Effectiveness of Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) on Self-Esteem and Resilience in Children and Adolescents with Divorced Parents

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... The authors have the reader focus their attention. This act is core to mindfulness, a practice with numerous health benefits (Fradkin, 2016(Fradkin, , 2019dWu et al., 2019;Mazaheri et al., 2020). ...
... In Chapter 22, Create Mindfulness Moments of Strength, the authors introduce the practice of mindfulness (Bluth, 2020). Studies find that mindfulness practice reduces stress, anxiety, and depression (Fradkin, 2017a(Fradkin, , 2020; Borquist-Conlon et al., 2019), and bolsters resilience and self-worth (Fradkin, 2017b;Mazaheri et al., 2020). ...
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In The Positivity Workbook for Teens: Skills to Help You Increase Optimism, Resilience, and a Growth Mindset, the authors Goali Saedi Bocci and Ryan M. Niemiec deliver a self-improvement book for teens struggling with adolescence. The book is adapted from Martin Seligman's PERMA model -- a leading theory in positive psychology -- which holds that flourishing is based on five pillars of well-being: positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment (Seligman, 2011). The premise is to draw upon the strengths within the teen, to build self-confidence and bolster optimism.
Adolescence is a developmental stage filled with stress and pressure. These stressors entail school, post-graduation plans, friends, dating, and family expectations. The teen is forging their identity, moving towards adulthood, and for many this movement takes its toll. Recent studies, based on the National Survey of Children's Health data, estimate that 10-12% of teens are afflicted with anxiety, and 6-8% meet the criteria for depression (Ghandour et al. 2019; Zhu et al. 2019). For many teens, maintaining equilibrium is a challenge. This accounts for the plentitude of risk behaviors (e.g., substance abuse, unprotected sex, self-injurious behavior) in the adolescent years (Demidenko et al. 2019; Fradkin 2020a; Maslowsky et al. 2019; Wang et al. 2019). Various treatment approaches (cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotropic medication, group approach, art therapy) address psychosocial problems among teens. As a therapist, author Karen Bluth employs mindfulness and self-compassion. Studies confirm the effectiveness of this approach, in its reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression (Borquist-Conlon et al. 2019; Calvete et al. 2020; Puolakanaho et al. 2019; Tumminia et al. 2020); as well as its bolstering of resilience and self-worth (Fradkin 2017a; Mazaheri et al. 2020; Wu et al. 2019).
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Background and Objective: Menopause, or cession of menstruation, is a transition sign from fertility to infertility, during which women suffer from many physical and mental issues. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of compassion focused therapy on resiliency, self-discrepancy, hope and psychological well-being of menopausal women in Ahvaz. Materials and Methods: The research method was experimental, pretest-posttest with control group. Participants included 60 people who were selected by convenience sampling method: 30 participants in the experimental group and 30 in the control group were randomly assigned and the intervention was conducted for the experimental group The study instrument included Resiliency Questionnaire, Self-discrepancy Questionnaire, Hope Questionnaire, and Psychological Well-being Scale. Data were analyzed using one-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) by SPSS-22. Results: The mean (SD) age of women in the experimental group was 56.1 (3.3) and 55.7 (3.1) in the control group. The mean (SD) resiliency score in the pre-test of the experimental group was 47.7 (11.8), which increased to 55.8 (11.3) in the post-test, self-discrepancy decreased from 99.9 (12) to 85.6 (12.3), hope from 171.2 (19.7) to 189.7 (20.5) and psychological well-being increased from 34.9 (4.4) to 38.9 (4.5), but there was no significant change in the mean scores of the control group. Conclusion: Compassion-focused therapy improved resiliency, hope and psychological well-being and decreased self-discrepancy in postmenopausal women.
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This study investigated the association between interpersonal conflicts and the trajectory of self-esteem from adolescence to mid-adulthood. The directionality of effects between self-esteem and interpersonal conflicts was also studied. Participants of a Finnish cohort study in 1983 at age 16 (N = 2194) were followed up at ages 22 (N = 1656), 32 (N = 1471) and 42 (N = 1334) using postal questionnaires. Measures covered self-esteem and interpersonal conflicts including, conflicts with parents, friends, colleagues, superiors, partners, break-ups with girl/boyfriends, and divorces. Participants were grouped using latent profile analysis to those having “consistently low”, “decreasing”, or “increasing” number of interpersonal conflicts from adolescence to adulthood. Analyses were done using latent growth curve models and autoregressive cross-lagged models. Among both females and males the self-esteem growth trajectory was most favorable in the group with a consistently low number of interpersonal conflicts. Compared to the low group, the group with a decreasing number of interpersonal conflicts had a self-esteem trajectory that started and remained at a lower level throughout the study period. The group with an increasing number of interpersonal conflicts had a significantly slower self-esteem growth rate compared to the other groups, and also the lowest self-esteem level at the end of the study period. Cross-lagged autoregressive models indicated small, but significant lagged effects from low self-esteem to later interpersonal conflicts, although only among males. There were no effects to the opposite direction among either gender. Our results show that those reporting more and an increasing number of interpersonal conflicts have a lower and more slowly developing self-esteem trajectory from adolescence to mid-adulthood. While the result was expected, it does not seem to imply an effect from interpersonal conflicts to low self-esteem. Rather, if anything, our results seem to suggest that those with low self-esteem are more prone to later interpersonal conflicts.
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Growing evidence suggests that positive mental health or wellbeing protects against psychopathology. How and why those who flourish derive these resilient outcomes is, however, unknown. This exploratory study investigated if self-compassion, as it continuously provides a friendly, accepting and situational context for negative experiences, functions as a resilience mechanism and adaptive emotion regulation strategy that protects against psychopathology for those with high levels of positive mental health. Participants from the general population (n = 349) provided measures at one time-point on positive mental health (MHC-SF), self-compassion (SCS-SF), psychopathology (HADS) and negative affect (mDES). Self-compassion significantly mediated the negative relationship between positive mental health and psychopathology. Furthermore, higher levels of self-compassion attenuated the relationship between state negative affect and psychopathology. Findings suggest that especially individuals with high levels of positive mental health possess self-compassion skills that promote resilience against psychopathology. These might function as an adaptive emotion regulation strategy and protect against the activation of schema related to psychopathology following state negative affective experiences. Enhancing self-compassion is a promising positive intervention for clinical practice. It will not only impact psychopathology through reducing factors like rumination and self-criticism, but also improve positive mental health by enhancing factors such as kindness and positive emotions. This may reduce the future risk of psychopathology.
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Three hundred and thirty-six undergraduates from two large universities in the Southeast and Midwest completed a 31-item Internet questionnaire revealing their (mostly white and ages 18–23) reaction to the divorce of their parents. Perceived positive effects included a happier mother (57%); happier father (43%); closer relationships with mother, father, or siblings (45%, 29%, 36%, respectively); less parental conflict (35%); and greater appreciation for one’s siblings (40%). Significant differences between women and men included that females were closer with their mother (p < .05), males had a better relationship with their stepsiblings (p < .05) and females were more likely to agree that they were slow to express their feelings in a relationship (p < .05). Symbolic interaction was used as the theoretical framework to interpret the data. Implications and limitations are suggested.
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Changes in children's emotion differentiation, coping skills, parenting stress, parental psychopathology, and parent-child interaction were explored as mediators of treatment factors in two selective preventive group interventions for children exposed to interparental violence (IPV) and their parents. One hundred thirty-four IPV-exposed children (ages 6-12 years, 52% boys) and their parents were randomized to an IPV-focused or common factors community-based group intervention and completed baseline, posttest, and follow-up assessments for posttraumatic stress (PTS). A multilevel model tested mediators that included children's ability to differentiate emotions and coping skills, parenting stress, parental psychopathology, and parent-child interactions. In both conditions, exposure to nonspecific factors, specific factors unrelated to IPV and trauma-specific intervention factors was coded from videotaped child and parent sessions. Improved parental mental health mediated the link between greater exposure to nonspecific treatment factors and decreases in PTS symptoms. In addition, an increase in emotion differentiation and a decrease in parenting stress were associated with a decrease in PTS symptoms. Greater exposure to trauma-specific factors in child sessions was associated with a small decrease in emotion differentiation, an increase in coping skills, and a decrease in PTS symptoms over time. Greater exposure to nonspecific treatment factors in child and parent sessions was associated with more positive parent-child interaction. Parental mental health appears to be an important mechanism of change that can be promoted through exposure to nonspecific factors in parent intervention. For children, the effect of greater exposure to trauma-specific factors in intervention is less clear and may not have clear benefits.
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Using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, we examined children's internalizing and externalizing behavior problems from age 5 to 15 years in relation to whether they had experienced a parental divorce. Children from divorced families had more behavior problems compared with a propensity-score-matched sample of children from intact families, according to both teachers and mothers. They exhibited more internalizing and externalizing problems at the first assessment after the parents' separation and at the last available assessment (age 11 years for teacher reports, or 15 years for mother reports). Divorce also predicted both short-term and long-term rank-order increases in behavior problems. Associations between divorce and child behavior problems were moderated by family income (assessed before the divorce) such that children from families with higher incomes prior to the separation had fewer internalizing problems than children from families with lower incomes prior to the separation. Higher levels of predivorce maternal sensitivity and child IQ also functioned as protective factors for children of divorce. Mediation analyses showed that children were more likely to exhibit behavior problems after the divorce if their postdivorce home environment was less supportive and stimulating, their mother was less sensitive and more depressed, and their household income was lower. We discuss avenues for intervention, particularly efforts to improve the quality of home environments in divorced families. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
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Shame and self-criticism are transdiagnostic problems. People who experience them may struggle to feel relieved, reassured or safe. Research suggests that a specialised affect regulation sys tem (or systems) underpins feelings of reassurance, safeness and well-being. It is believed to have evolved with attachment systems and, in particular, the ability to register and respond with calming and a sense of well-being to being cared for. In compassion-focused therapy it is hypothesised that this affect regulation system is poorly accessible in people with high shame and self-criticism, in whom the 'threat' affect regulation system dominates orientation to their inner and outer worlds. Compassion-focused therapy is an integrated and multimodal approach that draws from evolutionary, social, developmental and Buddhist psychology, and neuro science. One of its key concerns is to use compassionate mind training to help people develop and work with experiences of inner warmth, safeness and soothing, via compassion and self-compassion.
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Self-esteem is the "feeling of self-appreciation" and is an indispensable emotion for people to adapt to society and live their lives. For children, in particular, the environment in which they are raised contributes profoundly to the development of their self-esteem, which in turn helps them to adapt better to society. Various psychologists have provided definitions of self-esteem, and examined methods of objectively evaluating self-esteem. Questionnaire-style assessment methods for adult include Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and Janis-Field Feeling of Inadequacy Scale, and these for children include Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory, Pope's 5-Scale Test of Self-Esteem for children, and Kid- KINDL®. Other methods include Ziller Social Self-Esteem Scale and Implicit Association Test. The development of children's self-esteem is heavily influenced by their environment, that is, their homes, neighborhoods, and schools. Children with damaged self-esteem are at risk of developing psychological and social problems, which hinders recovery from low self-esteem. Thus, to recover low self-esteem, it is important for children to accumulate a series of successful experiences to create a positive concept of self. Evaluating children's self-esteem can be an effective method for understanding their past and present circumstances, and useful to treat for children with psychosomatic disorders.
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Resilience may be viewed as a measure of stress coping ability and, as such, could be an important target of treatment in anxiety, depression, and stress reactions. We describe a new rating scale to assess resilience. The Connor-Davidson Resilience scale (CD-RISC) comprises of 25 items, each rated on a 5-point scale (0-4), with higher scores reflecting greater resilience. The scale was administered to subjects in the following groups: community sample, primary care outpatients, general psychiatric outpatients, clinical trial of generalized anxiety disorder, and two clinical trials of PTSD. The reliability, validity, and factor analytic structure of the scale were evaluated, and reference scores for study samples were calculated. Sensitivity to treatment effects was examined in subjects from the PTSD clinical trials. The scale demonstrated good psychometric properties and factor analysis yielded five factors. A repeated measures ANOVA showed that an increase in CD-RISC score was associated with greater improvement during treatment. Improvement in CD-RISC score was noted in proportion to overall clinical global improvement, with greatest increase noted in subjects with the highest global improvement and deterioration in CD-RISC score in those with minimal or no global improvement. The CD-RISC has sound psychometric properties and distinguishes between those with greater and lesser resilience. The scale demonstrates that resilience is modifiable and can improve with treatment, with greater improvement corresponding to higher levels of global improvement.
Background People with mental health problems often have difficulties linked to high self-criticism and shame, and may be fearful of and resistant to compassionate and prosocial motives. Compassion focused therapy (CFT) is specifically designed to help people address these difficulties, cultivate and build compassionate motives and emotions for self and others. There is increasing evidence for the effectiveness of CFT for both individuals and groups. This study, describing a protocol and evaluating a protocol-based CFT group treatment, adds to the evidence base in a Danish community transdiagnostic group of patients, suffering from shame, self- criticism, depression and anxiety. Methods This is a naturalistic study from a private psychiatric practice. Based on CFT theory and practice we developed a protocol for group therapy. As part of a routine procedure in the clinic, people were rated according to BAI, BDI and SES pre-and post-treatment. Ten groups, involving 102 patients with various psychiatric diagnosis followed a ten- week compassion mind- training programme with an eleventh follow-up session. ResultsCFT Group treatment significantly reduced the group participants’ symptoms of depression and anxiety while increasing self-esteem. There was no significant difference in outcome between the various diagnostic categories. Conclusions For this cohort of patients with severe psychological problems, protocol-based compassion focused group therapy was an effective treatment regardless of their diagnosis.
Intimate partner abuse is a significant public health issue that is associated with a number of negative emotional responses (such as self-blame and shame), as well as mental health outcomes (such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and suicidality). Although not commonly utilized with survivors of intimate partner abuse (IPA), current research indicates that mindful self-compassion (MSC), a concept embodied by the principles of self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness, can improve emotional responses and mental health outcomes for individuals who have experienced trauma. We lay out the research and potential benefits of using MSC as a healing technique for those who have experienced IPA. Intervention strategies to assist survivors in applying MSC are offered as tools for practitioners in working with survivors. Recommendations are made to guide future research in this area.
Topic Divorce and separation Introduction Each year, millions of children around the globe face family disruption, and in many countries, divorce rates are rising. 1 Children experience divorce deeply and personally, and the potential for negative short-and long-term consequences is considerably higher for children whose parents divorce than for those from non-divorced families. While parental divorce poses significant risks for children that warrant concern, research shows that these outcomes are not the same for all children, nor are they inevitable. There are many factors that can reduce risks and promote children's resilience. 2 The three biggest factors that impact children's well-being during and after their parents' separation or divorce are potentially within parents' control: the degree and duration of hostile conflict, the quality of parenting provided over time, and the quality of the parent-child relationship. Underlying these, of course, are parents' own well-being and ability to function effectively. By learning how to manage their conflict, parent effectively, and nurture warm and loving relationships with their children, parents can have a powerful, positive effect on their children, even as they undergo multiple difficult changes in their own lives. Subject The importance of parents' roles and skills in helping their children to cope with divorce cannot be overemphasized because it is primarily parents who can mitigate or reverse potentially serious negative outcomes for their children.
Compassion focused therapy (CFT) is rooted in an evolutionary, functional analysis of basic social motivational systems (e.g., to live in groups, form hierarchies and ranks, seek out sexual, partners help and share with alliances, and care for kin) and different functional emotional systems (e.g., to respond to threats, seek out resources, and for states of contentment/safeness). In addition, about 2 million years ago, (pre-)humans began to evolve a range of cognitive competencies for reasoning, reflection, anticipating, imagining, mentalizing, and creating a socially contextualized sense of self. These new competencies can cause major difficulties in the organization of (older) motivation and emotional systems. CFT suggests that our evolved brain is therefore potentially problematic because of its basic ‘design,’ being easily triggered into destructive behaviours and mental health problems (called ‘tricky brain’). However, mammals and especially humans have also evolved motives and emotions for affiliative, caring and altruistic behaviour that can organize our brain in such a way as to significantly offset our destructive potentials. CFT therefore highlights the importance of developing people's capacity to (mindfully) access, tolerate, and direct affiliative motives and emotions, for themselves and others, and cultivate inner compassion as a way for organizing our human ‘tricky brain’ in prosocial and mentally healthy ways.
Despite the fact that children are negatively impacted by family separation and divorce (Amato, 20013. Amato , P. R. 2001. Children of divorce in the 1990s: An update of the Amato & Keith 1991 meta-analysis. Journal of Family Psychiatry, 15: 355–370. [CrossRef], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [CSA]View all references; Dreman & Shemi, 20048. Dreman , S. and Shemi , R. 2004. Perception of family structure, state-anger, and parent-child communication and adjustment of children of divorced parents. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 41: 47–68. [Taylor & Francis Online]View all references; Kelly, 200011. Kelly , J. B. 2000. Children's adjustment in conflicted marriage and divorce: A decade review of research. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescence Psychiatry, : 963–967. [CrossRef], [PubMed]View all references) there is a paucity of information regarding evidence-based social work practice with children coping with family disruption. In order to address this gap, the authors describe the process and outcomes of a quasi-experimental evaluation (N = 79) designed to reduce the behavioral, emotional, and academic problems that children often face when experiencing divorce or parental separation. Results of data analysis (paired t-tests, independent t-tests, and analysis of variance) suggest (p < .05) that the intervention is effective in helping children cope with family disruption.
The aim of these two studies was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program, an 8-week workshop designed to train people to be more self-compassionate. Study 1 was a pilot study that examined change scores in self-compassion, mindfulness, and various wellbeing outcomes among community adults (N = 21; mean [M] age = 51.26, 95% female). Study 2 was a randomized controlled trial that compared a treatment group (N = 25; M age = 51.21; 78% female) with a waitlist control group (N = 27; M age = 49.11; 82% female). Study 1 found significant pre/post gains in self-compassion, mindfulness, and various wellbeing outcomes. Study 2 found that compared with the control group, intervention participants reported significantly larger increases in self-compassion, mindfulness, and wellbeing. Gains were maintained at 6-month and 1-year follow-ups. The MSC program appears to be effective at enhancing self-compassion, mindfulness, and wellbeing.
In this study, 44 young adults who were removed from their biological parents as children responded to survey questions about the internal and external resources that helped them to "beat the odds" and, unlike most foster youth, complete a post-secondary educational program or achieve at least junior standing in a four-year institution. The results indicated that the majority of these youth acknowledge the presence of a variety of protective factors, including a sense of competence, goals for the future, social support, and involvement in community service activities. Implications for the improvement of foster youth services include the enhancement of programs that nourish supportive relationships with caring adults and enable youth to positively contribute by helping others.
Resilience refers to an individual's ability to thrive despite adversity. The current study examined the psychometric properties of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC). Three undergraduate samples (ns < 500) were used to determine the factor structure of the CD-RISC. The first two samples were used to conduct exploratory factor analysis (EFA), and the third was used for confirmatory factor analysis. The EFA showed that the CD-RISC had an unstable factor structure across two demographically equivalent samples. A series of empirically driven modifications was made, resulting in a 10-item unidimensional scale that demonstrated good internal consistency and construct validity. Overall, the 10-item CD-RISC displays excellent psychometric properties and allows for efficient measurement of resilience.
The Effectiveness of CODIP on Improvement of Self-concept and Enhancement of Resilience in Children of Divorce
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