Exploring how individuals experience self- compassion within acceptance and commitment informed therapy for chronic back pain. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.
thesisposted on 14.11.2019, 17:05 by Foteini Oikonomitsiou
The thesis comprises of two parts, the literature review and the research report. Summaries for both are included below:
The aims of the literature review were to explore the experience of compassion focused therapy (CFT) and explore which elements of CFT were experienced as helpful or not in enabling individuals to become compassionate. A systematic research process was employed to search five academic databases (PsychInfo, Scopus, MedLine, Cinahl, Web of Science). Seven articles were identified and were critically reviewed. A metasynthesis of the findings of the seven studies was conducted. The findings suggested that individuals appear to experience blocks and resistances towards becoming compassionate during the initial stages of the therapy. Different elements of therapy were perceived as helpful in overcoming those blocks. Overall CFT was reported as having a positive effect on different aspects of the participants’ lives.
Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to explore the experience of self-compassion of six participants prior, during, and after taking part in an acceptance and commitment based therapy group (ACT) for chronic back pain. Two super-ordinate themes were produced (Transformed relationship with their self in pain, The social self in pain). Each superordinate theme had two and three sub-ordinate themes respectively (From disownership to ownership of the self in pain, Protecting the self in pain) and (The isolated self, You can survive it, Experience of difference in the group). Participants appeared to have experienced a more positive emotional response and relationship with their sense of self, indicating an increased experience of self-compassion. The findings were considered in light of the existing research literature. Their clinical significance and implications, as well as recommendations for future research were also discussed.