kindness
matters

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.    
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"Working with you has changed the most important relationship in my life .. the relationship with myself. For that, I am truly grateful." Vanessa

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speaker

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.

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Psychologist

 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)

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COURSES

 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)

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MSC FIVE-DAY INTENSIVE AT ST FRANCIS RETREAT CENTRE, AUCKLAND FEBRUARY 13-17, 2022. COSTS: $1465.00 RESIDENTIAL /$1095.00 NON-RESIDENTIAL

This is the full MSC course in an intensive five-day format, co-taught by Dr Anna Friis and Mara Elwood. This is a live-in OR day-stay workshop held at St Francis Retreat Centre, Hillsborough in central Auckland, during which the full eight-session MSC course will be taught over four days and one evening. The workshop starts on Sunday, February 13th at 5:00 pm with dinner followed by a two hour introductory session until 8:00 pm. Sessions continue Monday to Thursday. Morning sessions 9.30 to 12.30pm, afternoon sessions 2.30 to 5.30 pm. Lunch 12:30 - 2:30pm with time to enjoy the beautiful St. Francis grounds, relax or join in optional creative arts sessions with Mara. St.Francis has 15 fully catered single rooms available for those wishing to stay onsite - see fees BELOW. Please indicate which option you are requesting (residential or non-residential) when booking - either through link below or by email to anna@annafriis.com

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.

This evidence-based MSC programme 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!  




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featured blog post

Sunday, September 5, 2021

There was a little Blackbird

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.

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Self-Compassion: Mission Critical for Kiwi Lock Down

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.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

LOST AT SEA: MEDITATION ON THE FRONTLINE

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.

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LEarn HOW TO

  • 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



Dr. anna friis Ph.D

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