A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Self-Compassion Writing Intervention for Adults With Mental Illness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Studies have found that writing with self-compassion about a stressful event helps promote mental health in college students and nonclinical populations. Using a randomized controlled trial, this study investigated whether a self-compassion writing intervention would lead to increases in self-compassion and proactive coping and reductions in mental health symptoms in a sample of individuals with mental illness. Method: Individuals with mental disorders were recruited and randomly assigned to a treatment condition in which participants wrote with self-compassion or a control condition where participants wrote about how they spent their time. Outcome measures were administered at pretest, after the 3-day intervention, and 1 month later. Results: Both the treatment and control groups showed significant improvements in self-compassion, proactive coping, mental health, and physical health. Discussion: Overall, the results suggest both self-compassion writing and writing about how one spends one’s time may be beneficial for individuals with mental illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-266
Number of pages13
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • field of practice
  • journal writing
  • mental health
  • mental illness
  • outcome study
  • randomized experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)

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