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Title: Mechanisms of change in compassion focused therapy : a grounded theory investigation
Author: Innes, Carla
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis comprises a literature review, a qualitative research paper and a critical review, pertaining to shame and compassion. The literature review includes a systematic examination of findings from 14 quantitative studies investigating the relationships between shame and various forms of psychological distress. Findings indicated shame to be prevalent across a range of types of psychological distress. Shame was not found to be a feature of any particular form of psychological distress and appeared to represent a general feature of all forms of distress. The review found support for shame as shame influential, offering a useful basis for studying and conceptualising distress across disorders. Recommendations were made for those providing psychological therapy to those in distress relating to paying appropriate attention to shame processes in therapeutic relationships. The research paper explored the mechanisms of change in Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). Qualitative semi-structured interviews were used to obtain data relating to participants' perceptions of how change occurs in CFT. Grounded theory informed methods and techniques were employed throughout data collection and analyses. Analysis produced a model whereby three key mechanisms each relating to past experience allowed participants to . arrive at 'reconsidering personal blame and responsibility '. This was associated with less psychological distress and the subsequent application of' actively being kind to yourself' in the form of structured practises. The three key mechanisms were supported by important additional processes and mechanisms which are highlighted. Findings are discussed in relation to the existing research surrounding change and general and specific therapeutic factors. Finally, findings indicate a number of areas of that could enhance the useful application of CFT. The critical review contains reflections on the process of conducting qualitative interviews with participants who may be described as high in shame. These include interpersonal processes and the challenges faced by the researcher therein.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available