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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An Exploration of the Lived Experience of Developing and Implementing Self-Compassion
by Giovanetti, Cathy A., Psy.D., Union Institute and University, 2017, 162; 10289136
Abstract (Summary)

Self-compassion has been described as an adaptive form of self-to-self relating. It involves the three interrelated components of self-kindness, mindfulness, and common humanity exhibited toward the self at times of pain and perceived failure. This study explored the process of becoming self-compassionate for people attending the Compassionate Reparenting Training, a five-week program aimed to facilitate emotional self-awareness and the development of self-compassion. The aim of the present study was to pursue an idiographic investigation into the lived experiences of the participants in their process of developing self-compassion and the obstacles, barriers, and opportunities encountered. Data was analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) with the aim of identifying people’s experiences of the process of becoming more compassionate to themselves after completing the training. Based on qualitative inquiry using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of interview data with nine participants, the findings suggested that self-compassion is a learned ability that ebbs and flows as a life-long journey and can be enhanced in self-to-self relating through the image of the inner child self. The presence of four superordinate themes and ten subthemes emerged from the descriptions of the journey in the lives the participants. The superordinate themes included (1) Strategies Used in Initiating the Process, (2) Making Meaning…Connecting the dots (3) The Struggle to be Self-Compassionate…It’s a work in progress, and (4) The Value of Developing a Self-Compassion Practice. A higher-order construct was identified that appeared embedded within and across both superordinate and subthemes: Self-Compassion is an ongoing and evolving process…A life-long journey that ebbs and flows . The current dissertation expands the scope of inquiry to include a qualitative dimension to the recent literature on self-compassion. Findings will help to develop future research and guide clinical interventions in order to cultivate compassionate self-to-self relating.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ossege, Jennifer
Commitee: Becker-Klein, Rachel, Lax, William
School: Union Institute and University
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Psychology
Keywords: Compassion, Emotion-focused, Inner child self, Qualitative, Self-compassion, Self-criticism
Publication Number: 10289136
ISBN: 978-0-355-03723-4
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