November 2015 Compassion Tool of the Month

Each month we highlight some practical resources for therapists interested in compassion. Our aim here is to provide a brief overview and offer you a few resources where you can find out more information if these ideas are of interest to you.

This Month's Tool: Fears of Compassion Scale

In our previous blog posts, we have mentioned that high self-critics and shame-prone people often have negative reactions to the idea of being more self-compassionate. We have written about research showing that fear of self-compassion is related to increased symptom severity, and we have written about the importance of being aware of fear of self-compassion in your case conceptualization.

The Fears of Compassion Scale is a good assessment tool to determine what forms of compassion you can expect to be difficult for your client. There are three subscales addressing fear of compassion for self, fear of compassion for others, and fear of compassion from others. High scores on particular subscales can provide some information about in which domains your client may be reluctant to engage in compassionate action. Responses on particular items may help to bring forward elements of your client’s experience that may have otherwise remained hidden. For example, a high score on the item, “I try to keep my distance from others even if I know they are kind,” may be a useful catalyst for a functional analysis of avoidance behaviors in the context of warmth.

How do you notice fear of compassion showing up in your work with shame-prone and self-critical clients?

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