Women's experiences of group intervention with schema therapy techniques: A qualitative process analysis

Sari S., GENÇÖZ F.

COUNSELLING & PSYCHOTHERAPY RESEARCH, vol.19, no.3, pp.301-310, 2019 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/capr.12222
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.301-310
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Aims Our study focused on a self-soothing system and analysed how women feeling shame experienced compassion-focused group intervention with schema therapy techniques. Group schema therapy, which is process-oriented and person-oriented (Farrell & Shaw, 2012), inspired us to combine schema therapy techniques with Compassionate Mind Training in the interventions for this study. Methods Data were collected through the programme that comprised 2-hr sessions over a period of 10 weeks and self-compassion and self-criticism diaries of women. Analysis Data analysis was conducted according to the phases of thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Twenty hours of group sessions (2 hr per session) and follow-up sessions were audio recorded and transcribed. Thematic analysis was conducted to analyse 26 hr of group intervention and follow-up sessions and also women's self-compassion and self-criticism diaries, to understand how shame-prone women experienced change process. Findings Thematic analysis of the group sessions yielded two superordinate themes: overcoming the threat of compassion and the process of change. Overcoming the threat of compassion was divided into three subthemes; fear of self-compassion, the difficulty of accessing the vulnerable child side, and feeling anger at others and self. The process of change involved two subthemes; the feeling of acceptance, and recognising self-compassion and its sources in the self. When the women could access their self-soothing system, they could better understand the needs of their vulnerable child side and address these needs by transferring the emotions of compassion to their vulnerable child side.