COMPASSION-FOCUSED THERAPY (CFT), developed by Paul Gilbert, is a compelling clinical approach to assist clients in dealing with a wide range of mental health problems. Compassion-Focused Therapy is an empirically validated therapeutic intervention that calls on the more evolved human mental capacity of empathy and compassion to promote wellbeing, resilience and better relationships.
Compassion-Focused Therapy or Compassionate Mind Training is especially helpful with clients who are experiencing a high level of self-criticism and shame which is known to exacerbate and maintain depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, weight concerns, obsessive-compulsive disorders, chronic pain, hoarding and post-traumatic stress disorders.
Cultivating compassion and self-compassion increase the capacities to engage in a supportive relationship and to foster emotions of safeness, contentment, belonging and connection which are key to psychological healing. Many therapists from a variety of approaches such as CBT, ACT, EMDR as well as many others are learning Compassion-Focused Therapy to extend their clinical expertise to facilitate greater transformation in themselves and their clients.
Defining Compassion-Focused Therapy(CFT)
Compassion-Focused Therapy is an integrated psychological approach that draws on other models such as the evolution of the brain, neuroscience, attachment theories, internal family systems as well as Mindfulness, CBT, ACT, somatic psychology and so on.
The heart of Compassion-Focused Therapy is “compassion” and the two psychologies of compassion. The first psychology is learning to engage with struggle, distress and pain while the second psychology is to learn ways to alleviate the distress, to help ourselves and others to experience more wellbeing and resilience.
Compassion-Focused Therapy recognises the three flows of compassion: offering compassion to others, receiving compassion from others and the compassion we give ourselves or self-compassion. In self-compassion, we cultivate a relationship with our self that is kind, supportive, understanding and caring. When we cultivate a compassionate relationship with our self and others, we re-organise our motivation and perspectives, to promote courage, wisdom and skilful actions.
Compassion-Focused Therapy presents a Compassionate Mind Training program with many tools, practices, visualisations and meditations that can be integrated into everyday life, where we become more aware and intentional.
Research increasingly shows that cultivating the three flows of compassion promotes positive clinical outcomes as well as protects therapists from stress burnout, empathy distress, caregiver fatigue and vicarious trauma which arises as we resonate with the struggles of our clients.
An increasing body of research is showing that Compassion-Focused Therapy fosters mental and physical health. Studies in clinical settings are showing that they can lead to significant psychological improvements in clients with a diagnosis of anxiety, depression, trauma, brain injury, eating disorders, personality disorders, hoarding disorders, schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, and other chronic mental health problems.
Compassion Mind Training has shown that it increases emotional regulation, well-being, resilience, positive relationships, healthy lifestyle and a sense of meaning in the world. Compassion-Focused Therapy which has also been called Compassionate Mind Training has been used for clinical individual as well as group programs.
In this course, we will teach the complete conceptual framework and applications of Compassion-Focused Therapy which is essential for learning Compassionate Mind Training. The content of the course will be interactive, didactic and experiential. In addition, you will present some practices from Mindful Self-Compassion to assist in the development of a compassionate mind.
This 6-week course (12 hours) aims to introduce a thorough foundation of Compassion-Focused Therapy and Compassionate Mind Training, such as how to work with the Evolutionary Brain Model, the Tricky Brain, the Three Circles of Emotions, the Multiple-Selves, The Inner Critic, the Compassionate Self and complete Case Formulations.
We will present a variety of approaches and tools to promote a sense of safeness, warmth, contentment and courage to increase the regulation of emotions in the clients as well as for the therapists. All through the course we encourage a personal practice as well as a professional practice in Compassion-Focused Therapy. In each session, we will present guided meditations/visualisations for you to experience and self-reflecting exercises that you can use for yourself and also offer your clients.
Compassion-Focused Therapy Course Content
Session 1: Compassion in Therapy
Introducing Compassion and Role of Therapist
The three flows of compassion, misgivings and obstacles
Session 2: The Tricky Bain
The old and the new brain
The three emotion circles
Attention and mindfulness
Writing a CFT Case Formulation
Working with difficult emotions
Multiple Selves Exercise
Working with the Inner Critic
Transforming Shame with Compassion
Sustaining our Compassionate Mind
What you will learn:
This course will teach the underlying framework of Compassion-Focused Therapy as well as practical applications such as:
1. Explore the evolutionary model of the “tricky” brain and associated psychological processes to understand difficult emotions.
2. Ease misgivings, resistance and fear of compassion and self-compassion in ourselves and our clients
3. Understand and work with the three emotional systems- threat system, drive system and care-giver-soothing system to better regulate emotions
4. Cultivate practices strengthening helpful motives, competencies and identities through the identification with a compassionate self to ease shaming self-criticism.
5. Focus on cognitive and somatic mindfulness practices to promoting a feeling of safeness, contentment, warmth and connection.
6. Enable clients to shift from self-blame to experience acceptance and self-compassion.
7. Develop a compassionate self to help to bring balance and to regulate difficult emotions/behaviours.
At the end of the workshop you will be more able to:
What to expect:
This course will provide you with practical applications and tools to assist you in your personal practice and your clients in your clinical/counselling work. Each topic will be followed by many experiential exercises or practices. The training course also involves guided mindfulness and self-compassion meditations, visualisations, as well as writing and self-reflective exercises.
This Webinar is live and interactive. We will be recording every session so that you if you cannot attend the session on the night, you can view the session at a later time.
Who is it for:
This practical training course is for Health Professionals and Therapists who see clients face to face or in group sessions such as psychologists, clinical psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, school counsellors, mental health/psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists, coaches, counsellors and others working in a variety of settings in mental health, drug and alcohol, relationship counselling, genetic counselling and so on.
It will be helpful also for other health professionals who wish to cultivate a compassionate mind to promote wellbeing, resilience and satisfaction in their personal and work life.
Continued Professional Development (CPD)
A Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or Certificate of Attendance of 12 hours will be given to everyone at the end of the course. Also, a Certificate for Active Learning will be available, following additional participation and the completion of a questionnaire. This course is endorsed by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and promoted on the Australian Psychological Society (APS) on the calendar of events.
Presenters: Marie Bloomfield, Clinical Psychologist and John Julian, Social Worker, both accomplished therapists, each having over 40 years of experience in working in mental health, including public, academic and private sectors. John and Marie have been using Compassion-Focused Therapy and Mindful Self-Compassion for individual and group clinical interventions since 2011. They are both leaders in teaching Mindfulness and Self-Compassion for health professionals in Australia.
Recommended Reading (optional)
The Compassionate Mind by Paul Gilbert, 2013
CFT Made Simple by Russell Kolts, 2016
Experiencing Compassion-Focused Therapy from the inside out by R. Kolts, T. Bell, J. Bennett-Levy, and C. Irons, 2018
The ACT Practitioner's Guide to the Science of Compassion by D. Tirch, B. Schoendorff, L. Silverstein, 2014
The Compassionate Mind approach to Difficult Emotions using CFT by Chris Irons, 2019
The Compassionate Mind Workbook by Chris Irons and Elaine Beaumont, 2017
Presenter: Marie Bloomfield, Clinical Psychologist and John Julian, Social Worker, both Senior Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teachers.
Date: Feb 8, 2021 - Mar 15, 2021
Time: Monday Evening 7:00-9:00 pm AEDT
Location: Event Online- Webinar
Price: Early bird (25 Jan) $240.00 Regular $290.00