Compassion Practices



Photo by Shanthi Bhavana

There are almost 4000 citations in the current psychological literature on mindfulness practices and the benefits to emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Extending from the research on mindfulness, there is a burgeoning area of research on Compassionate Care Therapy (CCT) and other compassion-based practices and related topics (i.e., empathy, the greater good, etc.). Research programs such as those at UCLA, Stanford, Harvard, UC Davis, Berkeley and the University of Massechusetts, to name a few, demonstrate that neuroscience is backing up the validity of the contemplative practices that spiritual traditions have espoused for thousands of years.

We are witnessing a shift these days. There is an ever blossoming respect for integrating contemplative psychology and compassion building practices in psychotherapy. It is important that we work with ourselves and with our clients to support coherent narratives and meaning-making around trauma, existential dilemmas, medical issues, and other stressors. While many have incorporated time tested ways of knowing and “being” into their lives and practices regardless of quantifiable validation from external authority, emperical studies are now actively supporting the use of compassion-based, meditative/contemplative practices and imagery in various psychotherapeutic contexts.

Here are a few website references that will assist in aquainting you with some cutting edge science in regard to meditation and compassion-based practices: Chris Germer, Ph.D Kristin Neff, Ph.D. Joan Halifax Roshi  John Brier, Ph.D on Trauma Belleruth Naparstek, LCSW on imagery & military

Documentary Film Suggestion:

The Dhamma Brothers–DVD–Collectors-Edition_p_2575.html




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