Self-Compassion and Self Judgement: Potential Mediators of a Mindfulness Intervention on Depression

Ryan Willard, Kyle Possemato, Abigail E. Ramon, Dessa Bergen-Cico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Overview: Mindfulness-based approaches are increasingly prevalent in the treatment of depression. Mindfulness-based interventions cultivate self-compassion and this may be a mechanism of change associated with improvements in depression.

Methods: Fifty-five adults with PTSD (69% also had depression) were recruited from Veteran Affairs primary care clinics and randomized to receive a 4-session mindfulness training or a psycho-educational group ( Identifier: NCT03352011).

Results: There was a significant group-by-time interaction in total self-compassion scores, Wilk’s lambda=.890, F(1,50)=6.20, p<.05, showing that participants randomized to mindfulness had a greater increase in self-compassion than those in the control condition. Self-judgement served as a potential mediator: the relationship between treatment condition and changes in depression from pretreatment to the two-month follow-up (B=2.92, t=2.56, p=.01, r=.34) was reduced when adding self-judgement to the model (B=2.24, t=1.91, p=.06, r=.26) (Figure 1). Participating in the mindfulness intervention led to greater reductions in self-judgement (B=.59, t=2.28, p=.03, r=.31). Additionally, reductions in self-judgement approached significance in predicting decreases in depression (B=1.14, t=1.83, p=.07, r=.25). Overall, the indirect effect approached significance within the model (B=.67, LCI=.35, UCI=2.16, BootSE=.64).
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-609
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 30 2022


  • mindfulness
  • self-compassion
  • Posttraumatic stress
  • veterans


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