An Interpretative phenomenological analysis of shame in adult women and self compassion focused group intervention with schema therapy techniques

Demir, Sevda
The aim of this thesis was to examine shame in high shame prone adult women and develop an intervention to teach them skills of self-compassion. In the first study, we aimed at in-depth analysis of shame experiences of adult women, origins of shame, coping styles and needs of women. Purposive sampling yielded nine high shame prone adult women, from middle class, having children, living and working in İstanbul, Turkey. Four semi-structured interviews were conducted with each of the nine participants and 36 semi-structured interviews were analysed by Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. According to the results of analysis, four themes emerged. These were ‘Substitution of rage for the feeling of shame andunworthiness’, ‘Trying to be a perfect mother to overcompensate the belief of being inadequate mother’, ‘Feeling shame for their own body and sexual acts’, ‘Need for individuation’. The second study aimed at combining Compasssionate Mind Training with Schema Therapy approach and techniques to make participants experience selfcompassion at an affective level. Compassion focused intervention with schema therapy techniques were developed as 2 hours 10 weekly sessions intervention conducted to teach skills of self compassion and self-soothing. The participants were four high shame prone adult women with low levels of self-compassion who attended the first study. Thematic analysis of the group sessions yielded two superordinate themes ‘Blocks against self-compassion’ and ‘The process of change’. Blocks of self compassion involved three subthemes: ‘Fear of self-compassion’, 'Difficulty of getting in touch to child mode’ and ‘Feeling anger at others and self’.The process of change is comprised of four subordinate themes: ‘Feeling approval’, ‘Understanding own anger withfeeling close to self’, ‘Recognizing self compassion and its sources in self’, ‘Confronting to critical parent mode: Self-kindness versus self-judgement’. The themes and clinical implications were discussed in the context of relevant literature.