
Location: Your place of work – will need a room for 6-12 participants – *During this pandemic SCHC workshops and the full 6-week course can be given over a virtual platform with video conferencing for your group.

As Professionals and caregivers, we can all experience some degree of Caregiver Fatigue, which is characterized by profound emotional and physical exhaustion. This is a form of relational pain, one of connection, having emotional resonance with someone we care about who suffers and impacts our lives. Add onto this, the often, overwhelming tasks we have to complete each day in healthcare, and the limited resources; over time, there can be a gradual erosion of all things that keep us connected to ourselves and others.

Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with inner resiliency, emotional well-being, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits and satisfying personal relationships. Self-Compassion for Health Care Communities (SCHC) is a 6-hr evidence-based healthcare adaptation of Mindful Self-Compassion, the empirically supported program of Dr. Kristin Neff at UT Austin and Dr. Chris Germer at Harvard Medical School. This training aims to improve wellbeing and personal resilience in healthcare professionals by teaching mindful self-compassion skills to deal with distressing emotional situations as they occur at work and at home.

Learn more about Self-Compassion for Health Care Communities (SCHC)

In research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, Neff.Knox.2020, the SCHC program was found to significantly:

  • Decrease: Depression, Stress, Secondary Traumatic stress, and Burnout
  • Increase: Self-compassion, Mindfulness, Compassion for others, Job satisfaction in healthcare professionals
    As opposed to other self-care techniques, self-compassion practices can be used on the spot while at work with patients and colleagues

As a participant of the program, you can learn the following objectives:

  • Be able to describe the key components of self-compassion and mindfulness and how they can be integrated into your role as a healthcare professional.
  • Be able to explain the difference between empathy and compassion and utilize strategies to avoid emotional exhaustion.
  • Be able to practice techniques to increase self-compassion at work and everyday life.
  • Practice at least one skill from each session to care for yourself while caring for others who are experiencing difficulty.

The Self-Compassion Training for Healthcare Communities program meets for six 1-hour sessions.

Presenter: Robin Beardsley, MD

Robin Beardsley, MD is a Physician who practices psychotherapy and a Trained Teacher in Mindful Self-Compassion. She has always had a passion for care for the caregiver. MSC helps to meet this passion and fits with her positive psychology approach.

“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire diay. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” ~ Chris Germer, PhD

Dr. Robin Beardsley provided six online sessions of Mindful Self-Compassion to our collaborative practice and study group of psychotherapists this year. She was responsive to our comments, organized, and had facility with the Zoom technology from the beginning. She is the kind of facilitator that brings enthusiasm, personal warmth and genuine caring to the participants. Her passion for teaching Mindfulness related topics is evident. I feel privileged to have joined Dr. Beardsley this year, and I highly recommend her sessions to anyone who may be interested in self growth and wellbeing.

Lynn, Social Worker

I learned practical skills that I use every day at the bedside and I share with my residents. It gave me something to teach them and model for them besides simply telling them to ‘take a day off’ when they were overwhelmed.

Residency Program Director

Inner Resiliency Training: Self-Compassionate Mindfulness
for those with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

with Robin Beardsley, MD

Alternate Fridays: 11:00 – 12:00pm (6 sessions)
Next Course: TBA
Prerequisite: Concussion Support Group Only
Mandatory: 2 Intro Classes (Previous participants welcome)
Participants: min. 6 – max. 15
Location: ONLINE using ZOOM telehealth platform
Course covered by OHIP* (must provide OHIP details upon registration)


Many who have experienced a brain injury have difficulty coping with everyday life. It can be very frustrating to not be able to do the things you once did. Sometimes this frustration can lead to many emotions which activate our limbic system and our threat-defense system making it even more difficult to respond to situations. We can become more critical of ourselves and our abilities. Our thinking brain goes off-line and we are unable to respond as we might like.

Inner Resiliency Training (IRT) is a 6-week course in which we will explore impacts of ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) on those affected, caregivers and trainers using experiential, didactic and small group exercises. Participants will learn about and experience techniques aimed at cultivating mindfulness and self-compassion to respond more skillfully with day to day challenges based on the teachings of Kristin Neff and Chris Germer.

Inner Resiliency Training Aim

Continue to promote the tremendous benefit of the MBCT support program, which volunteers have generously run for several years:

  • Support the existing program by offering MBCT participants and leaders a course in mindfulness and self-compassion (at times that do not interfere with the MBCT support program)
  • Mindful Self-Compassion parallels and compliments the MBCT work and may help participants deal with their post-concussion symptoms and live with greater ease.
  • Refresh Mindfulness and add a Self Compassionate aspect.


It is recommended that you attend all sessions if possible especially session 1. If you need to miss a session, please advise Robin if possible. Missing more than 2 sessions may mean you will not get the full benefit.



  • Covered by OHIP – Participants must provide: OHIP info (name, address, date of birth, OHIP number & version code, expiry date)
  • Doctor’s referral to Dr. Beardsley for ABI-group therapy.
  • If your physician is in a “Health Team”, they may wish to know that, since Dr Beardsley has a Focused Practice, there will be no impact on access bonuses.

Presenter: Robin Beardsley, MD

Robin Beardsley, MD is a Physician who practices psychotherapy and a Trained Teacher in Mindful Self-Compassion. She brings her presence, fun and experience to her workshops.

Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) Silent Retreat

with Robin Beardsley, MD


NOTE: This retreat is for participants of the current MSC courses and ALUMNI of past MSC courses.

Upcoming Retreat: Sat., Nov. 7, 2021
ONLINE 9:30am – 12:30pm
By invitation and consultation only

Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) Silent Retreat for ALUMNI

with Robin Beardsley, MD


NOTE: This retreat is for ALUMNI of past MSC courses.

Upcoming Retreat: TBA

Making Friends with Yourself

with Robin Beardsley, MD

Teens: 12 – 18 yrs. (by Dec. 2021)

Next Course: TBA

Adolescence is a time of change and growth. The demands in life increase for teens and young adults; this time can be confusing and provoke anxiety and depressive symptoms. For many young people, these challenges can lead to disconnection and isolation.

Making Friends with Yourself is an 8-week program designed to facilitate awareness, self-kindness and stronger connections in response to these growing challenges. Teens will have the opportunity to incorporate mindfulness and self–compassion into their daily life. Mindfulness teaches students to be present with their emotions, and self-compassion helps them respond to these emotions with greater kindness and self-care. Through developmentally appropriate activities and meditations, teens will learn specific tools which can help them navigate the emotional ups and downs of this life stage with greater ease. “With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend.” ~ Kristin Neff

Learn more about Making Friends with Yourself


No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required to attend Making Friends with Yourself. Interested participants and at least one parent are required to attend a 60 minute appointment with Dr. Beardsley prior to starting the course.

Presenter: Robin Beardsley, MD

Robin Beardsley, MD is a Physician who practices psychotherapy and a Trained Teacher in Mindful Self-Compassion. She has always had a passion for helping young people succeed on their life journey. Making Friends with Yourself helps to meet this passion and fits with her positive psychology approach.

Addressing Burnout with Self-Compassion

with Robin Beardsley MD.

FREE Virtual Event
Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021
7:00pm – 8:30pm EST

What happens in our bodies when we are trying to live in a pandemic? How do we keep going when we are exhausted, distracted, interrupted or fed-up? Sometimes during times of stress, we forget that many can feel as we do and we may even believe that we are suffering or in pain due to some frailty or inability to cope. Rarely do we give ourselves the chance to pause and look at what might be contributing to our stress.

You are invited to come listen, share and recharge with others as we explore these questions and learn how self-compassion can help us navigate these stressful times.

Come join Dr. Robin Beardsley in this interactional workshop online using Zoom.

Proudly presented by the uOttawa Brain and Mind Research Institute and the uOtttawa Academy of Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies.

Addressing Burnout with Self-Compassion