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Factors associated with self-compassion in clinical psychologists

Robinson, C J E (2015) Factors associated with self-compassion in clinical psychologists. Other thesis, University of Essex.


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At present, two dominant conceptualisations of self-compassion exist. However, a unifying consensus includes self-compassion as a basic kindness and an understanding, non-judgemental attitude towards ones inadequacies and failures (Neff, 2003a), coupled with the wish and effort to relieve ones suffering (Gilbert, 2010a). A review of the literature reveals elevated stress levels within clinical psychologists (CP’s) and a disproportionate amount of research exploring effective self-care strategies. Given the well-evidenced benefits of self-compassion for good psychological wellbeing, it seemed valuable to understand what the levels of self-compassion were within CP’s and establish what factors may relate to them. The factors explored in the present research were: 1) current levels of stress, 2) current level of psychological distress, 3) age of clinician, 4) years of clinical experience, 5) level of social connectedness, 6) fear of giving compassion to others, 7) fear of receiving compassion from others and 8) fear of self-compassion. Furthermore, no research had demonstrated UK community normative data for the Self-Compassion Scale (Neff, 2003b). Therefore this research adopted a quantitative, cross sectional design, using both online and paper methods to access a community sample and an online survey to access trainee and qualified CP’s. Analyses revealed that qualified CP’s reported significantly higher self-compassion than trainees, themselves significantly higher than a community sample. A multiple regression analyses revealed that fear of self-compassion, perceived stress and social connectedness, significantly related to self-compassion scores in trainee CP’s. Within the qualified CP, fear of self-compassion and perceived stress again were found to significantly relate to self-compassion. Results also demonstrated that in the UK, 1/3rd of trainee CP’s and 1/5th of qualified CP’s reported psychological distress significant enough to meet the clinical criteria for an anxiety or depressive disorder. These findings are therefore discussed and clinical implications are presented.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Additional Information: Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (D Clin Psych)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Claire Robinson
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2015 08:58
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2015 08:58

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