An exploration of self-compassion and self-criticism in the context of personal recovery from borderline personality disorder

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Objectives: A lack of compassion for oneself, or harsh self-criticism, is associated with a range of psychiatric disorders including borderline personality disorder (BPD). Personal recovery in the context of a mental illness such as BPD involves building a life that is subjectively meaningful and satisfying. Limited self-compassion or harsh self-criticism may be an impediment to recovery from BPD. The association between self-compassion and recovery and self- criticism and recovery were examined. Method: Nineteen individuals diagnosed with BPD completed the Neff Self-Compassion Scale, the Forms of Self-Criticising/Attacking and Self-Reassuring Scale and the Recovery Assessment Scale at a single time point. Results: There was a strong positive correlation between self-compassion and recovery (r = 0.75) and a strong negative correlation (rho = −0.67) between self- criticism and recovery. Conclusions: Although preliminary in nature, these results suggest the importance of fostering self-compassion and working to address self-criticism within clinical interventions supporting recovery from BPD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-59
Number of pages4
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • borderline personality disorder
  • recovery
  • self-compassion
  • self-criticism

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