Mindfulness- and Compassion-Based Interventions in Relational Contexts

  • Corina Aguilar-RaabEmail author
Part of the European Family Therapy Association Series book series (EFTAS)


Mindfulness is an attentional process of being continuously directed towards the present moment-to-moment experience embedded in an accepting and nonjudging attitude. Closely related to this is the concept of compassion. It involves mindfully perceiving the suffering of another combined with the desire to alleviate or protect the other from suffering. A growing body of evidence indicates that mindfulness- and compassion-based interventions lead not only to self-reported well-being and life satisfaction but also reveal multiple benefits for physiological and psychological health. In this chapter, I introduce the concepts and programs and review the evidence base on mindfulness and compassion in relational contexts. Its benefits for relationships are examined, highlighting interpersonal and communication aspects and underlying processes, including co-regulation and relationship quality. Next, specific considerations when working with couples, children, and families are addressed. This chapter concludes by illustrating program examples, discussing communalities and divergences between Buddhist-rooted approaches and systemic thinking.


Mindfulness Compassion Evidenced-based Programs Relationship Quality Couples Children Families 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Medical Psychology, Center of Psychosocial Medicine, Heidelberg University HospitalHeidelbergGermany

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