Commentary Regarding Wilson et al. (2018) 'Effectiveness of ‘Self-Compassion’ Related Therapies: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” All Is Not as It Seems
AffiliationCompassionate Mind Research Group, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane 4072, Australia
The University of Derby, Derby, UK
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AbstractThis commentary paper reviews the recently made claims by Wilson et al. (Mindfulness, 2018) from their meta-analysis of what they call self-compassion therapies. They argue that a range of different therapy modalities can be classified as self-compassion therapies, including compassion-focused therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness-based interventions. The results from their meta-analyses found that these self-compassion therapies were effective at increasing self-compassion and reducing depressive and anxiety symptoms. This meta-analysis also found that self-compassion-related therapies did not produce better outcomes than active control conditions. This indicates that such self-compassion therapies are unlikely to have any specific effect over and above the general benefits of any active treatment. We will indicate a number of reasons why this conclusion is not warranted. We first contextualise what is meant by compassion-focused therapies, and we then discuss four key concerns: (1) the heterogeneity and classification of the “self-compassion therapies”; (2) the measure used to assess self-compassion; (3) the comparison to the active control conditions; and (4) the inaccurate comments made about the Kirby et al. (Behavior Therapy, 2017b) meta-analysis. Although it is encouraging to see the increasing number of randomised controlled trials, and now meta-analyses of compassion-focused therapies, the conclusions made by Wilson et al. (Mindfulness, 2018) in their meta-analysis are misleading.
CitationKirby, J.N. and Gilbert, P., (2019). 'Commentary Regarding Wilson et al.(2018)“Effectiveness of ‘Self-Compassion’Related Therapies: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” All Is Not as It Seems'. Mindfulness, pp.1-11. DOI: 10.1007/s12671-018-1088-8.