Shame, psychopathology and the moderating role of compassion
Growing evidence supports the association between early memories of shame (as well as a lack of warmth and safeness) and later psychopathology. In fact, shame memories have been found to function like trauma memories, and can lead to patterns of symptoms similar to those found in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). More recently, compassion (including compassion towards others, compassion from others, and compassion towards oneself) has been hypothesised to moderate the effect of early shame memories on later psychopathology. Thus far, research exploring these relationships have largely been conducted with university student or general community populations.
The project to be undertaken will involve collecting cross-sectional survey data on variables such as shame memories, warmth and safeness, compassion, psychological flexibility and psychopathology among both a university sample and a clinical sample. The project will be conducted in collaboration with Dr Marcela Matos at University of Coimbra, Portugal, who has carried out previous research in this area. The clinical sample will be gathered from a private practice setting.
I am interested in taking one honours student in 2017. I would like to invite students with an interest in clinical psychology to apply. I am a clinical psychologist in private practice, and as such may need to meet the student sometimes at my offices, either in Morningside or Newmarket, however, I will be available to come to UQ on some Mondays. Hopefully we will be able to have joint supervision sessions via Skype with Dr Matos at times throughout the year, especially for advice regarding statistical analyses. If you have any queries, please feel free to contact me by email.
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