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Compassion: Embodied and Embedded

  • Bassam KhouryEmail author



The aim of this paper is to review current conceptualizations, assessment measures, and operationalizations of compassion towards self and others in order to propose a new theoretically grounded, empirically driven, unified notion of compassion towards self and others.


A thorough qualitative review of theoretical and empirical papers and books regarding compassion towards self and others was conducted with a particular emphasis on neurological and neurophysiological evidence.


Theoretical and empirical evidence suggest that compassion should be grounded in affective, cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal processes. Moreover, based on available neurological and neurophysiological evidence, compassion can be considered as embodied and embedded in the interpersonal and social context.


The new notion of compassion has important implications in conceptualizing and measuring compassion and in devising and validating new compassion-based interventions. Therefore, this notion should be taken in consideration in conducting future research on compassion.


Compassion Self-compassion Body Embodiment Interpersonal 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

This paper does not contain any studies with human participants performed by the author. The author declares that there are no competing interests.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational and Counselling PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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