MacBeth, Angus M.
The Narrative Compassion Scale: development and validation of an interview measure of compassion and recovery in complex mental health difficulties.
D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.
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Objectives: The ability to regulate affect in the face of stress has implications for recovery and chronicity in complex mental health problems such as schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder. In addition to adaptive integrating and maladaptive sealing over recovery styles it may be possible to delineate a further maladaptive recovery style of “ruminative preoccupation”. In addition, the capacity to compassionately relate to self and others may be linked to an recovery trajectories. The current study presents data on the utility of a Narrative Compassion Scale for recovery in a mixed clinical sample of
individuals with diagnoses of psychotic disorder (with or without interpersonal violence) and Borderline Personality Disorder
Design: A cross-sectional mixed methods design was used with a within subjects condition and three between subjects groups
Methods: Forty-Three individuals were interviewed and transcripts coded with the Narrative Compassion Scale (NCS). Self-report measures of compassion, attachment, interpersonal problems and symptoms were completed. Symptomatology was also measured.
Results: Three recovery styles were identified. Compassion was strongly positively correlated with Integration; and negatively correlated with Sealing Over. NCS compassion
was unrelated to self-reported compassion, symptoms, interpersonal problems or attachment. Differential patterns of recovery emerged between clinical groups, with lower preoccupation and higher sealing-over in the psychosis with history of interpersonal violence group.
Conclusions: The NCS is a promising narrative measure of recovery and compassionate responding. Implications are discussed in terms of a transdiagnostic understanding of
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