• An exploration of group-based compassion focused therapy for a heterogeneous range of clients presenting to a community mental health team.

      Judge, Lorna; Cleghorn, Ailish; McEwan, Kirsten; Gilbert, Paul; Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow; Kingsway Hospital, Derby (Guilford Press, 2012-12)
      This study explored the benefits of a group-based compassion-focused therapy approach in a heterogeneous group of clients presenting with severe and enduring mental health difficulties to a community mental health team. Seven groups with an average of five clients per group were run over 12–14 weeks. The format of the group followed the procedures of explaining the evolutionary model, formulating client problems within the compassion-focused therapy model, introducing clients to the core practices of compassionate training, and using compassion based interventions to address core difficulties. Questionnaires were completed pre- and post intervention: Self-criticism, shame, depression, anxiety, and stress. Significant reductions were found for depression, anxiety, stress, self-criticism, shame, submissive behavior, and social comparison post intervention. Of importance, at pre-intervention the majority of patients were in the severe category of depression scores. At the end of therapy the majority were in the borderline category. A combination of self-report data and client feedback suggests that compassion focused therapy is easily understood, well-tolerated, seen as helpful and produces significant changes in objective measures of mental health difficulties in naturalistic settings.