Many psychological treatment approaches include elements of the Buddhist practices of Loving-Kindness Meditation (LKM) and Compassion Meditation (CM) in their protocol. Loving-Kindness Meditation aims to develop unconditional kindness to all people. Compassion Mediation involves techniques to cultivate compassion, or deep, genuine sympathy for those stricken by misfortune,
Although rigorous empirical evidence is scarce, there is evidence that LKM and CM may help reduce levels of shame and self-invalidation in people who have borderline personality disorder (BPD).
In a paper published on ResearchGate.net, an open source collaborative website for scientists, a team of Spanish researchers presented the results of an intervention they developed specifically for BPD patients that utilizes loving-kindness and compassion concepts. The primary aim of the study was to determine if LKM and CM could enhance their ability for self-compassion. The method for doing that was to add three sessions of LKM and CM practice to the Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills training modules on mindfulness and radical acceptance.
The researchers found that after three weeks participants experienced “Significant improvements in the severity of borderline symptoms, self-criticism, mindfulness, acceptance and self-kindness.”
You can read a synopsis of the study “Fostering Self-Compassion and Loving-Kindness in Patients With Borderline Personality Disorder” on the ResearchGate website.
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