Self-compassion, self-esteem and recovery in psychosis: Investigating the relationships between psychosis severity, content and appraisals

  • Hannah Elizabeth Taylor

Student thesis: Unknown


The aim of this thesis was to explore the relationships between the constructs of self-compassion (SC), self-esteem (SE) and recovery in psychosis. It is presented to the reader as three separate papers. 1) A systematic literature review exploring the relationships between SE and the positive symptoms of psychosis, 2) an empirical study investigating SC, SE, recovery in psychosis and positive psychotic symptoms and 3) a critical appraisal and personal reflection of the processes involved in conducting the research.Paper one presents a systematic review of the existing literature that explores the relationships between SE and the positive symptoms of psychosis. Thirty-four articles were identified which met the strict criteria. The evidence was mixed and much of it inconclusive. There was some support for the relationship between SE and delusions, in particular paranoia. The evidence for hallucinations was much less conclusive. Recommendations for future research were suggested as were potential clinical implications which arose from the review.The empirical study presented in paper two explores the relationships between SE, SC and recovery in psychosis, and aimed to assess whether SC was a unique predictor of recovery in psychosis, over and above the impact of SE (using cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis). Further exploratory analysis was conducted to ascertain whether specific positive symptoms of psychosis were related to SC and SE. At baseline, the results indicated that SC did not contribute unique variance in recovery from psychosis over and above that attributable to SE. Longitudinally, SC at baseline was not related to recovery at follow up. Exploratory analysis revealed levels of SE and SC were significantly different in groups who had a presence or absence hallucinations, but not delusions. Methodological strengths and limitations, clinical implications and ideas for future research discussed.Paper three provides the reader with a critical reflection of the processes involved in the undertaking of the two papers presented. Implications for clinical practice are discussed as well as directions for future research.
Date of Award31 Dec 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorGillian Haddock (Supervisor)


  • Psychosis
  • Systematic-review
  • Self-compassion
  • Self-esteem

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