Compassion‐focused therapy for body weight shame: A mixed methods pilot trial
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AbstractIndividuals with bigger bodies (body mass index greater than 30) often experience body weight shame and are at increased risk for mental health vulnerabilities such as depression and anxiety. To date, there have been no studies specifically designed and pilot tested to help with body weight shame for individuals with bigger bodies that do not have a diagnosed clinical condition. The aim of current study is to investigate the initial feasibility of compassion‐focused therapy (CFT) as a 12‐session group intervention for the reduction in body weight shame for individuals with bigger bodies. The study used a mixed method repeated measure design, with both quantitative and qualitative measures, to assess the initial feasibility of the CFT group‐based intervention. Participants (N = 5) attended a 12‐session/2‐h group CFT programme aimed to directly target body weight shame by cultivating compassion. Measurements were conducted at three time points (pre‐, post‐ and 3‐month follow‐up intervention). Results indicated that CFT had a positive impact on reducing body weight shame, increasing compassion and improving health‐engaging behaviours. Qualitative feedback indicated the importance of the group dynamics to help with the de‐shaming of body appearance for individuals. Results from this feasibility trial are promising, and future research using randomized controlled trial methodologies should be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of CFT as a treatment option for body weight shame for individuals with bigger bodies.
CitationCarter, A., Gilbert, P. and Kirby, J.N., (2020). 'Compassion focused therapy for body weight shame: A mixed methods pilot trial'. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, pp. 1-42.
JournalClinical Psychology & Psychotherapy
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