COMPASSIONATE MIND TRAINING IN CHINESE CHILDREN WITH HIGH LEVELS OF SELF-CRITICISM IN THE CONTEXT OF ASIAN CULTURE AND PARENTING STYLE: A CLINICAL CASE SERIES IN HONG KONG

B Tam, Wai Chen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Background: Compassionate mind training (CMT), which teaches the skills of compassion and affect regulation systems, was developed for people with high levels of shame and selfcriticism. Considerable evidence pertains to the effect of
authoritarian parenting style on children’s emotionality in Chinese culture. The applicability of CMT in the context of Asian culture and parenting style has not been investigated.

Objectives: The objective of the present pilot study is to evaluate the potential effectiveness of CMT in Hong Kong children with self-criticism.

Methods: Children with high levels of self-criticism were identified from consecutive referrals between January and October 2015. Quantitative and qualitative data were ascertained before and after CMT intervention.
Findings: During this period, four young male patients with high levels of self-criticism were identified. Two boys (aged 8 and 13 years) were referred with ADHD symptoms; the third patient was 15 years of age and presented with binge eating disorder; the fourth patient was 13 years of age and presented with somatic symptom disorder. The four boys were treated individually for up to 12 sessions of 50 minutes. The treatment specifically focused on selfcompassion, the function of self-criticism as a safety strategy, developing empathy for one’s own distress and refocusing on compassionate images and compassionate self-talk. All patients made positive improvements, including social and academic functions, and reduced symptoms as captured by the Strength and Difficulty Questionnaire.

Conclusions: This pilot study provides preliminary evidence that training self-soothing ability with CMT appears to reduce emotional distress and self-criticism among children in Hong Kong. Future larger studies using objective
measures on shame, self-criticism and parental expressed emotion will provide further evidence of effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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