Being kind to yourself changes your brain and increases emotional resilience.
Being kind to others changes the world.

DR Anna Friis 

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 (, 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)


CORE skills in self-compassion training at mana retreat
Jan 29 - 31, 2021

This workshop is a great introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), and a great review for those that have previously taken the course. Based on the empirically-supported training program pioneered by Chris Germer and Kristin Neff. Participants of this two-day workshop will learn the core skills of the MSC training, which is designed to cultivate self-compassion using meditation, daily life practices, talks, group exercises and discussion. MSC combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion to enhance our capacity for emotional wellbeing. By the end of the workshop participants will be able to:
Identify the three key components of self-compassion
Describe relevant research that supports the benefits of self-compassion
Practice techniques to increase self-compassion in everyday life
Use self-compassion to alleviate caregiver burnout.
By connecting with your natural capacity for kindness toward suffering, you can develop healthy, enduring patterns of relating to all of life’s circumstances. This workshop is relevant for the general public as well as practicing mental health professionals.

learn more

featured blog post

Monday, November 16, 2020

On Being Embodied: Feeling what’s Feel-able

Often in Mindful Self-Compassion training (MSC) we are called to get out of heads and into our bodies, to notice when we are caught up in thinking and to drop into feelings; in other words to feel what’s feel-able. When we tune into our bodies, we access what is true, what is present. Our emotions, be they subtle whispers or powerful floods of energy, never lie, they are never wrong, even if they are difficult or hard to bear. They have a purpose and a process, sometimes fleeting, sometimes long-lingering. Leaning in to our embodied experience, being open to that exquisite information source and being guided by its wisdom is a powerful practise that truly serves us as individuals and as practitioners and teachers of mindful self-compassion.

read more
Monday, January 13, 2020

Unbusy Yourself: There's no Time to Waste

This summer, for the first time in what feels like way too long, I have spent day after day just with myself and my beloved. Real conversations have unfolded. We have had time and space, and felt expansive and safe enough to say things that needed saying, and loving enough to hear them with an open heart. We have learned wonderful new things about each other after all these years together. We’ve had real fun. We noticed how when days slow right down, they become curiously full. Turns out there is a lot going on when we unbusy ourselves. ... click below to read more.

read more
Wednesday, January 16, 2019


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

show me how

what is Self-Compassion? 

Ultimately, self-compassion is a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-denial, or self-absorption. Anna is an experienced teacher of self-compassion, drawing on many years of personal and professional practise.

Dr. anna friis Ph.D

Health Psychologist
B.A. PGDipSci, M.Sc (Hons),
PGDip Health Psychology, PH.D