A pilot study and randomized controlled trial of the mindful self-compassion program

J Clin Psychol. 2013 Jan;69(1):28-44. doi: 10.1002/jclp.21923. Epub 2012 Oct 15.


Objectives: The aim of these two studies was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program, an 8-week workshop designed to train people to be more self-compassionate.

Methods: Study 1 was a pilot study that examined change scores in self-compassion, mindfulness, and various wellbeing outcomes among community adults (N = 21; mean [M] age = 51.26, 95% female). Study 2 was a randomized controlled trial that compared a treatment group (N = 25; M age = 51.21; 78% female) with a waitlist control group (N = 27; M age = 49.11; 82% female).

Results: Study 1 found significant pre/post gains in self-compassion, mindfulness, and various wellbeing outcomes. Study 2 found that compared with the control group, intervention participants reported significantly larger increases in self-compassion, mindfulness, and wellbeing. Gains were maintained at 6-month and 1-year follow-ups.

Conclusions: The MSC program appears to be effective at enhancing self-compassion, mindfulness, and wellbeing.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Boston
  • Empathy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Self Concept*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires