ABSTRACTCandidate: Ann-Mari Grøndahl BardumBackground: In psychotherapy today there is a growing focus on enhancing the client’s ability to an enhancement of wellbeing and a way to care for self and others. In the different therapy-traditions there are many constructs in use that are related to the enhancement of these abilities. Two relatively new concepts in psychological theory and clinical practice are compassion and self-compassion. Today there is a growing interest for these terms. Even though they seem to represent a “new trend” in psychotherapy there have been suggested related terms that have conceptualized the enhancement of positive feelings towards the self earlier. For instance was self-empathy suggested by Barrett-Lennard already in 1997.Objective: The aim of this thesis was therefore to explore the constructs self-empathy, compassion, self-compassion and self-acceptance. I wanted to investigate how these constructs have originated, how they are used in therapy, and how they are built up as constructs. I also wanted to explore the impact they have had in psychotherapy, in other words if and how are they different or do they have the same meaning?One aim of this study was therefore to explore what the original meaning of these positive self-constructs was. Another aim was to consider how they were constructed and used in therapy. The third aim was to investigate if compassion, self-compassion and self-acceptance would have a different impact in therapeutic settings compared to self-empathy.The methods that were used in this study were etymological searches, and then a literature search in the databases PsycINFO, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PubMed, ISI-Web of Science and Google Scholar. All the constructs were given an equal treatment throughout the thesis.Results: Results from the etymological searches conveyed that empathy and compassion are closely related although they are not used or understood in the exact same manner in psychotherapy. An evaluation of the constructs conveyed that self-compassion might be eligible to be the construct with most explanatory value. Results from the database search also conveyed that research regarding these constructs in relation to psychotherapy was scarce, and the studies that were done were mainly observational. With basis in the studies that were considered self-compassion proved to be the construct with the most convincing impact, but the reason for this may not necessarily because of the construct, but the scarce amount of research in this area.More research with more controlled studies is necessary regarding the impact of positive self-constructs in psychotherapeutic settings, so that it would be possible to evaluate the different constructs’ unique contributions to positive change.