150,752 members

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Network navigation

Impact of Developing Compassion on Pain

Up to Research Forum
July 01. 2015
chris penlington


I am planning a research project to evaluate an 8 week course for pain management based on Mindfulness and Compassion.  One or two pilot studies have been published which suggest that practising lovingkindness or compassion can lead to reductions in pain intensity.  My thinking is that pain often functions as a means to communicate a threat and to motivate our behaviour in relation to this.  However, our automatic reactions and dislike of this pain can cause the pain itself to be experienced as a threat which can cause a cycle to develop which perpetuates and intensifies the pain - developing the ability to allow the pain and bring a compassionate attitude to it can be the start of breaking out of this cycle.  In the 8 week course I aim to combine some didactic sessions about automatic patterns that can arise and their impact along with practice of mindfulness and compassion based exercises.  

I'm interested to know if anybody is working in a similar way, or thinking of doing so?


July 10. 2015
Stephanie Hutton

There is some good evidence for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for pain, a significant component of which is mindfulness as you probably know. I have a new book (as yet unread!) 'The ACT pracititoner's guide to the Science of Compassion' (Tirch et al.) that is hopefullly a good way in to combining compassion based approaches into the mindful aspects of ACT.

July 14. 2015
chris penlington

Thanks - I agree that there is a great deal of similarity between ACT and Mindfulness, and compassion.  Would be great to hear your thoughts on the book when you have read it.


Powered by Ploneboard