We developed a novel compassion-focused training (mindfulness-based compassionate living; MBCL) and examined its effects in a heterogeneous psychiatric outpatient population with regard to feasibility and changes in levels of depression, anxiety, mindfulness and compassion. The training consisted of nine weekly 2.5-h sessions. Thirty-three patients, who had followed a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program or a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) program beforehand, participated in the study (mean age 48.1 years; 82 % female). Participants completed self-report questionnaires before and directly after the MBCL training. Levels of depression, but not of anxiety, reduced, and levels of mindfulness and self-compassion increased. Serious limitations of this study are the small sample size, the lack of a control group and the fact that about half of the participants did not complete the posttraining questionnaires. However, we determined that it is feasible to conduct further research on this novel MBCL training program as a basis for more robust empirical investigation in the future, more specifically examining the effects of MBCL and preferably also the underlying working mechanisms.
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Bartels-Velthuis, A.A., Schroevers, M.J., van der Ploeg, K. et al. Mindfulness (2016) 7: 809. doi:10.1007/s12671-016-0518-8