Self-compassion as a mechanism of change in patients with eating disorders and childhood trauma receiving CFT-E - A study of within-person processes
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- Institutt for psykologi 
This study examines the reciprocal relationship between self-compassion and eating disorder (ED) and trauma symptoms. A total of thirty-six patients with EDs and childhood trauma received inpatient compassion-focused therapy for eating disorders (CFT-E) over 13 weeks. The objective was to examine the following research questions: 1. Is self-compassion a specific mechanism of change in patients with ED and trauma symptoms? and 2. Is there a predictive relationship between patients with ED and trauma symptoms? Levels of selfcompassion and symptoms were assessed using repeated measures, as patients filled out questionnaires every week during treatment. A multilevel growth model was applied, and the effects of self-compassion and symptoms were separated into between- and within-person effects. The results show that the symptoms of ED did decrease significantly during treatment. Furthermore, the analyses demonstrated a reciprocal between-person relationship between self-compassion and ED symptoms, self-compassion and trauma symptoms, and ED and trauma symptoms. However, regarding within-person effects, only self-compassion predicted trauma symptoms. The outcome of the current study demonstrates a favourable course for patients with EDs and childhood trauma receiving CFT-E in an inpatient facility. While there is a reciprocal relationship between the variables, the within-person analyses complicate the role of self-compassion in the therapy process.