Objectives. This study explored mechanisms of change for Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) groups. The feasibility and acceptability of a new group therapy protocol were assessed in a college counseling center population.Method. Seventy-five participants engaged in eight transdiagnostic CFT groups. Group CFT consisted of 12 weekly sessions. Participants completed measures of fears of compassion, flows of compassion, self-reassurance, self-criticism, shame, and psychiatric distress at pre, mid, and post time points. Significant and reliable change was assessed. Potential mechanisms of change were examined using correlations. Self-report feasibility and acceptability data were collected from therapists and participants respectively.Results. Significant and reliable change was found for fears of self-compassion, fears of compassion from others, fears of compassion to others, self-compassion, compassion from others, self-reassurance, self-criticism, shame, and psychological distress. Improvements in fears and flows of compassion predicted improvements in self-reassurance, self-criticism, shame, and psychiatric distress. The protocol was judged to be feasible and acceptable.Conclusion. The new CFT group protocol appears to be feasible, acceptable, and effective in a transdiagnostic college counseling center population. The identified mechanisms of change support the theory of CFT that transdiagnostic pathological constructs of self-criticism and shame can be decreased by decreasing fears and increasing flows of compassion.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Jensen, Jennifer Lynn, "An Exploration of Mechanisms of Change in Compassion Focused Therapy Groups: A Pilot Study in a College Counseling Center Population" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 8563.
compassion focused therapy, CFT, group therapy, college counseling center