Background and objectives: This study evaluates the process and
consequence of inducing self-compassion during recovery from social
performance stressors. Though interest in self-compassion as an
intervention target is growing, extant findings suggest that initially
cultivating self-compassion can be challenging for those with high selfcriticism
and anxiety, common features of social anxiety disorder (SAD).
Design: Quasi-experimental design.
Methods: The current study evaluates the feasibility, content, and
outcomes of a brief written self-compassion induction administered after
consecutive laboratory social stressors, among adults with SAD (n = 21)
relative to healthy controls (HC; n = 35).
Results: Findings demonstrate the feasibility of employing a written selfcompassion
induction among adults with (and without) SAD, reveal
group differences in written responses to the induction, and suggest
that the SAD group benefitted more from the induction than the HC
group, based on greater reductions in state anxiety and greater
increases in self-compassion during stressor recovery. Greater use of
negative affect words within written responses to the self-compassion
induction, but not during general writing, predicted lower subsequent
state anxiety across groups, by a medium effect size.
Conclusions: Collectively, the findings support the feasibility and utility of
cultivating self-compassion among adults with SAD.