The development and evaluation of a flexible training course “understanding and developing compassion”



Laidlaw A, Hunter J, Turvey T, Stillman M, Warren R & Ozakinci G (2014) The development and evaluation of a flexible training course “understanding and developing compassion”. Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies, 14 (2), pp. 149-157.

Compassion is becoming a focus for psycho-educational training courses and has been linked to better education and employment outcomes. Higher education can be a stressful period and is often a time when mental wellbeing difficulties develop. The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a compassion focused therapy training course for use within the higher education context. The course was evaluated in the short and medium term using self-report questionnaires measuring self-compassion, self-criticism, academic self efficacy, and psychological distress, as well as interviews. A small sample size (n=9) limited the interpretation of findings. Improvements in self-compassion, self-criticism, and academic self efficacy were observed both immediately, at a six-month follow-up. However, a small increase in psychological distress was also observed. The training course was acceptable to all participants, with practice and feedback from all participants being the elements cited as most useful. Further research, with a larger sample size, which examines the impact of compassion focused training on academic grades and wellbeing is required.

compassion-focussed therapy; mindfulness; wellbeing; higher education student; invention;

cited By 0

FundersUniversity of St Andrews
Publication date30/09/2014
Date accepted by journal01/11/2014
Publisher URL…ping-compassion/
ISSN2360 – 0853

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Professor Gozde Ozakinci

Professor Gozde Ozakinci

Professor and Deputy Dean of Faculty, Psychology