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Title: What do recent developments in the area of self-compassion have to offer the treatment of social anxiety?
Author: Thomas, Sara
ISNI:       0000 0004 2696 6962
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2010
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A variety of recent literature has considered the impact of self-compassion on mental health. Further research is needed, but the evidence to date suggests that self-compassion is associated with psychological well-being (Neff, 2003a; Neff, Kirkpatrick, Rude, 2007; Neff, Rude, Kirkpatrick, 2007), and that enhancing self-compassion can buffer against social-evaluative concerns (Leary, Tate, Allen, & Adams, 2007, Neff, 2003a). Additionally, when enhancing selfcompassion as been used as part of a treatment for mental health problems, symptoms have reduced (Gilbert & Procter, 2006; Linehan, Heard, & Armstrong; 1999; Lee, 2005; Mayhew & Gilbert, 2008; Teasdale, Segal, Williams, Ridgeway, Soulsby, & Lau, 2000). The following paper explores the role that self-compassion may have in the aetiology and maintenance of social phobia. In order to do this, current aetiological and maintenance models are reviewed, and hypotheses made about how self-compassion may impact on these processes. Evidence from both clinical and nonclinical studies is used to support these hypotheses, and further research is suggested. In the second paper some of these hypotheses are tested. In this study, evaluations of performance, post-event processing, and anxiety were measured in a socially anxious analogue group, following a stressful social situation. These scores were then compared to those of other socially anxious participants who did not undergo a self-compassion induction. Results showed no differences in levels of post-event processing or anxiety between the groups. However, participants in the self-compassion group rated their performance more closely to the rating of an independent observer than participants in the other groups. This suggests that increasing self-compassion facilitated greater objectivity when evaluating participants‟ own performances of a socially stressful task. Implications for the treatment of social phobia are discussed, and suggestions are made for further research.
Supervisor: Stopa, Lusia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology