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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3XG9FJ01

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Sexual Assault Survivors' Experiences of Self-Compassion Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
sexual assault
self-compassion
trauma
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Dicks, Janice M
Supervisor and department
Van Vliet, Jessica (Education Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Eppert, Claudia (Secondary Education)
Yohani, Sophie (Educational Psychology)
Lasiuk, Gerri (Nursing)
Whelton, William (Educational Psychology)
Department
Department of Educational Psychology
Specialization
Counselling Psychology
Date accepted
2014-07-28T13:24:27Z
Graduation date
2014-11
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
Sexual assault can have devastating psychological consequences for survivors. Feelings of self-loathing and shame may undermine survivors’ sense of self and contribute to long-term distress. Self-compassion has been proposed to be a facilitator of healing from traumatic events and has been found to help individuals find hope and meaning when faced with difficult life circumstances. To date, no known studies have examined self-compassion and trauma from a qualitative perspective and there is an absence of studies focusing on self-compassion exclusively in relation to sexual assault. The present study explored how sexual assault survivors describe and ascribe meaning to experiences of self-compassion. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 female survivors who experienced sexual assault in adulthood. Through Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, eight major themes emerged: (a) affirming self-worth; (b) accepting oneself; (c) absolving oneself of blame; (d) honouring emotions; (e) taking time for self-care; (f) connecting with others; (g) claiming power; and (h) recognizing progress. Based on the findings, suggestions for the intentional implementation of compassion-focused practices as an adjunct to trauma treatment are discussed.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3XG9FJ01
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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