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Sofia Hall - Bulgarian Red Cross

Compassion-based interventions across psychological and health conditions

Castilho, P., Martins, M.J., Barreto-Carvalho, C., Macedo, A., Pereira, A.T., Braehler, C., Gumley, A., Rijo, D., Ribeiro da Silva, D., Brazão, Paulo, M., Miguel, R., Salekin, R., Gilbert, P., Marques, M.1, Azevedo, J., Marques, C., Soares, M.J., Macedo, A, Palmeira, L., Cunha M., Pinto-Gouveia, J.; Carvalho, S., Gillanders, D. Speaker

Compassionate Approach to Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective disorder (COMPASS):  Feasibility results from a clinical trial COMPASS is a 12-session compassion-based group intervention for early psychosis. It comprises three phases: Group as a safe place, Activating the soothing system and developing a compassionate attitude; and Recovery and planning ahead.  A Compassion Therapy based proposal for the treatment of young offenders with psychopathic traits A 20-session program was designed to be delivered in an individualized format. The intervention is organized into four sequential modules: Understanding the human mind; Our mind according to CFT; Compassion mind training; and Recovery, relapse prevention, and termination.  Program MOTHER IN ME (MIM) MIM is a 8-session prevention/early intervention program for perinatal distress. It covers: Psychoeducation (depression, anxiety, and stress; mindfulness competences and benefits; self-compassion); CBT-based exercises; Mindfulness practices and Self-Compassion. Quality-of-life in women with overweight and obesity: the importance of fostering mindfulness, acceptance and self-compassion This RCT aimed at testing the efficacy of a 12-session group intervention that includes mindfulness, ACT and (self)compassion for women with overweight/obesity. Kg-Free targets weight self-stigma, weight-related experiential avoidance and self-criticism.  COMP.ACT: Testing the effect of explicit self-compassion exercises on the efficacy of an ACT group intervention for Chronic Pain – a pilot study This study aims to test the efficacy of an ACT group intervention for CP that integrates explicit self-compassion exercises (COMP.ACT – 8 sessions), compared with a standard ACT intervention (6 sessions) and treat-as-usual.

Author(s):
Discussant: Castilho, P.1
Communication 1: Martins, M.J.1, Barreto-Carvalho, C.1,2, Macedo, A.1, Pereira, A.T.1,
Braehler, C.3, Gumley, A.4, Castilho, P.1
Communication 2: Rijo, D.1, Ribeiro da Silva, D.1, Castilho, P.1, Brazão, N.4, Paulo,
M.1, Miguel, R.1, Salekin, R.5, Gilbert, P.6
Communication 3: Pereira, A.T.1, Marques, M.1, Azevedo, J.1, Marques, C.1, Soares,
M.J.1, Macedo, A.1
Communication 4 (the two last abstracts will be presented in a single communication by
the same presenter – Carvalho, S.):
Part1 - Palmeira, L.1, Cunha M.1, Pinto-Gouveia, J.1;
Part 2 - Carvalho, S.1, Pinto-Gouveia, J.1, Gillanders, D.7, Castilho, P.1

Authors affiliations:
1University of Coimbra, Portugal
2University of Azores, Portugal
3University of California, San Diego, USA
4Gasgow University, UK
5Lusófona University, Portugal
6University of Alabama, USA
7University of Derby, UK
8University of Edinburgh, UK

Compassionate Approach to Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective disorder
(COMPASS): Feasibility results from a clinical trial
Contextual CBT approaches encompass a recovery-based conceptualization of psychotic symptoms. Clinical trials have been emerging with promising results, specifically, regarding compassion-based approaches. The aim of the present study was to develop, implement and explore feasibility and clinical benefits of COMPASS (primary aim: clinical change regarding interpersonal and intrapersonal functionality outcomes; secondary aim: to evaluate potential benefits in psychopathology). The COMPASS intervention is a compassion-based group intervention comprising 12 two-hour group sessions grouped in three phases: Group as a safe place, Activating the soothing system and developing a compassionate attitude; and Recovery and planning ahead. It was based on Compassion-focused Therapy, self-compassion, loving-kindness meditation and mindfulness adaptations for psychosis. Participants with a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder in the critical period were referred by their reference health care provider and assessed with instruments measuring positive and negative symptoms, social functioning, self-criticism and self-reassurance, self-compassion, fears of compassion and general psychopathology. This is an ongoing study. Nevertheless, preliminary results indicate significant improvement in social functioning, positive and negative symptoms, fears of compassion, self-criticism and general psychopathology. The COMPASS program seems to have benefits in several intrapersonal and interpersonal variables that have shown to be important in recovery.

A Compassion Therapy based proposal for the treatment of young offenders with psychopathic traits
Psychopathy, described as a severe condition with several societal costs, has been
historically considered difficult to treat, making urgent to invest in the design of treatment programs specifically tailored for those needs. In line with this, there is growing interest in the development of psychotherapeutic interventions aimed to treat young offenders with psychopathic traits. Though never tested in psychopathy, Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is considered an effective third wave cognitive-behavioral intervention in the treatment of diverse psychopathologies and may be suited for those offenders treatment needs too.
A structured 20-session program was designed to be delivered in an individualized
format. The intervention is organized into four sequential modules – Module I:
Understanding the human mind (2 sessions); Module II: Our mind according to CFT (8
sessions); Module III: Compassion mind training (7 sessions); and Module IV: Recovery, relapse prevention, and termination (3 sessions). The 20-session intervention manual will allow for further outcome research on the efficacy of CFT interventions in reducing maladjustment of young offenders, including its capacity to promote change in psychopathic traits. In the future, it can also work as an evidence-based tool for clinicians working within forensic settings.

Program MOTHER IN ME (MIM)
MIM is a prevention/ early intervention program for perinatal distress. It intends to help pregnant women to develop alternative ways of responding anxiety, stress and depressive symptoms, as well as with worry and rumination. MIM includes psychoeducation, cognitive-behavioral approaches, mindfulness techniques, self-compassion exercises and homework between sessions in order to encourage the everyday use of those tools. The sessions were developed and manualized based in previously MBCT programs, MBSR, MBCP (Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting), Mindful Motherhood, and Self- Compassion exercises, adapting some exercises to pregnant women. The eight sessions cover the following topics: Psychoeducation (regarding depression, anxiety, and stress; and also explaining mindfulness competences and benefits, and self-compassion); Cognitive Behavioral Therapy based exercises (e.g. ABC Sheet; identifying automatic thoughts); Mindfulness practices (e.g. Mountain meditation, three minutes break) and
developing Self-Compassion. At each session participants are offered simple handouts
with relevant definitions and examples; a folder with record and homework sheets,
including meditation instructions. Audio material/recordings are also delivered, to help
home meditation practice between sessions. We will present results of the effectiveness of the program (RCT in progress at the moment; n=48 to date) in lowering the proportions/mean scores of depression and anxiety at the second and sixth months postpartum.

Quality-of-life in women with overweight and obesity: the importance of fostering mindfulness, acceptance and self-compassion
There is growing evidence on the importance of integrating acceptance and mindfulnessbased interventions in chronic health conditions. These types of interventions proved to be effective in reducing weight-stigma, unhealthy eating patterns and weight and increasing physical activity and health-related quality-of- life (QoL) in individuals with obesity. Additionally, self-compassion seems to be especially important for people that struggle with eating and weight issues. This RCT aimed at testing the efficacy of Kg-Free – a 12-session group intervention that includes mindfulness, ACT and (self)compassion components for women with overweight and obesity. Kg-Free was developed to target weight self-stigma, weight-related experiential avoidance and self-criticism and increase wellbeing and QoL. Participants were adult women seeking weight loss treatment (N = 73) with BMI ≥ 25 without binge-eating disorder that were randomly assigned to Kg-Free intervention or Treatment as Usual. Results revealed that the intervention was effective
in reducing weight-stigma, unhealthy eating patterns and improving physical exercise and quality-of-life. Overall, results were maintained at three- and six-months follow-up. COMP.ACT: Testing the effect of explicit self-compassion exercises on the efficacy
of an ACT group intervention for Chronic Pain – a pilot study Evidence of ACT´s efficacy for CP has mounted, and although ACT does not explicitly focus on promoting self-compassion, recent studies have found that changes in selfcompassion
mediated the effect of an ACT intervention on disability and psychopathological symptoms in CP. The current study aims to pilot test the efficacy of an ACT group intervention for CP that integrates explicit self-compassion exercises (COMP.ACT – 8 sessions) and compare it with a standard ACT intervention (6 sessions) and with a control (treat-as-usual). We expect that adding explicit self-compassion
exercises will increase the efficacy of an ACT intervention and expect active conditions
to be more effective than the control condition. This will be tested in a sample of 30 CP
patients who will be randomly assigned into the three conditions. Results from pre- to
post-intervention in several self-report measures (pain intensity, disability, quality of life, patient global impression of change, depressive and anxiety symptoms, mindfulness, acceptance, and self-compassion) will be compared. This study will shed new light on an ongoing discussion regarding the benefits of adding self-compassion exercises to an acceptance-based intervention, contributing to the knowledge on evidence-based interventions for CP.