Changing your Self-Criticism to Self-Compassion

Led by Dr. Ieleen Taylor and sponsored by PFSP

January 31, 2024

On January 31, 2024, Ieleen Taylor, MD CCFP (sponsored by PFSP) led a virtual webinar on self-compassion. Event details are below.

View Dr. Taylor's bio.

  • Are you caught up in “try harder, do better” cycle? Do you feel you can’t keep up/are not good enough/compare yourself to your colleagues and find yourself coming up short?
  • Do others needs routinely come before yours?
  • Do you stay up at night ruminating that you have missed something or made a mistake?

You’re not alone.  Many physicians struggle with a harsh inner critic, perfectionism, and over-functioning.  Cultivating self-compassion is a proven antidote to these strategies that are no longer helpful.

You may think self-compassion seems like it will foster laziness, self-indulgence, self-pity, and selfishness.  It seems like being weak, too easy on yourself, letting yourself off the hook and not holding yourself accountable. However, research shows people with high levels of self-compassion have standards just as high as anyone else, the difference is that they have more of the positive states such as happiness, optimism and life satisfaction and they have improved connections and relationships. They have increased motivation and emotional stability, and they can pick themselves up and try again.

In this interactive experiential session learn and practice techniques for motivating yourself with encouragement rather than self-criticism.

What’s involved:

  • A 90-minute session on Zoom where you are ‘on-camera’ with everyone else in the session to provide a sense of connection and community.
  • Commitment to confidentiality.
  • Guidance through exploring the mental health benefits of self-compassion.
  • Self-reflection, sharing narratives (voluntarily) and your experiences, with the opportunity for collegial discussion.

This may be for you if you:

  • Are receptive to learning from shared wisdom and shared humanity.
  • Are willing to acknowledge to yourself that not practicing enough self-compassion may be impacting you and you’re ready to explore that territory and take some time to do so.
  • Are curious about what it looks like to lean in to self-compassion.
  • Feel tentative about practicing self-compassion.
  • Are interested in the experiencing the mental health benefits proven to result from practicing self-compassion.

It might not be a fit for you if you:

  • Are not ready/comfortable to talk about your feelings and being vulnerable right now.
  • Prefer to go around rather than through the discomfort this may bring up.

If you aren’t sure this is for you:

What you’ll need:

  • Zoom using both audio (headphones improve audio quality) and video.
  • A dedicated quiet place where you will be relatively undisturbed.
  • An item of comfort (a blanket, your pet, a special photograph, your favorite stuffy) to ground you as you explore any difficult emotions.
  • Something to write with.

Dr. Ieleen TaylorIeleen Taylor MD CCFP
Dr. Ieleen Taylor is a clinical lecturer for the University of Alberta and a family physician who has been serving the community of Sylvan Lake for over 20 years. She was the first female physician in Sylvan Lake where she spearheaded bringing learners to that community with that clinic becoming a rural site for a 1-month family medicine block.

Dr. Taylor has been pursuing her passion for wellness and personal development most notably through:

  • Palouse Mindfulness;
  • The Way of the Council from Circles of Resilience;
  • the Remen Institute for the Study of Health & Illness (RISHI);
  • Kristin Neff’s Self-Compassion work;
  • Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction;
  • and dedication to practicing and sharing what she learns.

Notably, the Rural Alberta South Residency program (RAS) has adopted a Reflections in Medicine program that Dr. Taylor led them in developing and launching. For the Rural Alberta North (RAN) family medicine residents, she initiated, developed, and implemented a customized structure for wellbeing groups.

Although born in the tropics, she has learned to embrace the Canadian winters with skiing, movies, and beach holidays.  She lives in the summer village of Jarvis Bay with her 4 almost grown-up girls and their furry friends.

Alberta Medical Association Mission: Advocate for and support Alberta physicians. Strengthen their leadership in the provision of sustainable quality care.