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The present study investigated whether cultivating self-compassion facilitates disclosure of self-esteem threatening experiences to others, and whether it does so indirectly by reducing shame. Eighty-five female undergraduates recalled an event that threatened their self-esteem and were randomly assigned to write about it in a self-compassionate (n = 29), self-esteem enhancing (n = 30), or non-directive (free writing; n = 26) way. Participants then learned that self-disclosure can decrease distress and were invited to share their event in writing to a stranger. Contrary to the central hypothesis, there was no main effect of condition on self-disclosure; however, post hoc analyses demonstrated that condition interacted with self-esteem threat to predict length and depth of disclosure. For participants whose events were more self-esteem threatening, cultivating either self-compassion or self-esteem promoted deeper disclosures than free writing, and self-compassionate writing alone fostered longer disclosures. For less self-esteem threatening events, free writing promoted deeper and longer disclosures than cultivating self-compassion or self-esteem. Shame was not a significant mediator. Results highlight the potential utility of self-compassion or self-esteem enhancing interventions for facilitating the disclosure of distressing events that threaten self-worth.
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- Cultivating Self-Compassion Promotes Disclosure of Experiences that Threaten Self-Esteem
Jessica R. Dupasquier
Allison C. Kelly
David A. Moscovitch
- Springer US
Cognitive Therapy and Research
Print ISSN: 0147-5916
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-2819