Preparing individuals with severe head injury for a brief compassionate imagery exercise & Clinical Research Portfolio

Gallagher, Melanie (2014) Preparing individuals with severe head injury for a brief compassionate imagery exercise & Clinical Research Portfolio. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Objective: Head injury can result in problems with the ability to empathise and connect with others emotionally. Compassion-focused techniques have been used within a general adult population to develop soothing and affiliative emotions. A recent trial found a trend for increased self-compassion following a compassion-focused and relaxation-based imagery intervention within a severe head injury (SHI) sample (O’Neill and McMillan, 2012). The present pilot study aimed to determine whether providing a short preparatory task could enhance effectiveness of a compassion-focused imagery intervention within a SHI sample.
Methods: The study employed a repeated measures design. All participants (n=24) completed a preparatory task, which involved viewing a 20-minute preparatory video and a short discussion of examples of imagery. Fears of compassion, motivation for an imagery intervention, state anxiety and negative affect were measured pre- and post- preparatory tasks. All participants then entered a follow-on treatment study, where they were randomised to a compassionate-imagery intervention or a relaxation-imagery intervention.
Results: There was a significant increase in motivation for an imagery task following preparatory information, but no significant change on other outcome measures. Fears of compassion were high within the present sample, when compared to norms. Self-compassion and empathy scores following a compassionate-imagery task were not significantly different from those following a relaxation-imagery task.
Conclusions: Preparatory tasks can enhance motivation to engage participants in therapy. Thereafter, it is likely that more work on fears of compassion or more prolonged exposure to imagery exercises may be required in order for a similar sample of individuals to benefit from compassion-focused imagery.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: McLeod, Dr. Hamish and Tom, Prof. McMillan
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Melanie Gallagher
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5538
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2014 13:22
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2015 14:48

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