Research studies on patients’ illness experience using the Narrative Medicine approach: a systematic review.


Resting-state functional connectivity in major depressive disorder: A review.

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2015 Sep;56:330-44. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2015.07.014. Epub 2015 Jul 30.

Mulders PC1, van Eijndhoven PF2, Schene AH3, Beckmann CF4, Tendolkar I5.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) affects multiple large-scale functional networks in the brain, which has initiated a large number of studies on resting-state functional connectivity in depression. We review these recent studies using either seed-based correlation or independent component analysis and propose a model that incorporates changes in functional connectivity within current hypotheses of network-dysfunction in MDD. Although findings differ between studies, consistent findings include: (1) increased connectivity within the anterior default mode network, (2) increased connectivity between the salience network and the anterior default mode network, (3) changed connectivity between the anterior and posterior default mode network and (4) decreased connectivity between the posterior default mode network and the central executive network. These findings correspond to the current understanding of depression as a network-based disorder.

The Development and Validation of a Scale to Measure Self-Compassion

Self and Identity

Volume 2, 2003 – Issue 3

This article defines the construct of self-compassion and describes the development of the Self-Compassion Scale. Self-compassion entails being kind and understanding toward oneself in instances of pain or failure rather than being harshly self-critical; perceiving one’s experiences as part of the larger human experience rather than seeing them as isolating; and holding painful thoughts and feelings in mindful awareness rather than over-identifying with them. Evidence for the validity and reliability of the scale is presented in a series of studies. Results indicate that self-compassion is significantly correlated with positive mental health outcomes such as less depression and anxiety and greater life satisfaction. Evidence is also provided for the discriminant validity of the scale, including with regard to self-esteem measures.

Mindfulness Group Work: Preventing Stress and Increasing Self-Compassion Among Helping Professionals in Training

The Journal for Specialists in Group Work

Volume 37, 2012 – Issue 4

This study examined the effects a 6-week mindfulness group had on 31 college students who were intending to enter helping professions (e.g., nursing, social work, counseling, psychology, and teaching). Group activities included meditation, yoga, a body scan exercise, and qi gong. The group members completed the Perceived Stress Scale, the Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale, and the Self-Compassion Scale at pre-pre, pre, post, and follow-up intervals. Perceived stress significantly decreased, and mindfulness and self-compassion significantly increased in response to the group. Group members’ comments on their experience are reported. Implications for future research and practice are explored.

Self-compassion, Interpersonal Conflict Resolutions, and Well-being

Self and Identity

Volume 12, 2013 – Issue 2


This study examined the link between self-compassion and the balance of the needs of self and other in conflict situations. College undergraduates (N = 506) were asked to provide an example of a time in which their needs conflicted with those of their mother, father, best friend and romantic partner. Participants were asked how they resolved the conflict (subordinating, self-prioritizing, or compromising). They also reported whether their resolution choice felt authentic, the degree of emotional turmoil experienced when resolving the conflict, and their sense of well-being in each relational context. Across contexts, higher levels of self-compassion were related to greater likelihood to compromise and lesser likelihood to self-subordinate needs, as well as greater authenticity, lower levels of emotional turmoil, and higher levels of relational well-being. With fathers and romantic partners, the link between self-compassion and well-being was mediated by greater likelihood to make compromise decisions.

The benefits of self-compassion and optimism exercises for individuals vulnerable to depression

The Journal of Positive Psychology

Dedicated to furthering research and promoting good practice

Volume 5, 2010 – Issue 5

The effectiveness of two online exercises intended to help individuals experience (1) self-compassion (n = 63) and (2) optimism (n = 55) were compared to a control intervention where participants wrote about an early memory (n = 70). A battery of tests was completed at 1 week following the exercise period, and at 1-, 3-, and 6-month follow-ups. Both active interventions resulted in significant increases in happiness observable at 6 months and significant decreases in depression sustained up to 3 months. The interventions were examined in relationship to dependency and self-criticism, both related to vulnerability to depression. Individuals high in self-criticism became happier at 1 week and at 1 month in the optimism condition in the repeated measures analysis. A sensitivity test using multi-level modeling failed to replicate this effect. More mature levels of dependence (connectedness) were related to improvements in mood up to 6 months in the self-compassion condition. This study suggests that different personality orientations may show greater gains from particular types of positive psychology interventions.

Manipulating optimism: Can imagining a best possible self be used to increase positive future expectancies?

The Journal of Positive Psychology

Dedicated to furthering research and promoting good practice

Volume 5, 2010 – Issue 3


Pages 204-211
This study tested whether a brief manipulation consisting of positive future thinking can temporarily increase optimism. Participants in the positive future thinking condition (n = 44) wrote about their best possible self (BPS) for 15 min, followed by 5 min of mental imagery. Participants in the control condition (n = 38) wrote about and imagined a typical day in their life. Positive and negative future expectancies and positive and negative affect were measured before and after each manipulation. Compared to the control manipulation, the positive future thinking manipulation led to significantly larger increase in positive affect and positive future expectancies. The increase in positive expectancies was not dependent on the mood effect. The results indicate that imagining a positive future can indeed increase expectancies for a positive future.