Integrating Metta Into CBT: How Loving Kindness and Compassion Meditation Can Enhance CBT for Treating Anxiety and Depression

Authors

  • Simona Ioana Stefan
  • Stefan G. Hofmann

Abstract

Background: Loving kindness meditation and compassion meditation are traditional Buddhist practices that have recently been introduced and investigated in psychotherapy with promising results. Both meditation practices emphasize metta, a mental state of positive energy and kindness towards oneself and other beings, as opposed to the anger, hostility, or self-loathing that often accompany emotional problems.


Method: We conducted a qualitative review of the literature to produce an integrative review.


Results: Metta meditation appears to be particularly useful for treating depression and social anxiety, both characterized by low positive affect and negative attitudes and core beliefs about the self.


Conclusion: Metta meditation can aid therapy by promoting more adaptive self-images, social connectedness, and emotional experiences.