Exploring clients’ and therapists’ experiences of compassion focused therapy in fostering post-traumatic growth
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractIntroduction: Within the trauma-based literature, research has started to highlight how some individuals may experience positive, life-changing responses following traumatic life events which have been described as post-traumatic growth (PTG). Research has started to focus on the role of trauma-based psychotherapy approaches in the facilitation of PTG for individuals who have experienced trauma, with limited research focusing specifically on sexual abuse. Aim: This research aims to capture two different perspectives through two separate studies. The first study sets out to explore clients’ experiences of compassion-focused therapy in facilitating post-traumatic growth following experiencing sexual abuse. The second study sets to explore Compassion-focused therapists’ experience of compassion-focused therapy facilitating post-traumatic growth for clients who have experienced sexual abuse. Methodology: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was employed as an approach to understand lived experiences and the meanings/understandings which my participants have ascribed to those experiences. IPA was employed due to the limited amount of qualitative research which has focused on this phenomenon. Method: Semi-structured interviews were carried out with participants to examine their phenomenological experiences online. Participants: Three client participants were interviewed for the client study and eight therapist participants were interviewed for the therapist study. Findings: For the client study, four superordinate themes were found: Life before therapy, the therapeutic process, changes within oneself and regaining aspects of their life back. For the therapist study, four superordinate themes were also found: Working through the therapeutic process, the witnessing of changes, maintenance of PTG post-therapy and knowing CFT works at a personal level. Conclusions: Within both studies, the important role of de-shaming and taming the inner critic was discussed. The facilitation of PTG was experienced and witnessed by both sets of participants and the maintenance of PTG post-therapy was explored. Implications: The findings highlight the importance of further research into this phenomenon, exploring different types of trauma with CFT and different study designs. Implications for practice are discussed, which include the use of CFT-based work within Improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT).
CitationWard, C. (2022) Exploring clients’ and therapists’ experiences of compassion focused therapy in fostering post-traumatic growth. University of Wolverhampton. http://hdl.handle.net/2436/625193
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the award of Doctorate in Counselling Psychology.
The following licence applies to the copyright and re-use of this item:
- Creative Commons
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International