A comparison of the attention training technique and the mindful self-compassion program : a three week intervention trial
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- Institutt for psykologi 
The Attention Training Technique (ATT) and Mindful Self-Compassion Program (MSC) are two promising psychological interventions for anxiety and depression. Metacognitive theory posits that an increase in attention flexibility via ATT will reduce depression and anxiety. Selfcompassion theory posits that an increase in self-compassion will reduce depression and anxiety. It is still unclear how they compare to each other, and the effect they have on nonclinical participants. A three-week intervention trial was conducted in order to examine these issues. A sample of 40 non-clinical university students were randomly assigned to either a ATT group (n=19) or a MSC group (n=21). Homework was assigned between sessions. Both groups had significant reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression, and a significant increase in mindfulness, attention flexibility and self-compassion. There was no significant difference between the groups on any of the measures. The results indicate that both ATT and MSC are viable options for increasing psychological well-being when used as a groupintervention over three weeks. The reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression was associated with an increase in mindfulness, self-compassion and attention flexibility, regardless of intervention. This supports both metacognitive theory and self-compassion. As this was the first study to use ATT in a group setting over three weeks, and only the second to use MSC, more studies are necessary to validate their effects and to compare them to each other. Future studies should seek to replicate with a larger sample and follow-up measures.