A pilot exploration of heart rate variability and salivary cortisol responses to compassion-focused imagery.
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AbstractThis study measured heart-rate variability and cortisol to explore whether Compassion-Focused Imagery (CFI) could stimulate a soothing affect system. We also explored individual differences (self-reported self-criticism, attachment style and psychopathology) to CFI. Participants were given a relaxation, compassion-focused and control imagery task. While some individuals showed an increase in heart rate variability during CFI, others had a decrease. There was some indication that this was related to peoples self-reports of self-criticism, and attachment style. Those with an increase in heart rate variability also showed a significant cortisol decrease. Hence, CFI can stimulate a soothing affect system and attenuate hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity in some individuals but those who are more self-critical, with an insecure attachment style may require therapeutic interventions to benefit from CFI.
CitationRockliff, H. et al (2008) 'A pilot exploration of heart rate variability and salivary cortisol responses to compassion-focused imagery.', Clinical Neuropsychiatry: Journal of Treatment Evaluation, 5(3), pp. 132-139.
PublisherGiovanni Fioriti Editore
JournalClinical Neuropsychiatry: Journal of Treatment Evaluation
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/