A pilot feasibility study exploring the practising of compassionate imagery exercises in a nonclinical population

Psychol Psychother. 2016 Jun;89(2):239-43. doi: 10.1111/papt.12078. Epub 2015 Oct 10.


This study assessed the acceptability of practising compassionate imagery as an online task without clinician support. Participants completed questionnaires at baseline, after, and 6 months of follow-up. Participants engaged safely and successfully with the tasks. There were significant improvements in questionnaire scores which were largely maintained over 6 months.

Practitioner points: People can practise compassionate imagery tasks in an unsupervised way from online recordings and not suffer adverse effects (even with higher baseline scores in self-criticism). Compassionate imagery recordings may be used as an adjunct to improve traditional psychotherapy.

Keywords: compassion; depression; imagery; self-criticism.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depression / therapy
  • Empathy*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Self-Assessment
  • Students
  • United Kingdom
  • Universities
  • Young Adult