Welcome to Self-Compassion from a Decolonial Context Program:

When:  Saturday, June 15th 10-11:30 am PST, 8 Weeks
Where: Live Online, Zoom Video Meeting
Registration: $450.

Self-Compassion Test - Self-Compassion

There are three parts to Self-Compassion: Self-Kindness vs Self-Criticism. Common Humanity vs Isolation. Mindfulness vs Over-identification. Take a brief true-false self-compassion quiz. If you answered false to any of the items, you may benefit from this program.  

Resources: Neff, K. D. (2003). Development and validation of a scale to measure self-compassion. Self and Identity, 2, 223-250. Raes, et al. (2011). Construction and factorial validation of a short form of the Self-Compassion Scale. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy. 18, 250-255.


Self-Compassion Program. The root of our historical trauma is a deep disconnection from our personal and collective humanity. This disconnection manifests in a variety of ways such as collective and self-abandonment, loneliness, inappropriate competitiveness, aggressiveness, existential anguish, and other forms of suffering. Our separation from our historical heritage, land, language, rituals, and ceremonies has contributed to this disconnection. Our history has been concealed and forbidden, leading to a sense of division from who we are and each other, as well as from our ancestors and our humanity. This program aims to awaken us from this trance-like state and help us realize that, at our core, we all belong to the same beauty. We will discover how to translate the potential we feel we have into our actions and learn to integrate the parts of ourselves that we have been taught to cast aside.

Throughout the 8-week program, we will learn self-compassion within our socio-political context to enable us to connect more authentically with ourselves, others, and our planet. Self-compassion is a well-researched practice that has proven to be effective across diverse populations in reducing stress, depression, anxiety, and trauma-related symptoms while increasing overall health.

I hope that you will join on this journey to connect with your innate wisdom and create a life worth living for yourself and others.

Suggested Readings While Taking this Class:

  • Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Chris Germer (or Self-Compassion by Kristen Kneff)

  • Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook by Kristen Kneff and Chris Germer.

  • Writings for a Liberation Psychology by Ignacio Martin-Baro

What will you learn in the Self-Compassion program?

  • How to soothe painful and intense emotions

  • How to cultivate a more supportive attitude towards yourself

  • How to motivate yourself without being critical

  • How to nourish your relationships

  • How to be more balance in your daily life

  • How to develop "conciencia crítica" or critical thinking on social-political issues both personally and collectively

Session 1: Introduction to Self-Compassion and Colonization. Together we will explore the scientific information about self-compassion while providing you with an experiential opportunity to begin practicing self-compassion. We will begin to cultivate the loving and kind part of yourself that I like to call the liberator self – as opposed to the inner colonizer. We will connect concepts of self-compassion and colonization.

Session 2: Practicing Mindfulness. In this session, we will explore how self-compassion can help you be more present to your inner experience: thoughts, feelings, and sensations in your body. We will explore surviving versus thriving generationally. We will also explore dominant narratives that can prevent us from cultivating self-compassion. Polyvagal exercises will be provided. 

Session 3: Practicing Loving-Kindness. In this session, we will explore offering compassion to ourselves and others especially in difficult and painful times such as the unfair and unequal policies and laws enacted by our government, historically and presently. Somatic exercises help you strengthen your connection to your body. We will also practice mindful breathing to help us find peace and balance. Finally, we will reflect on our experience and consider how we can use this love and kindness to create a more just society.

Session 4: Practicing Loving-Kindness. In this session, we will explore how self-compassion is connected to the concept of interdependence while also challenging the overvalue of independence/dependence themes in our social systems.  Finally, we will practice a loving-kindness meditation to help us cultivate a sense of interconnectedness. 

Session 5: Cultivating Compassion with Cyclical Time. We will explore the space between linear time and cyclical time as it relates to our compassion for ourselves. How to embrace cyclical time in our daily lives. We will also discuss the spiritual implications of embracing cyclical times and how to cultivate a sense of balance in our lives. 

Session 6: Compassionately Empowered. In this session, we will learn how to embody our personal power and compassion by deeply exploring activities that deplete us and activities that nourish us. We will explore the power of power personally and collectively. Somatic Exercises will be offered to recognize our own power and use it to create an environment for growth and positive change.

Session 7: Cultivating Compassion with Uncomfortable Emotions. In this session, we will learn how to cultivate a more balanced relationship with our difficult emotions, especially shame.  We will explore socio -political historical shame. We will explore common triggers of shame and experiential exercises to recognize, reconnect and nourish this part of ourselves.

Session 8: Compassionately Connected to Life. We will also allow time for questions and answers and conclude with a group reflection. We will also discuss ways to continue to develop compassion and connection in your life. Finally, we will provide you with experiential exercises to support your continued growth and give feedback to each other.

Weekly Format:

- Grounding/Somatic/Meditation

- PowerPoint presentation

- Exploring our responses to the material presented

- Closing remarks

- Handouts will be given each week to guide your practice

Instructor: Dr. Brenda Liliana Gandara, PHD a psychologist in private practice in Orange County, received her Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Texas A&M University. She is a bilingual psychology expert for Lionbridge where she helps adapt manuals and clinical studies to be appropriate for the Spanish speaking culture in the United States. She has worked in hospitals, schools, prisons, with the homeless, and as a private psychologist in her own business. She has formally studied mindfulness for over many years in fact her dissertation explored self-compassion. She has taught decolonization of the mental health field for mental health professionals.

Educational Service: Please note that the information provided in this series is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace clinical medical or psychological care, and you should always consult a healthcare professional for guidance specific to your case. Engaging in this material does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. By using this information, you take full responsibility for any consequences or actions resulting from your activities in these series.



  • $450 to register for this class. After payment is received, you will be sent an appointment with Dr. Gandara for a 15-minute consultation to explore if this class is appropriate for your needs.

  • Sponsorship Opportunity. Feel free to reach out if you would like to sponsor someone in need.

  • No Refunds