A Qualitative Study Exploring the Impact the Self-Compassion App Has on Levels of Compassion, Self-Criticism, and Wellbeing

Beaumont, EA ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8259-5858, Irons, C and McAndrew, SL ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4681-3261 2022, 'A Qualitative Study Exploring the Impact the Self-Compassion App Has on Levels of Compassion, Self-Criticism, and Wellbeing' , OBM Integrative and Complementary Medicine .

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Abstract

Self-guided, smartphone apps may be helpful in reducing symptoms associated with psychological distress and may boost wellbeing, and levels of compassion. To our knowledge this is the first study to examine the impact a 28-day app based on Compassion Focused Therapy and Compassionate Mind Training has on participant’s levels of compassion, wellbeing, and self-criticism. The Self-Compassion App includes exercises, meditations, quotes, a daily wisdom, and audios, all of which aim to help individuals develop compassion for themselves, experience compassion from others, and be more compassionate to other people. The aim of the study was to explore participants’ experiences of the app, including ease of use, preferred sessions, barriers, as well as perceived impact on well-being, self-compassion, and self-criticism. Nine members of staff and eight students from The University of Salford took part in two focus groups; one for staff and one for students approximately four-six weeks after use of the app. The analysis highlighted eight themes: (1) Thinking of my experiences differently (2) Soothing the threat: Managing the three systems (3) Stop, reflect, and befriend the self-critic (4) Looking after me: The therapist within (5) Fears, Blocks, and Resistances (6) Looking back at the good things in life (7) Gender of Therapist (8) An ap(p)t App. Following use of the app, participants reported that they were more supportive of themselves, connected with their compassionate self, befriended their inner critic, experienced gratitude, and in times of personal struggles, reminded themselves that the present moment was an opportunity for compassion to be applied. The COVID-19 pandemic had, and continues to have, a negative impact on the mental health of many people. Therefore considering interventions that utilise technology with the aim of boosting wellbeing, levels of compassion, and reducing self-criticism is imperative.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: OBM Integrative and Complementary Medicine
Publisher: Lidsen Publishing Inc
Depositing User: Dr Elaine Beaumont
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2022 14:44
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2022 14:45
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/65045

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