Avatars & Compassion webinar improved attendees’ self-compassion

Posted : 15.02.2016

The ProReal Avatars & Compassion webinar on 5th Feb proved to be a fascinating session hosted by Dr Caroline Falconer in which attendees learnt about Paul Gilbert’s Compassion Focused Therapy and experienced a live coaching session in ProReal. Click here to see a recording of the webinar.

In addition, we’ve created this 15 min video showing an example of a self-compassion protocol in ProReal.

We also held a poll at the beginning of the webinar where attendees were asked a number of self-reflective questions. This poll was repeated at the end of the webinar and results (below) reveal increases in compassion and self- compassion and a reduction in self-criticism amongst the attendees:



Poll summary commented by Caroline:

It was not surprising to see that, on average, people reported higher levels of compassion (for others) than self-compassion. This is quite a common trend within the field in that people are more readily compassionate to others than themselves. Self-compassion, particularly for Westerners, is a strange and often unheard of concept. This also fits with the idea that people have a fear of being compassionate towards themselves (i.e. “my criticism keeps me on track”).  Indeed, our group had higher levels of self-criticism than self-compassion. We wanted to see whether the webinar had any impact on people’s perceptions of themselves as compassionate and critical. We had two hypotheses about this. The first is that the webinar would better define what compassion is and people would reassess their interpretation and change their score. The second was that the webinar would be psychoeducational in itself and improve compassion and criticism levels. After a quick analysis, we are happy to say that the results revealed increases in compassion (t (16) = 2.4, p = .03) and self-compassion (t (16) = 2.4, p = .03) and a reduction in self-criticism (t (16) = 3.4, p = .004).

Don’t take our word for it, here’s what some of the attendees said about the webinar…

  • Fascinating stuff!
  • It would be great to have a virtual reality booth with self-compassion instructions on every street corner!
  • Very powerful to see the change when ‘lovely me’ got bigger and Liz saw the change from 1st person. Lots of learning for a short session.
  • Thank you all, it was very inspiring!
  • I thoroughly enjoyed this and learnt a lot. I think it will be especially useful when dealing with young people to introduce perhaps a compassionate avatar as lots of the young people I see have no compassion for themselves.

A special thank you to Caroline Falconer, Paul Gilbert, Michal, Liz and David for helping make this a truly memorable event.

Details of further webinars will be announced soon.  If you have any questions about this event or would like to attend or be involved in future webinars please email us at