CTAMFT Science of Compassion Materials

Below are the resources I prepared for my keynote at the 2014 CTAMFT. Enjoy!

PDFs of Slide Shows:

NeuroCompassionWorkshop2014COLORSLIDES (best format for viewing on a screen/device)

NeuroCompassionWorkshop2014HANDOUTFORMAT (slides in printable, 6-slides-per-page format)


Guided Meditations/Practice MP3s/Written Exercises:

Breath Focus  MP3 (instructions for practice followed by 3 5-min intervals marked by meditation bowl ringing, for up to 15-min practice)

Tonglen MP3 (an integrated compassion and self-compassion meditation practice led by Kelly McGonigal for the Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training)

Self Compassion Letter Writing Exercise (word doc) — exercise used in Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training

Values Affirmation Writing Exercise (word doc) — exercise used in Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training

Full scientific reports of some of the studies mentioned in the keynote, and supporting readings:

Compassion: An Evolutionary Analysis and Empirical Review (Goetz et al. 2010)

A Heuristic Model of Enactive Compassion (Halifax 2012)

Enhancing Compassion: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Compassion Cultivation Training Program (Jazaeri et al. 2012)

Fears of Compassion: Development of Three Self-Report Measures (Gilbert 2011)

Functional Neural Plasticity and Associated Changes in Positive Affect after Compassion Training (Klimecki et al. 2012)

Universal Dimensions of Social Cognition: Warmth and Competence (Fiske, Cuddy, & Glick 2007)

The Neural Basis of Empathy (Bernhardt & Singer 2012)

The Science of Self-Compassion A review chapter by self-compassion researcher Kristin Neff, from the book Compassion and Wisdom in Psychotherapy

Links to Relevant Readings/Organizations/Resources:

The Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (includes many videos of compassion-related talks, research papers, and other resources)

The Compassionate Mind Foundation (includes scales/surveys for practice and research, published studies, training manuals, and more)

Self-compassion.org (the website of self-compassion researcher Kristin Neff, which includes a page with links to all published research on self-compassion)


Kelly McGonigal’s Books/Programs

If you are interested in extended guided meditations (mindfulness, self-compassion, compassion etc.) as well as the science of self-compassion, meditation, and behavior change, I recommend my 6-session audio course with Sounds True, The Neuroscience of Change: A Compassion-Based Program for Personal Transformation.

I also taught a related but distinct 6-session live video course through Sounds True called Choose to Change, and you can now access the on-demand version of all class materials (videos, 6 guided meditation MP3s, and self-reflection/”homework” exercises) through Sounds True. Healthcare/psychology professionals can receive 6 hrs of continuing education for taking this course online.

The Willpower Instinct (Avery 2012) describes the science of self-control and how it can be applied to you own goals and challenges. It is based on my Stanford University course “The Science of Willpower.”

If you are interested in sample yoga sequences and scripts for meditation/breathing exercises appropriate for beginners, people dealing with physical pain or health challenges, or those interested in cultivating mindfulness and self-compassion through yoga practice, I recommend my book Yoga for Pain Relief (New Harbinger 2009).


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