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Is Self-Compassion a Worthwhile Therapeutic Target for ICD-11 Complex PTSD (CPTSD)?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 October 2018

Thanos Karatzias*
Affiliation:
Edinburgh Napier University, School of Health and Social Care, Edinburgh, UK NHS Lothian, Rivers Centre for Traumatic Stress, Edinburgh, UK
Philip Hyland
Affiliation:
National College of Ireland, School of Business, Dublin, Ireland Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Aoife Bradley
Affiliation:
Edinburgh Napier University, School of Health and Social Care, Edinburgh, UK
Claire Fyvie
Affiliation:
NHS Lothian, Rivers Centre for Traumatic Stress, Edinburgh, UK
Katharine Logan
Affiliation:
NHS Lothian, Rivers Centre for Traumatic Stress, Edinburgh, UK
Paula Easton
Affiliation:
NHS Lothian, Rivers Centre for Traumatic Stress, Edinburgh, UK
Jackie Thomas
Affiliation:
NHS Lothian, Rivers Centre for Traumatic Stress, Edinburgh, UK
Sarah Philips
Affiliation:
NHS Lothian, Rivers Centre for Traumatic Stress, Edinburgh, UK
Jonathan I. Bisson
Affiliation:
Cardiff University, School of Medicine, Cardiff, UK
Neil P. Roberts
Affiliation:
Psychology and Psychological Therapies Directorate, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff, UK Cardiff University, School of Medicine, Cardiff, UK
Marylene Cloitre
Affiliation:
National Center for PTSD, Palo Alto Health Care System, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA
Mark Shevlin
Affiliation:
Ulster University, School of Psychology, Derry, Northern Ireland
*Corresponding
Correspondence to Professor Thanos Karatzias, Edinburgh Napier University, Sighthill Campus, Sighthill Court, Edinburgh EH11 4BN, UK. E-mail: t.karatzias@napier.ac.uk

Abstract

Background: Two ‘sibling’ disorders have been proposed for the fourthcoming 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11): post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex PTSD (CPTSD). Examining psychological factors that may be associated with CPTSD, such as self-compassion, is an important first step in its treatment that can inform consideration of which problems are most salient and what interventions are most relevant. Aims: We set out to investigate the association between self-compassion and the two factors of CPTSD: the PTSD factor (re-experiencing, avoidance, sense of threat) and the Disturbances in Self-Organization (DSO) factor (affect dysregulation, negative self-concept and disturbances in relationships). We hypothesized that self-compassion subscales would be negatively associated with both PTSD and DSO symptom clusters. Method: A predominantly female, clinical sample (n = 106) completed self-report scales to measure traumatic life events, ICD-11 CPTSD and self-compassion. Results: Significant negative associations were found between the CPTSD DSO clusters of symptoms and self-compassion subscales, but not for the PTSD ones. Specifically it was also found that self-judgement and common humanity significantly predicted hypoactive affect dysregulation whereas self-judgement and isolation significantly predicted negative self-concept. Conclusions: Our results indicate that self-compassion may be a useful treatment target for ICD-11 CPTSD, particularly for symptoms of negative self-concept and affect dysregulation. Future research is required to investigate the efficacy and acceptability of interventions that have implicit foundations on compassion.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2018 

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