Donna Mosher, MC
Mindful Self-Compassion Certified Instructor
Who I am at this time of my life has been influenced so greatly by mindful self-compassion that it takes my breath away. Much of my early life consisted of staying under the radar, playing small and keeping safe–that my current life expansiveness actually does invite a deeper inhale that is infused with a sense of gratitude. Having grown up with a very harsh inner critic that seemed to only grow more stringent with the passage of time, I was immediately captivated in 2013 when I learned about Mindful Self-Compassion. Hearing that it’s practices and meditations were skillfully designed to rein in that inner critic and provide the means to create a loving, warm and safe inner environment, I felt called right away to enroll in a training intensive that was followed up shortly with teacher training.
I began teaching the 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion program to diverse groups of students and community members at Paradise Valley Community College. Being a Residential Counseling Faculty member at PVCC, my focus was on working with adults returning to education who were experiencing major life transition. Very often these transitions included divorce, grief that comes with the loss of a loved one, re-careering, health challenges and relationship issues. Mindful Self-Compassion’s empirically validated practices are especially suited to navigate the turbulent waters of transitions like these. So often when we face really tough times like these we wonder what’s wrong with us that we’re suffering like this? When, in reality, if we’re alive in a human body on this planet, we will all experience suffering, no one is exempt. We come to know at a deep level that suffering is part of our shared common humanity and that the very best thing we can do at these times is treat ourselves with deep compassion. It’s inspiring to me what we as humans can do when we learn to treat ourselves with warmth and kindness. I feel honored by the precious and sacred opportunity that I have as a counselor to facilitate this process.
My vision is to bring the healing practices of Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) to a wider audience. My path has led me to become a Certified MSC Instructor and to join the outstanding group of practitioners at Optimal You. I feel a growing commitment to live my life in ways that embody the core values of kindness and compassion in ever deepening ways. Won’t you join me?
“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” Christopher Germer
Donna earned a Master’s degree in Counseling from Arizona State University and completed work toward Doctoral studies at The Fielding Institute. Extensive counseling experience at Paradise Valley Community College gave Donna the foundational expertise to work with individuals as well as a deep regard for human potential.
Services I Provide (See Descriptions Below)
Description of Services
Mindful Self-Compassion Training
I provide Mindful Self-Compassion Training both individually and within group settings.
I regularly hold Mindful Self-Compassion workshops. Contact me for information on current offerings.
Self-compassion can be defined as learning to treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend when they suffer, fall short or fail in some way.
The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to our essential interrelatedness, so that we know we aren’t alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warm-hearted, connected presence.
Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now… How can I comfort and care for myself in this moment? Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect? You may try to change in ways that allow you to be more healthy and happy, but this is done because you care about yourself, not because you are worthless or unacceptable as you are. Perhaps most importantly, having compassion for yourself means that you honor and accept your humanness. Things will not always go the way you want them to. You will encounter frustrations, losses will occur, you will make mistakes, bump up against your limitations, fall short of your ideals. This is the human condition, a reality shared by all of us. The more you open your heart to this reality instead of constantly fighting against it, the more you will be able to feel compassion for yourself and all your fellow humans in the experience of life.
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), an empirically-supported training program based on the pioneering research of Kristin Neff and the clinical perspective of Christopher Germer. MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.
Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships.
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone
who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself,
and that person is not to be found anywhere.
You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe
deserve your love and affection.”
Life Transitions Counseling
Change and Transition are different.
Change is situational; it is the external event that is taking place, a new strategy, a change in leadership, a merger or a new product. The organization focuses on the outcome that the change will produce, which is generally in response to external events. It can happen very quickly.
Transition is the inner psychological process that people go through as they internalize and come to terms with the new situation that the change brings about. The starting point for dealing with transition is not the outcome but the endings that people have in leaving the old situation behind. Getting people through transition is essential if the change is actually to work as planned.
Transition starts with an ending. This is paradoxical but true. This first phase of transition begins when people identify what they are losing and learn how to manage these losses. They determine what is over and being left behind, and what they will keep. These may include relationships, processes, team members or locations.
The second step comes after letting go: the neutral zone. People go through an in-between time when the old is gone but the new isn’t fully operational. It is when the critical psychological realignments and repatternings take place. It is the very core of the transition process. This is the time between the old reality and sense of identity and the new one. People are creating new processes and learning what the new roles will be, but it’s in flux and doesn’t feel comfortable yet. It is the seedbed of the new beginnings that are sought.
Beginnings involve new understandings, new values and attitudes. Beginnings are marked by a release of energy in a new direction – they are an expression of a fresh identity. Well-managed transition allows people to establish in new roles with an understanding of their purpose, the part they play, and how to contribute and participate most effectively. They are reoriented and renewed.
“There is one constant in life: change.
Whether you choose it or it is thrust upon you,
change brings both opportunities and turmoil.”
– William Bridges
(The above information was taken from www.wmbridges.com)
Donna has over 25 years experience leading both individuals and groups step by step through the three stages of any transition: The Ending, The Neutral Zone, and, eventually, The New Beginning.
Grief Recovery Method
Are you suffering from a broken heart?
Did a death, divorce, or the end of a romantic relationship cause it? Or was it caused by any of the forty other losses that a person might experience such as moving, pet loss, or a change in finances? Regardless of the cause, you know how you feel and it probably isn’t good. You might feel sad, distracted, or confused. You are not alone. The Grief Recovery Method has been helping people feel better following a loss for 40 years.
We aren’t going to tell you, “We know how you feel,” because we don’t. Neither does anyone else. What we will do is provide a safe environment where you will be given specific tools to help you recover from loss and ultimately lead a happier life.
Grief is the normal and natural emotional response to loss, but most of the information we’ve learned about dealing with loss is intellectual. Although working through the Grief Recovery Method involves some educational elements, effective Grief Recovery must deal with your broken heart, which requires emotional support instead of intellectual explanations.
Myths about Grief
Time heals all wounds
Replace the loss
Don’t feel bad
People say you have to let go and move on in your life, but they don’t tell you how. The Grief Recovery Method, developed and refined over the past 30 years, teaches you how to recover from loss with supportive guidance every step of the way.
Who Is It For
The Grief Recovery Method is for anyone who has experienced any kind of loss.
Is it Ever Too Soon to Start Grief Recovery
No! It is never too soon to address your grief. If you broke your leg would you wait to call the doctor? Then why wait to get help when you break your heart? You’ve probably heard that time heals all wounds. That piece of misinformation creates the idea that you just have to wait to feel better. We have known people who have waited ten, twenty, thirty, and forty years, and still didn’t feel better. And they would tell you that not only had time not healed them, but also it compounded the pain. It’s not time that heals, but what you do within time.
A Grief Recovery Method Specialist assists you to look at your old beliefs about dealing with loss, which losses have affected your life, and take actions that will lead you to complete unresolved emotions that may still be causing you pain.
Don’t wait any longer. Time alone will not heal your broken heart.
(The above information was taken from www.griefrecoverymethod.com)
“Mindfulness” describes a mental state of nonjudgmental attention to and awareness of the present moment -- along with calm acknowledgment of feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations as they arise. Mindfulness can also describe a type of meditation practice which cultivates this awareness, a quality all human beings possess.
According to Mindful.org, “mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”
Mindfulness meditation comes from early Buddhist traditions over 2500 years old, developed to foster
- clear thinking
- open-heartedness, and
- the alleviation of suffering
Despite its Buddhist origins, mindfulness meditation requires no special religious or cultural belief system. In fact, Jon-Kabat-Zinn PhD is internationally known for bringing these practices to the West – creating a research-based program called “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” that has benefited people from all walks of life. This program has been a helpful ancillary form of treatment for many patients with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, anxiety, psoriasis, and other chronic conditions caused or exacerbated by modifiable lifestyle factors.
This is a way of having a look at our struggles from a unique perspective. Our personal history is a story we tell ourselves. This story creates our identity and sense of purpose. Sometimes we have chosen to tell a story that has kept us stuck in some way in our lives. By utilizing techniques such as journaling or retelling our stories we can narrate our stories in a different way. We can use the strengths and skills we have found along the way to look at our problems and struggles and create new chapters and solutions to lead us forward in our lives.
All Optimal You professionals apply some form of mindfulness principles or practice in their work.
It only takes a reminder to breathe,
a moment to be still, and just like that,
something in you settles, softens, makes
space for imperfection. The harsh voice
of judgment drops to a whisper and you
remember again that life isn’t a relay
race; that waking up to life is what we
were born for. As many times as you
forget, catch yourself charging forward,
that many times you can make the choice
to stop, to breathe, to be, and to walk
slowly into the mystery.
Cell Phone: 602-689-0801
Wednesdays by appointment
$120 – $150
(50 minute session)
I don’t take insurance but can provide a super bill for out-of-network providers
24 hours or more advance notice is required of a cancelled appointment or client will be billed for 50 minute session
Cash, check or credit card