Paul Gilbert

Paul Gilbert
University of Derby · School of Sciences

About

305
Publications
309,245
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24,200
Citations
Education
May 1976 - March 1980
The University of Edinburgh
Field of study
  • clinical Psychology

Publications

Publications (305)
Article
Background Social safeness has been proposed as the individual's perception of the social world as being warmth and soothing. The lack of social safeness has been suggested as a transdiagnostic socio-emotional vulnerability for several mental health difficulties. To date there was no study addressing experiences of social safeness in adolescents....
Chapter
There is growing evidence that the cultivation of compassion focused motives and emotions has profound effects on mental health and wellbeing. This chapter outlines the importance of embedding compassion in school and educational settings for pupils/students, those who teach them, and for the contextual organisation of education. Compassion based i...
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Objectives Kindness and compassion are prosocial constructs aimed at benefiting others, with the former focused on happiness and the latter on suffering. Despite these distinctly different motivations, kindness and compassion are often used interchangeably. If compassion and kindness are different processes, they should respond differently to the s...
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Objectives The COVID-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented detrimental impact on mental health in people around the world. It is important therefore to explore factors that may buffer or accentuate the risk of mental health problems in this context. Given that compassion has numerous benefits for mental health, emotion regulation, and social rel...
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Objectives Schools are experiencing an unprecedented mental health crisis, with teachers reporting high levels of stress and burnout, which has adverse consequences to their mental and physical health. Addressing mental and physical health problems and promoting wellbeing in educational settings is thus a global priority. This study investigated th...
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Performers, such as athletes, actors, dancers, and musicians, function within high pressure competitive and often hostile or critical environments. These individuals can be prone to a range of self-critical cognitions and behaviours which may make them susceptible to mental ill-health and psychological distress. Fostering and nurturing self-compass...
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Objectives The current study aimed to examine the mechanisms of change that mediate the impact of a compassionate mind training (CMT) intervention, in particular, whether changes in compassion, fears of compassion and heart rate variability (HRV) would mediate the effects of a brief CMT intervention on psychological vulnerability factors, mental he...
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Objectives Mounting research has supported the beneficial effects of compassion-based interventions for improving psychosocial and physiological well-being and mental health. Teachers present a high risk of professional stress, which negatively impacts their mental health and professional performance. It is crucial to make compassion cultivation a...
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Background Historically social connection has been an important way through which humans have coped with large-scale threatening events. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns have deprived people of major sources of social support and coping, with others representing threats. Hence, a major stressor during the pandemic has been a sense...
Article
Evolutionary perspectives of human behavior propose the existence of three emotion regulation systems (i.e., threat, drive and soothing systems). An unbalanced functioning of the systems represents greater risk for emotion dysregulation and psychopathology. In recent years, heart rate variability (HRV) has been reported as an accurate index of emot...
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Objective To assess the preliminary efficacy of the PSYCHOPATHY.COMP in reducing psychopathic traits among male detained youth. Method In this controlled trial, a treatment group (n = 24) and a control group (n = 22) answered the Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory-Short at baseline and post-treatment. Treatment participants attended the PSYCHOPAT...
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The development of self-report instruments assessing the different facets of compassion adapted for different age groups is crucial for research and clinical practice. This study examined the factor structure and psychometric properties of the adaptation to adolescents of the Compassionate Engagement and Action Scales (CEAS-A) in a sample of 674 Po...
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Compassion focused therapy (CFT) is rooted in an evolutionary view of the human mind as formed of a multitude of contrasting, and often conflicting, motivations, emotions and competencies. A core aim of the therapy is to help clients understand the nature of their mind in a way that is de-pathologizing and de-shaming. The approach is also focused o...
Article
Empirical investigations into the psychological drivers of more or less expansive moral thinking are lacking from the psychological literature. One potential driver that warrants deeper investigation is compassion – a prosocial motivation to both identity and alleviate suffering. The current research examined the extent to which compassion, and fea...
Article
Objective: To assess the efficacy of the PSYCHOPATHY.COMP program in reducing psychopathic traits among male detained youth. Method: In this controlled trial, a treatment group (n = 58) and a control group (n = 61) answered the Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory-Short (YPIS) and the Proposed Specifiers for Conduct Disorder (PSCD) at baseline, p...
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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a massive global health crisis with damaging consequences to mental health and social relationships. Exploring factors that may heighten or buffer the risk of mental health problems in this context is thus critical. Whilst compassion may be a protective factor, in contrast fears of compassion increase vulnerabi...
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For thousands of years, various spiritual traditions and social activists have appealed to humans to adopt compassionate ways of living to address the suffering of life. Yet, along with our potential for compassion and self-sacrifice, the last few thousand years of wars, slavery, tortures, and holocausts have shown humans can be extraordinarily sel...
Article
The aim of this study was to test the multilevel multidimensional finite mixture item response model of the Forms of Self-Criticising/Attacking and Self-Reassuring Scale (FSCRS) to cluster respondents and countries from 13 samples ( N = 7,714) and from 12 countries. The practical goal was to learn how many discrete classes there are on the level of...
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The last 20 years have seen the development of a new form of therapy, compassion focused therapy (CFT). Although CFT has a growing evidence base, there have been few studies of CFT outside of an Anglo-European cultural context. In this paper, we ask: Might a CFT-based approach be of value for Indigenous Australians? If so, what kind of cultural ada...
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The concept, benefits and recommendations for the cultivation of compassion have been recognized in the contemplative traditions for thousands of years. In the last 30 years or so, the study of compassion has revealed it to have major physiological and psychological effects influencing well-being, addressing mental health difficulties, and promotin...
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Given current retention and well-being crises within the teaching profession worldwide, this research sought to explore implementation efficacy of a Compassion Mind Training (CMT) programme in cross-cultural school-settings. A 6-module CMT curriculum was implemented in teaching staff of two primary schools in the UK (N=76) and one primary school in...
Article
Self-criticism is significantly associated with a variety of mental health difficulties affecting vulnerability, presentation, progress, and recovery. In contrast, self-reassurance is associated with good mental health, psychological well-being, and beneficial physiological processes. The 22-item Forms of Self-Criticizing/Attacking and Self-Reassur...
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Attachment styles hold important downstream consequences for mental health through their contribution to the emergence of self-criticism. To date, no work has extended our understanding of the influence of attachment styles on self-criticism at a neurobiological level. Herein we investigate the relationship between self-reported attachment styles a...
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Chairwork is a psychotherapeutic method that frequently focuses on self-multiplicity and internal relationships. Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) uses chairwork to generate and apply compassion towards threat-based aspects of the self. This study explores self-multiplicity in a CFT chairwork intervention for self-criticism. Twelve participants with...
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Background Only a small number of consistent processes predict which depressed patients will achieve remission with antidepressant medication. One set of processes is that of social ranking strategies/variables that are related to life events and severe difficulties. Particularly, defeat and entrapment predict poorer response to antidepressants. Ho...
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In healthcare settings, there is an emotional cost to caring which can result in compassion fatigue, burnout, secondary trauma, and compromised patient care. Innovative workplace interventions such as the Schwartz Rounds offer a group reflective practice forum for clinical and non‐clinical professionals to reflect on the emotional aspects of workin...
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Background Self-Compassion may be seen as a concept contrary to the aims of athletes engaged in competitive sport. This may be accentuated at more elite levels, where athletes may view concepts like self-criticism and self-judgement as more important for improvement. Objectives The current study aimed to better understand how athletes of different...
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The scientific study of compassion is burgeoning, however the putative neurophysiological markers of programs which actively train distress tolerance, such as Compassionate Mind Training (CMT), are less well known. Herein we offer an integrative, multi-method approach which investigated CMT at neural, physiological, self-report, and behavioural lev...
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The last few years have seen increasing research on self-report measures of compassion. The Compassionate Engagement and Action Scale (CEAS) is rooted in an evolutionary approach to compassion, which focuses on the competencies of compassion those are engagement with distress or suffering, and taking action to alleviate and prevent it. This study s...
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Objectives: As social creatures, we monitor our relative rank and/or status with others via social comparisons. Whilst research has identified perceptions of inferiority or 'low rank' relative to others is a robust predictor of depressive, anxious, and stress symptomology, to date individual differences have been ignored. We wish to provide empiri...
Preprint
Background: Self-Compassion may be seen as a concept contrary to the aims of athletes engaged in competitive sport. This may be accentuated at more elite levels, where athletes may view concepts like self-criticism and self-judgement as more important for improvement. Objectives: The current study aimed to better understand how athletes of differen...
Article
This study examined whether adding a compassion-focused light touch digital intervention into a commercial multicomponent weight management programme improved eating behaviour, self-evaluation and weight-related outcomes. The compassion intervention significantly reduced binge eating symptomatology and dropout, and improved psychological adjustment...
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The purpose of this study was to examine the measurement invariance of the Forms of Self-Criticising/Attacking & Self-Reassuring Scale (FSCRS) in terms of Item Response Theory differential test functioning in thirteen distinct samples (N = 7714) from twelve different countries. We assessed differential test functioning for the three FSCRS subscales...
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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...
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Objectives The study of prosocial behaviour has accelerated greatly in the last 20 years. Researchers are exploring different domains of prosocial behaviour such as compassion, kindness, caring, cooperation, empathy, sympathy, love, altruism and morality. While these constructs can overlap, and are sometimes used interchangeably, they also have dis...
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Chair‐work is an experiential method used within compassion‐focused therapy (CFT) to apply compassion to various aspects of the self. This is the first study of CFT chair‐work and is focused on clients' lived experiences of a chair‐work intervention for self‐criticism. Twelve participants with depression were interviewed following the chair‐work in...
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Evolutionary analysis focuses on how genes build organisms with different strategies for engaging and solving life's challenges of survival and reproduction. One of those challenges is competing with conspecifics for limited resources including reproductive opportunities. This article suggests that there is now good evidence for considering two dim...
Chapter
This chapter directs attention to calls to integrate compassion training in curricula throughout the education system. Following a review of current Higher Education (HE) aims and objectives, and the potential psychological impacts that these can have on staff and students, we outline a case for compassion based initiatives in education. We discuss...
Article
People enter into parental roles with a range of different motivations for parenting. To date, however, there is limited research assessing maternal motivations, concerns, and anxieties in their parenting styles. While some mothers are confident and child focused, others have concerns with performing parenting behaviors, and can be self-focused, sh...
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This commentary paper reviews the recently made claims by Wilson et al. (Mindfulness, 2018) from their meta-analysis of what they call self-compassion therapies. They argue that a range of different therapy modalities can be classified as self-compassion therapies, including compassion-focused therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, acceptance and...
Article
Conduct disorder (CD) is the most diagnosed psychopathological disorder in juvenile detainees. The presence of a CD diagnosis, especially when associated with psychopathic traits, contributes to a poor prognosis, high recidivism rates, and low responsivity to treatment in these youth. Although group intervention programs have proven to be effective...
Chapter
The self-conscious emotions of shame, humiliation and guilt are clearly related to our human capacity for self-awareness and sense of self as an ‘object in the minds of others’. However, this chapter will highlight that the emotional and motivational processes that sit behind them are phylogenetically old and rooted in social competition for shame...
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Psychotherapy is plagued with fragmentation of models, theories, and interventions. The future of psychotherapy requires an integrative framework rooted in the expanding science of psychology, neuroscience, and social contextualism. The papers in this special issue address these challenges for psychotherapy, ranging from explorations of the implica...
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Fragmentation of processes and interventions plague the psychotherapies (Gilbert & Kirby, 2019). Part of the problem is that we have not agreed on a framework that could be the basis for integrating knowledge and the scientific enquiry of processes and interventions. This paper outlines an approach that brings together a variety of different discip...
Article
Objectives There is considerable evidence that early parenting has profound effects on a range of physiological and psychological maturation processes. Furthermore, psychotherapy often addresses some of the distortions and developmental difficulties that have arisen from early childhood. While research has focused on obvious candidates such as abus...
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This paper presents an outline of voice-hearing phenomenology in the context of evolutionary mechanisms for self- and social- monitoring. Special attention is given to evolved systems for monitoring dominant-subordinate social roles and relationships. These provide information relating to the interpersonal motivation of others, such as neutral, fri...
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Compassion is a complex cognitive, emotional and behavioural process that has important real-world consequences for the self and others. Considering this, it is important to understand how compassion is communicated. The current research investigated the expression and perception of compassion via the face. We generated exemplar images of two compa...
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There is general agreement that styles of leadership evolved from mammalian group living strategies that form social ranks. In both non-human primates and humans, different styles of hierarchical dominant-subordinate and leader-follower behavior can be observed. These can be described in terms of dimensions of antisocial (relatively self-focused, a...
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Attachment and affiliative relationships act both physiologically and psychologically as emotional regulators to attenuate feelings of threat, and increase feelings of safeness [1,2]. Forming and maintaining affiliative relationships involves making judgements about other people's feelings and intentions. Non-verbal communications, especially facia...
Preprint
Compassion has become a major focus for international research in prosocial behaviour. This paper explores the evolutionary origins of caring and how recently evolved cognitive competencies create human compassion. While some see compassion as linked to an emotional or affective state, others root compassion in an evolved motivation and social ment...
Article
Full-text available
Japanese workers suffer high rates of mental health symptoms, recognised recently by the Japanese government, which has enacted workplace well‐being initiatives. One reason for poor mental health concerns negative attitudes about mental health problems such as shame, which may be mediated by self‐reassurance and self‐criticism. This study aimed to...
Article
Full-text available
There is considerable evidence that self-criticism plays a major role in the vulnerability to and recovery from psychopathology. Methods to measure this process, and its change over time, are therefore important for research in psychopathology and well-being. This study examined the factor structure of a widely used measure, the Forms of Self-Criti...
Article
Compassion has become a major focus for international research in prosocial behaviour. This paper explores the evolutionary origins of caring and how recently evolved cognitive competencies create human compassion. While some see compassion as linked to an emotional or affective state, others root compassion in an evolved motivation and social ment...
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing evidence that when people focus on being a certain kind of person, for example optimistic, this changes how they engage with life difficulties. We explored individuals’ experiences in thinking about a small life difficulty before and then after being guided through a compassionate self exercise. During a compassion focused thera...
Poster
Heart Rate Variability as a psychophysiological biomarker of affect regulation in adolescents
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This paper explores indicators of practice quality of a brief compassion mind training (CMT) intervention and their impact on the development of an inner sense of one’s compassionate self (CS) and a range of self-report measures. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: compassionate mind training (CMT; n = 77) and wait-list co...