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Receiving Compassion From Your Ideal Other

Receiving Compassion From Your Ideal Other is an exercise taken from the Psychology Tools For Developing Self-Compassion audio collection. There are three ‘flows’ of compassion: having compassion for others, receiving compassion from others, and having compassion for yourself. In this exercise, the listener visualized and interacts with the image of their compassionate other, who responds to them with care and kindness.

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  • English (US)

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Audio track (MP3)

A therapy audio track designed for skills development.

Audio script (PDF)

The script for a therapy audio track. Read along with an exercise, or record in your own voice.

Description

There are three ‘flows’ of compassion: having compassion for others, receiving compassion from others, and having compassion for yourself. These flows are not all the same, and some people may find one flow easy and yet struggle with others. Practicing each of the flows of compassion can develop and strengthen our compassionate minds, and can helps us to understand more about our fears and blocks to compassion. Doing compassionate mind training exercises has also been shown to measurably reduce distress, shame, and self-criticism, as well as increasing wellbeing and happiness.

Receiving Compassion From Your Ideal Other is an exercise taken from the Psychology Tools For Developing Self-Compassion audio collection. Receiving compassion is not an entirely passive skill, as it may require us to seek it out (or become open to receiving it) when we’re distressed or struggling. Some people find it relatively easy to offer compassion to others, but struggle to accept compassion from others. It is this openness to compassion from others that can be explored using this exercise, in which the listener imagines a compassionate other, who responds to them with care and kindness. The Developing Your Compassionate Other exercise earlier in this collection is designed to help you construct this image.

Instructions

The Psychology Tools For Developing Self-Compassion audio collection is for anyone who wants to learn more about the ideas and practices of compassion focused therapy. It has been designed to be versatile, so it is suitable to support work with therapists who have been trained in compassion focused therapy, or to be used as a stand-alone collection of exercises. To assist the integration of the exercises into their clinical work, therapists can download the scripts for each exercise and use them in-session.

 Individual tracks from the audio collection can be downloaded as .MP3 files, which can be played in most media player apps. 

The simplest way to share an audio track with your clients is by using the Psychology Tools ‘Email a client’ function. After obtaining their consent, you can send it directly from this page by clicking ‘Send securely to my client’. Your client will receive a secure email containing a unique link, and when they click the link, they will be prompted to download the .MP3 file onto their device.

References

  • Gilbert, P. (2014). The origins and nature of compassion focused therapy. British Journal of Clinical Psychology53(1), 6-41.
  • Gilbert, P. (2020). Compassion: From its evolution to a psychotherapy. Frontiers in Psychology, 3123.
  • Irons, C., & Beaumont, E. (2017). The compassionate mind workbook: A step-by-step guide to developing your compassionate self. Robinson.
  • Irons, C., & Heriot‐Maitland, C. (2021). Compassionate Mind Training: An 8‐week group for the general public. Psychology and psychotherapy: Theory, research and practice94(3), 443-463.
  • Leboeuf, I., Andreotti, E., Irons, C., Beaumont, E., & Antoine, P. (2022). A randomized controlled study of a French compassionate mind training. Mindfulness13(11), 2891-2903.
  • Savari, Y., Mohagheghi, H., & Petrocchi, N. (2021). A preliminary investigation on the effectiveness of compassionate mind training for students with major depressive disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Mindfulness12(5), 1159-1172.