Stammering, spirituality and self-compassion

A man looking at the camera and smiling, with an inset picture of a laptop computer showing a video call in progress

15th February 2023

John Evans, co-founder of the new online group 'Stammering & Spirituality Safe Space' tells us about its story so far.

In the new year we had the very first meeting of our new group. It's where people can talk openly about stammering and spirituality, however they choose to interpret that term. At that first meeting, we shared something of our journeys with each other and the inspiration we have found.


Self-compassion seemed to offer itself as a good framework — it being very much in the air at the moment. Many can see a strong relevance to stammering.

But what is self-compassion? One simple definition is learning to be a good friend to yourself, as opposed to the harsh critic we often are. It has three components: self-kindness, acceptance of our common humanity, and mindfulness.

One simple definition is learning to be a good friend to yourself, as opposed to the harsh critic we often are.

Another term for self-compassion (which one of the movement's founders, Chris Germer, tends to prefer) is 'inner-compassion' — learning how to receive what we need to sustain our inner being. That loving, strengthening force can come from ourselves, as well as from other people and, many believe, from a source of love and power that is beyond all of us and yet always intimately present.

Last time, we introduced some of the components of self-compassion and shared something of how we have learnt to be kind to ourselves and find strength for the journey.

At each meeting, we decide what we are going to talk about — nothing is excluded. However, one idea from the last meeting is to continue with self- (or inner-) compassion and think how it can relate to dealing with that critical voice in our head we live with.

Join us

We are building up a friendly and respectful group — please join us if you can and, if you have enjoyed previous sessions, do spread the word about it. Spirituality is not easy to define, and you are welcome to take part in discussions however you understand spirituality. Everyone will be accepted however they want to talk about it, and whether or not they consider themselves to be 'religious'.

Our next session is over Zoom on Tuesday 21st February at 7pm. If you would like to attend for the first time, or just find out more, please email John & Deborah at

See what other in-person and online groups you can join.

Read a previous article by John, 'The truth will set us free'. Would you like to write something? Email or see our Share Your Story page for more details.