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29-06-2019 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 11/2019 Open Access

Mindfulness 11/2019

Evaluation of a Compassionate Mind Training Intervention with School Teachers and Support Staff

Mindfulness > Uitgave 11/2019
Frances A. Maratos, Jane Montague, Hajra Ashra, Mary Welford, Wendy Wood, Christopher Barnes, David Sheffield, Paul Gilbert
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12671-019-01185-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Teacher retention is a key issue facing schools, with stress, student behavior, current competitive policies, and practices resulting in many leaving within the first 5 years of qualification. Consequently, recent in-school research initiatives have focused on resilience training, although the quality of such conducted studies is debated. Drawn from compassion-focused therapy (CFT), this study set out to explore a six-module compassionate mind training (CMT) program with school staff to improve well-being.


As part of their continued professional development, over 70 teachers and support staff took part in the CMT, with a mixed-measures AAB quantitative and qualitative design employed. This enabled us to explore both implementation effectiveness and outcome effectiveness in terms of parameters of well-being.


The initiative was well received with the majority of staff reporting positively on their experiences of the curriculum and practices. Additionally, exercise practice was associated with significant increases in self-compassion (p < 0.01) and significant decreases in self-criticism (p < 0.05). Thematic analyses further revealed benefits of CMT for dealing with emotional difficulties.


As a feasibility study, our results demonstrate many benefits of CMT in educational settings. CMT may hold promise as a way of helping those in education counteract the current competition-based nature of education, especially that which contributes to negative changes in well-being. Given this, future research should employ a control group design, a larger sample size, and a range of well-being measures at follow-up, to fully evaluate the utility of CMT in educational settings.

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