Research Update

July 7, 2023 by

Efficacy of a Mindfulness and Compassion-Based Intervention in Psychotherapists

Mindfulness and compassion-based interventions (MCBI) have been shown to positively influence psychotherapy skills and have the potential to improve therapists’ relationships with their patients. In this study, the investigators evaluated the impact of an MCBI on psychotherapists’ mindfulness skills and self-reported empathy, as well as its effect on their patients.   A total of 63 psychotherapists were randomly assigned to an MCBI or a control condition of keeping an empathy diary. The MBCI consisted of eight two-hour sessions that focused on developing mindfulness and compassion skills.  The psychotherapists and their patients (N = 121) completed assessments before and after the MCBI and four months following the intervention. The psychotherapists demonstrated increased psychotherapeutic mindfulness skills after the MCBI and at the four-month follow-up, and self-reported empathy improved at the follow-up. Their patients showed improvements in perceived empathy, therapeutic bond, and symptomatology after the MCBI, and the improvements in symptomatology were maintained for somatization and anxiety at follow-up. Additional analyses indicated that the increases in psychotherapeutic mindfulness skills were associated with improvements in patient-reported psychotherapists’ empathy, which in turn resulted in improvements in therapeutic bonds and patients’ symptomatology. The authors concluded that introducing MCBI in psychotherapists’ training can be beneficial and may lead to improved patient outcomes.

Garrote-Caparros E, Lecuona O, Bellosta-Batalla M, Moya-Albiol L, Cebolla A. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training. 60(2):182-193, 2023.

Filed Under: News and Notes