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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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
Article
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.
Article
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.
Article
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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