, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 308–317 | Cite as

Self-Compassion Amongst Clients with Problematic Alcohol Use

  • Michelle Brooks
  • Frances Kay-LambkinEmail author
  • Jenny Bowman
  • Steven Childs
Original Paper


Self-compassion is a topic of growing research interest and is represented by six facets including self-kindness, self-judgement, mindfulness, over-identification, common humanity and isolation. Recent research interest has begun to examine the use of self-focused compassion and mindfulness as a way of alleviating the distress associated with psychological disorders. Little research exists to examine the relationship between self-compassion, depression, anxiety and stress among individuals who are alcohol-dependent. The present study aimed to address this gap by examining whether high levels of self-compassion will be associated with lower levels of depression, anxiety and alcohol use at entry to treatment. We also examined whether clients whose self-compassion improved over time also reported improvement in depression, anxiety and alcohol use at follow-up. Participants in this study were clients of a publicly funded Drug and Alcohol Service, who completed a baseline and 15-week independent clinical assessment that corresponded with their entry into and exit from treatment with the Service. At baseline, study participants were significantly higher in depression, anxiety, stress, alcohol use, and lower in self-compassion than the general population. At 15 weeks follow-up, participants reported a significant increase in self-compassion, mindfulness, common humanity and self-kindness, and significant decreases in self-judgement, isolation and over-identification. This study provides important preliminary data on self-compassion among a group of people with alcohol dependence.


Mindfulness Self-compassion Depression Anxiety Alcohol dependence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle Brooks
    • 1
  • Frances Kay-Lambkin
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jenny Bowman
    • 1
  • Steven Childs
    • 3
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia
  2. 2.National Drug and Alcohol Research CentreUniversity of NSWSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Central Coast Drug and Alcohol Clinical ServiceNorthern Sydney Central Coast Area Health ServiceGosfordAustralia

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