What is compassion, how does it affect the quality of our lives and how can we develop compassion for ourselves and others?
Humans are capable of extreme cruelty but also considerable compassion. Often neglected in Western psychology, this book looks at how compassion may have evolved, and is linked to various capacities such as sympathy, empathy, forgiveness and warmth. Exploring the effects of early life experiences with families and peers, this book outlines how developing compassion for self and others can be key to helping people change, recover and develop ways of living that increase well-being.
Focusing on the multi-dimensional nature of compassion, international contributors:
- explore integrative evolutionary, social constructivist, cognitive and Buddhist approaches to compassion
- consider how and why cruelty can flourish when our capacities for compassion are turned off, especially in particular environments
- focus on how therapists bring compassion into their therapeutic relationship, and examine its healing effects
- describe how to help patients develop inner warmth and compassion to help alleviate psychological problems.
Compassion provides detailed outlines of interventions that are of particular value to psychotherapists and counsellors interested in developing compassion as a therapeutic focus in their work. It is also of value to social scientists interested in pro-social behaviour, and those seeking links between Buddhist and Western psychology.
Table of Contents
Part I: Conceptualisations and Research. Gilbert, Introduction and Outline. Gilbert, Compassion and Cruelty: A Biopsychosocial Approach. Wang, A Conceptual Framework for Integrating Research Related to the Physiology of Compassion and the Wisdom of Buddhist Teachings. Gillath, Shaver, Mikulincer, An Attachment-theoretical Approach to Compassion and Altruism. Bierhoff, The Psychology of Compassion and Prosocial Behaviour. Worthington Jr., O' Connor, Berry, Sharp, Murray, Yi, Compassion and Forgiveness: Implications for Psychotherapy. Part II: Compassion and Use in Psychotherapy. Leahy, A Social-cognitive Model of Validation. Rinpoche, Mullen, The Buddhist Use of Compassionate Imagery in Mind Healing. Allen, Knight, Mindfulness, Compassion for Self, and Compassion for Others: Implications for Understanding the Psychopathology and Treatment of Depression. Gilbert, Irons, Focused Therapies and Compassionate Mind Training for Shame and Self-attacking. Lee, The Perfect Nurturer: A Model to Develop a Compassionate Mind Within the Context of Cognitive Therapy. Hackman, Compassionate Imagery in the Treatment of Early Memories in Axis I Anxiety Disorders. Bates, The Expression of Compassion in Group Cognitive Therapy.
'It opens up the connections between the cognitive, the humanistic and the Buddhist in a remarkable way... a very useful book for anyone who wanted to introduce humanistic or transpersonal imagery techniques into the medical NHS context.' - John Rowan, BACP North London Magazine
'Gilbert’s Compassion is a landmark publication. It represents a courageous and visionary endeavour to produce an edited volume that integrates Buddhism with scientific psychology.' - PsycCRITIQUES
'Paul Gilbert's edited volume, Compassion: Conceptualisations, Research and Use in Psychotherapy is a significant and timely addition to the canon of cognitive-behavioral practice literature....This text demonstrates the power and possibility of cognitive therapy as it address and integrates innovations and frontiers both recent and ancient...Any therapist interested in exploring the frontiers of the cognitive-behavioral tradition would be well advised to place this text quite high on their reading list.' - Dennis Tirch, Ph.D., American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, CBTBR 2006, Vol.2, No. 8
'Compassion acts as a wedge, opening the door to a more intrapersonal and enlightening lifestyle... it will open minds to new possibilities and may even put a smile on reader's faces' - British Journal of Guidance and Counselling