Unusual Experiences, Beliefs and Paranoia: Exploring the Relationships with Shame Memories and Compassion

Prof Doc Thesis

Lechler, S. 2019. Unusual Experiences, Beliefs and Paranoia: Exploring the Relationships with Shame Memories and Compassion. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8756x
AuthorsLechler, S.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Background: Individuals with psychotic-type experiences (unusual experiences, beliefs and paranoia) have been found to have high levels of shame. Early shame memories, which can act as traumatic memories and become central to one’s identity, have been associated with shame in adulthood. Whilst shame has been examined in relation to paranoia, the relationship between shame and unusual experiences and beliefs warrants further attention. Furthermore, shame memories have not yet been investigated in individuals with unusual beliefs and experiences. Self-compassion has been found to reduce shame, psychotic-type experiences and their associated distress, but is yet to be investigated within this population.
Aims: To explore the relationships between shame memories containing traumatic and centrality features, current experiences of shame, psychotic-type experiences and their associated distress, and self-compassion.
Method: A cross-sectional design was employed and a mixed clinical/non clinical sample of adults from the UK was recruited (N = 35) through convenience and purposive sampling. Participants completed a series of established self-report measures via an online survey platform.
Results: Multiple regression analyses showed that shame memories containing traumatic features were a significant predictor of external shame and the distress
associated with all three psychotic-type experiences. Internal shame was found to moderate this relationship.
Conclusion: Several tentative clinical implications can be drawn from the findings including the importance of attending to the properties of shame memories in the experience of distressing psychotic-type experiences. This may be particularly relevant for individuals who also experience external shame. Internal shame should also be considered as a focus for therapeutic interventions when working with distressing psychotic-type experiences.

PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8756x
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Publication dates
OnlineMay 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited02 Dec 2019
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