Evaluation of a compassionate mind training intervention with school teachers and support staff
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractTeacher retention is a key issue facing schools, with stress, student behavior, current competitive policies and practices resulting in many leaving within the first five years of qualification. Consequently, recent in-school research initiatives have focused on resilience training, although the quality of such conducted studies is debated. Drawn from Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), this study set out to explore a six module Compassionate Mind Training (CMT) programme with school staff to improve well-being. As part of their continued professional development, over 70 teachers and support staff took part in the CMT, with a mixed-measures AAB quantitative and qualitative design employed. This enabled us to explore both implementation effectiveness and outcome effectiveness in terms of parameters of well-being. The initiative was well-received with the majority of staff reporting positively on their experiences of the curriculum and practices. Additionally, exercise practice was associated with significant increases in self compassion (p<0.01) and significant decreases in self-criticism (p<0.05). Thematic analyses further revealed benefits of CMT for dealing with emotional difficulties. As a feasibility study, our results demonstrate many benefits of CMT in educational settings. CMT may hold promise as a way of helping those in education counteract the current competition-based nature of education, especially that which contributes to negative changes in well-being. Given this, future research should employ a control group design, a larger sample size and a range of wellbeing measures at follow-up, to fully evaluate the utility of CMT in educational settings.
CitationMaratos, F. A., Montague, J., Ashra, H., Welford, M., Wood, W., Barnes, C., Sheffield, D. & Gilbert, P. (2019) 'Evaluation of a compassionate mind training intervention with school teachers and support staff'. Mindfulness, pp. 1-14. DOI: 10.1007/s12671-019-01185-9.