Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Gina P. Owens

Committee Members

Brent S. Mallinckrodt, Dawn M. Szymanski, Joanne M. Hall


This study examined the effects of a four-week long self-administered self-compassion training on trauma-related guilt in a sample of homeless veterans in transitional housing. Changes in self-compassion, trauma-related guilt, resilience, PTSD severity, and general distress in the self-compassion intervention group (N = 13) were studied and compared to a coping with stress (control) group (N = 14). Participation in the four-week long self-administered self-compassion training led to significant reductions in trauma-related guilt. Both interventions seemed equally effective at reducing trauma-related guilt. The results from this study lay the foundation for the use of self-compassion training as an effective treatment for trauma-related guilt. This research suggests that self-administered trainings in the form of workbooks may be a viable, cost-effective form of intervention for disadvantaged populations, such as homeless veterans in transitional housing, who lack resources or access to professionals or paraprofessionals. The role of self-compassion training as a possible adjunct to existing evidence-based treatments for PTSD, the effects of coping with stress training on the study variables, and directions for future research on self-compassion and trauma-related guilt are discussed.

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