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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

Tijdschrift:
Mindfulness > Uitgave 11/2019
Auteurs:
Frances A. Maratos, Jane Montague, Hajra Ashra, Mary Welford, Wendy Wood, Christopher Barnes, David Sheffield, Paul Gilbert
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Electronic supplementary material

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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Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Objectives

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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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