Self-compassion refers to an individual's capacity to be mindful, recognize our common humanity in times of hardship, and to practice self-kindness in times of suffering. It has been shown to be beneficial in working with individuals with chronic health conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and eating disorders. However, many individuals have difficulty with this skill and experience barriers to being self-compassionate.
This research will help us understand how self-compassion can benefit individuals with chronic health conditions. We will interview patients in treatment, recovered patients, and clinicians about their experiences with self-compassion. Their responses will be used to design an intervention that aims to increase capacity of individuals with chronic health conditions to benefit from self-compassion. We will also explore self-compassion in family members and clinicians to increase understanding of what gets in the way of a collaborative stance, shown to be most helpful to individuals with chronic health conditions. We will share results of this research with clinicians, patients and families locally at education days and provincial video conferences, and nationally and internationally through workshops, conference presentations and publications.