Compassion Meditation & Cognitive Reappraisal Methods to Reduce Conflict Behaviours

Couple conflicts have wide-ranging negative physiological, psychological and relational impacts on both members a couple. Emotions play a key role in conflicts and in particular, negative emotions have been found to escalation conflicts, whereas positive emotions will help a couple spiral toward resolution.

Since it is established that emotions can be trained (i.e., Klimecki, Leiberg, Lamm & Singer, 2012; Bolier, et al. 2013; Schumer, Lindsay, & Creswell, 2018), the purpose of the current study was to investigate experimentally which training methodology, between compassion training and cognitive reappraisal training, was the most effective to increase positive emotions and reduce negative emotions among couples. Couples were trained and tested in their emotional expressivity using the integrative coding methodology of the Specific Affect Coding System (SPAFF; Gottman, McCoy & Coan, 1996; Coan & Gottman, 2007).

The difference between the two groups was not statistically significant. However, the ratio for compassion training was numerically superior which seems to suggest that, although not significant, it seems to induce greater levels of positive emotions and reduced levels of negative emotions in comparison to cognitive reappraisal training. Differences in psychological and psychosocial mechanisms involved in the two training approaches are discussed. Future studies with a larger sample size and sufficient statistical power would be required to help clarify the difference in impact on compassion and cognitive reappraisal training methodologies.

Full Academic Paper

Foundations of Soulmaking Dharma – A BCBS online study and practice course guided by Catherine McGee – Oct to Dec 2019

If you would like to further your grounding in the foundations of Soulmaking Dharma and that whole paradigm,  Rob Burbea would suggest that you consider joining Catherine’s online Foundations of Soulmaking Dharma course (Oct 20 – Dec 20 2019; see Barre Center for Buddhist Studies BCBS program for more info). The intention for Catherine’s online course is to give a comprehensive, systematic grounding in those foundations through a guided supporting framework.

Completion of this online course is a prerequisite for the Soulmaking Dharma residential program at BCBS January 10-16, 2020.


Applications Open: August 1
Applications Close: September 24
Initial Accepted Applicants Notified: October 1
Pre-course Interviews and Registration: October 6-10
Enrollment Period: October 13-16
Fall 2019 Course Dates: October 20-December 22 (no meetings held the week commencing 24/11)

Two-day Mindfulness Inquiry Workshop (12-13 October 2019) in Geneva

Two-day Mindfulness Inquiry Workshop – Training for trainers

12-13 October 2019 (10am to 5pm)
with Bangor Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (CMRP) trainer Karunavira

Supporting fee: CHF 450.-, Base fee: CHF 350.-, Subsidised fee: 250.-

At la Dépendance, Grand-Lancy, Geneva, Switzerland

Register at

The inquiry process is central to the teaching of all Mindfulness based approaches. This two-day training will provide an opportunity to develop understanding, skill and confidence in the inquiry process.

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