Self-Compassion and Self-Criticism in Recovery in Psychosis: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Study.
Waite F., Knight MTD., Lee D.
OBJECTIVE: To increase understanding of the internal processes of recovery in psychosis, with particular consideration given to self-compassion and self-criticism. METHOD: Qualitative data were collected by semistructured interviews, from 10 participants with psychosis, and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. RESULTS: Five superordinate themes emerged: (a) "my mind can't take the load": the "curse" of psychosis; (b) the "trap" of self-criticism; (c) "coming to terms" with psychosis in my life to "move on"; (d) "on my own two feet"; and (e) "an opportunity" for growth. The themes included a reciprocal relationship between psychosis and self-criticism, processes of acceptance, empowerment, and posttraumatic growth. CONCLUSIONS: The internal process of self-to-self relating contributed to 2 maintenance cycles: self-criticism maintained distressing experiences of psychosis and compassionate self-acceptance resulted in empowered action and promoted recovery and growth. The dual process of acceptance and change in relationship to self was central to recovery.