Impact of loving kindness meditation on compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue among social workers and other mental health workers
School for Social Work
Meditation-Psychological aspects, Social workers-Mental health, Mental health personnel-Mental health, Secondary traumatic stress, Compassion, Loving kindness meditation, Meditation, Compassion satisfaction, Compassion fatigue, Social workers-Job satisfaction
Loving kindness meditation is a practice that involves actively cultivating compassion and intentionally directing compassion towards one’s self and towards others. Compassion fatigue refers to burnout and secondary traumatic stress that may result from caregiving, while compassion satisfaction refers to the enjoyment and sense of fulfillment that may come from caregiving. This mixed-methods study explored the impact of one week of a daily ten minute loving kindness meditation practice on mental health clinicians’ levels of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue. Eleven participants committed to a daily ten minute loving kindness meditation practice for one week during which they worked with psychotherapy clients. Participants took a pre-test and post-test to measure their levels of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue before and after the intervention. Study results indicate that one week of a daily ten minute loving kindness meditation practice yields a statistically significant decrease in compassion fatigue, and has no statistically significant impact compassion satisfaction. While the results of this study are not generalizable due to the small sample size, these findings provide a reference point for future studies.
Gallo, Dianne, "Working with compassion : the impact of loving kindness meditation on compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue among social workers and other mental health workers" (2016). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.