Research suggests shame contributes to substance use disorder (SUD; Dearing, Stuewig, & Tangney, 2005). Meditation practice has been positively correlated with self-compassion and negatively correlated with shame-proneness (Woods & Proeve, 2014). Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) has shown efficacy for SUD (Bowen et al., 2010, 2014); MBRP’s effects on shame and self-compassion are not documented. The current study assesses effects of MBRP on shame and self-compassion in mandated women with SUD. Additionally, the study explores whether experiential avoidance may be a mechanism of change in shame. In a sample of n = 20, there was significant differences between baseline shame (M = 58.53, SD = 32.26) and post-course shame (M = 46.03, SD = 29.47); t(18) = 2.40, p= .03, and between baseline self-compassion (M = 31.60, SD = 8.67), and post-course self-compassion (M = 35.75, SD = 10.21); t(19)= -2.32, p = .03. Further, baseline shame (β = .35, p = .02) and post-course self-compassion (β = -.63, p < .001) predict 79.4% of the variance in post-course shame, R² = .80, F(2,16) = 30.88, p < .001, yet post-course experiential avoidance (β = .28, p = .124) accounted for only 3.1% of the variance in post-course shame, R² change=.031, F(3,15) = 23.60, p < .001. Implications and limitations are discussed.
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