Anna is a registered health psychologist based in Auckland, New Zealand, welcoming private clients to her Ponsonby clinic and also offering online consultations. She is a Certified teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) with a deep personal commitment to these practices as pathways to increased well-being and flourishing. Learning to be mindful and to treat oneself with kindness when meeting life's inevitable challenges is a powerful antidote to depression, anxiety and burn-out, enabling one to live with ease, connection and contentment.
"Working with you has changed the most important relationship in my life .. the relationship with myself. For that, I am truly grateful." Vanessa
Evidence shows mindfulness and compassion practices are balms for many modern day ailments and can increase resilience and wellbeing. Anna is a regular speaker to both corporate and community audiences, sharing personal, professional and academic expertise.
Life can be difficult. Learning new tools to cope with emotional and physical distress can help. If you feel that compassion-based therapy may be right for you, contact Dr Anna Friis for an appointment (in person and on-line services available)
Anna offers training in mindfulness and self-compassion in New Zealand and around the world. She is a Certified teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion with the Center for MSC (www.centerformsc.org), and is a Mentor for the programme through the University of California San Diego Center for Mindfulness . She also offers monthly free zoom meditation drop-ins to which anyone is welcome. (Click courses tab for current training options and enrolments)
LEARN SELF COMPASSION IN YOUR LUNCHTIME: Six-week On-line training in self-compassion starting Tuesday October 19 to Tuesday November 23 (12 pm to 1.15 pm). NZIA
The Short Course in Mindful Self-Compassion (SC-MSC) is a 6-week adaptation of the empirically-supported 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program designed to begin the cultivation of the skills of self-compassion. SC-MSC was developed by Kristin Neff, PhD, the pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion and Christopher Germer, PhD, a leader in the integration of mindfulness, compassion and psychotherapy. The SC-MSC 6-hour program was developed to allow participants to begin to learn a targeted set of MSC practices with less initial time commitment than the full 26-hour MSC program.
Most of us feel compassion for our close friends when they are struggling. What would it be like to receive the same caring attention from yourself when you needed it most? All that’s required is a shift in attention—recognising that as a human being, you, too, are a worthy recipient of compassion. Self-compassion involves the capacity to comfort and soothe ourselves, and to motivate ourselves with encouragement, when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate.
The SC-MSC program draws on the skills of mindfulness and focuses on developing the resource of self-compassion to enhance our capacity for emotional wellbeing. Burgeoning research shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, coping with life challenges, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships. It is an inner strength that enables us to be more fully human—more fully ourselves. Fortunately, self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those of us who did not learn these skills as children.
Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in SC-MSC. All are welcome!
Program activities include short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. SC-MSC is an opportunity to explore how we typically respond when difficulties arise in our lives and to learn tools for becoming a warm and supportive companion to ourselves.
This morning I walked past a small blackbird, contorted in pain and turning in small desperate circles on the pavement. A part of me wanted to pretend I hadn’t seen it, but I made myself stop, lean towards the feathered creature and work out the options for helping. I did what needed to be done. It was ghastly, but I'm still glad I stopped. Before this pandemic began, way back when the world seemed like a different place, many of us were perhaps more easily doing our version of walking past the suffering bird. If we looked away, perhaps we didn't have to see. Along came Covid and the presence of suffering all around us has become unavoidable for anyone who has their eyes open. No country has been spared. Alongside many organisations, the US-based Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion (www.centerformsc.org) stepped up and began offering free online meditation circles for anyone in the world who wished to join. We'd love you to join us. Click below to read more and to find the link to join up.read more
Self-compassion will be mission critical for the weeks ahead – because if we don’t take care of ourselves, we won’t last the distance, and it’s going to be a marathon not a sprint. That means treating ourselves like we would treat someone we love, particularly when we find ourselves struggling or feeling overwhelmed. The phrase “we are in this together” means we ALL matter. One way to practise is to take a ‘self-compassion break.’ Here’s my variation for the current Kiwi Lock Down. Do this whenever you feel like you are struggling. Hopefully in taking care of yourself in this way, you will have more love and patience in the metaphorical tank to give to others.read more
A few weeks ago, just before New Year, I spent an hour or so lost in a big sea, swept several kilometres from shore, holding tightly to my paddle board. I felt very small, very fragile, riding increasingly large ocean swells. A decision to test my new board without checking the conditions found me caught in an escalation of off-shore wind and currents – and in trouble. Eventually I got rescued by the local surf life saving crew in an IRB responding to calls from people who had seen the wind blow up and take me away. I lived to tell the tale. And I sure won’t be going paddle boarding in conditions like that any time soon. So, why am I telling you this? Other than an opportunity for a shout out to the local surf life savers (thanks guys, you’re awesome) what was interesting to me was the realisation that I wasn’t panicked, and I think that’s hands down thanks to my meditation practise ... click below to read more.read more
Practise mindfulness and self-compassion in your daily life
Learn how to handle difficult situations and emotions with greater ease
Learn how to motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
Learn tools to transform challenging relationships
Increase resilience and learn tools to prevent burn-out
Practise the art of savouring and self-appreciation
B.A. PGDipSci, M.Sc (Hons),
PGDip Health Psychology, PH.D