Comparison of the Effectiveness of Compassion-focused Therapy and Quality of Life Therapy on Self-Criticism and Psychopathological Symptoms in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, Neyshabur Branch, Islamic ‎Azad University, Neyshabur, Iran


Background: The main feature of Major Depression Disorder (MDD) is mood swings between sadness (from minor disappointment to extreme despair) for several days, weeks, months, or even years. This work tries to compare the effectiveness of compassion-focused therapy and quality of life-therapy on self-criticism and psychopathological symptoms in patients with MDD.
Methodology: This work is a quasi-experimental study (pre-test, post-test, and follow-up test with a control group). The subjects include 45 MDD patients admitted in psychological advisory centers in Neyshabur, all of whom are selected by convenience sampling method and randomly divided into three groups: the compassion-focused therapy group, the quality of the life-therapy group, and the control group. The members of the CFT group and quality of life-therapy respectively received 8 and 10 therapy sessions, while the control group members were put on a waiting list. The research tools are as follows Self-Criticism Scale, Depression-Anxiety-Stress Scale (DASS-21), and Beck-Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). The participants were tested before therapy intrusions, immediately after the sessions, and two-month after the ending session. Data were analyzed according to the variance analysis test by repetitive measurements and SPSS-24 Software.
Results: The results show that both therapies are effective in reducing self-criticism (p < 0.001) and psychopathological symptoms (p < 0.001); however, this effect was significantly higher in the CFT group as compared to the quality of life-therapy group (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Given the biological and psychological infrastructure of MDD, using quality of life-therapy and self-compassion approaches (in addition to medication) can be effective in reducing MDD symptoms.


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