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Exploring the impact of an 8-week compassion and Mindfulness-Based Exposure Therapy program for posttraumatic stress symptoms

Kummar, Auretta Sonia (2021) Exploring the impact of an 8-week compassion and Mindfulness-Based Exposure Therapy program for posttraumatic stress symptoms. Professional Doctorate thesis, Murdoch University.

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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is a debilitating mental health issue with individuals often showing continued residual symptoms following standard treatment. Possibly contributing to the persistence of these posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) is emotion dysregulation. Relatedly, the research area of mindfulness has grown to imply emotion regulation (including fear extinction) as one of its underlying mechanisms. Therefore, the present dissertation investigated the efficacy of a modified, 8-week Mindfulness Based Exposure Therapy (MBET-M) for individuals with PTSS through a Feasibility Study 1, which piloted the novel intervention, followed by Main Study 2, which compared MBET-M to a Waitlist control group by assessing participants’ PTSS severity, emotion dysregulation, experiential avoidance, mindfulness skills, self-compassion, quality of life, and emotional responses to fear inducing stimuli using P300 and LPP components of event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Following MBET-M, participants reported significant decreases in PTSS severity (from clinical to non-clinical levels), emotion dysregulation, and experiential avoidance as well as significant increases in mindfulness, self-compassion and quality of life. Enhanced emotion regulation also mediated the relationship between increases in mindfulness and self-compassion with decreases in PTSS severity. Additionally, significant correlations between increases in mindfulness and quality of life with decreases in P300 ERP indicated that reduced attentional engagement to unpleasant stimuli could be underscored by increased mindfulness and improved sense of quality of life. Lastly, in collaboration with a community mental health service, a Translational Study was undertaken, which explored the feasibility and benefits of translating compassion-oriented approaches (from MBET-M) into their existing Dialectical Behaviour Therapy program for individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder. Translational findings highlighted the importance of a collaborative and coordinated process when working with a service and reinforced the benefits of working through clients' feaUV Rf cRPSaVViRQ. Overall, this dissertation suggests positive benefits of mindfulness and compassion-oriented approaches for individuals with PTSS.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
United Nations SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
Supervisor(s): Correia, Helen and Fujiyama, Hakuei
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