Social support is empirically linked to health and well-being, but the mechanisms of this link remain speculative along with target interventions that maximize social support during stressful times. Knowledge of these mechanisms and interventions is needed for a full understanding of the receipt and provision of care, particularly among those working in high stress environments and at risk for burnout. The proposed research will elucidate 1) the basic mechanisms of care received, care given, and empathy, 2) the role these mechanisms play in supportive behavior, 3) the role these mechanisms may play in stress, and 4) the specific impact of a targeted compassion-based contemplative practice on all of the above. The Sustainable Compassion Training (SCT) model leverages a set of contemplative practices to focus on what it is like to see and love, and to be seen and loved, unconditionally, while cultivating a decision to engage in emotional support without becoming emotionally overwhelmed by empathic concern. Specifically, we will, across two occasions of measurement among a normative sample of 160 college-aged students, evaluate the impact of SCT, in comparison to Mindfulness Training (MT).

Jim Coan, PhD

University of Virginia

James Coan, PhD (CoInvestigator) is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. His work seeks to uncover the neural mechanisms of emotion and social behavior, with an emphasis … MORE

Mind & Life Connections