There is increasing recognition that cultivating compassion for oneself and others can act as an antidote to feelings of threat, shame, humiliation and paranoia. This study aimed to explore the further development of a narrative-based measure of compassion. We hypothesised that greater compassion would be associated with lower levels of positive symptoms, negative symptoms, cognitive disorganisation, excitement and emotional distress. Participants were 29 individuals with psychosis. Greater narrative compassion was associated with less negative symptoms, less cognitive disorganisation and less excitement. We found no correlations between narrative compassion and the Self-Compassion Scale. Notwithstanding the methodological problems of our study, our findings have important implications for developing an attachment-based understanding of compassion and the use of compassion to support recovery from complex mental health problems such as psychosis.
We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers who provided excellent and thought-provoking critiques of an earlier version of this manuscript.