16 Compassion Focused Therapy Training Exercises and Worksheets (2022)

16 Compassion Focused Therapy Training Exercises and Worksheets (1)Compassion gets a lot of attention in positive psychology, and for good reason – it’s a major concern of many religious and philosophical leaders, including the Dalai Lama and Pope Francis.

Compassion is a foundation for sharing our aliveness and building a more humane world.

Martin Lowenthal

In addition, research has shown that compassion can have amazing benefits. Like the ripple created by throwing a pebble in a pond, one act of compassion can have a ripple effect that may reach around the world.

Compassion is considered a vital quality by many people, and now it has its own therapy: Compassion Focused Therapy. This therapy emphasizes the importance of applying compassion – for the self, for your loved ones, and for strangers – for living a healthy and happy life.

To learn more about Compassion Focused Therapy and the exercises and techniques that can help you be a more compassionate person, read on.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Self-Compassion Exercises for free. These detailed, science-based exercises will not only help you increase the compassion and kindness you show yourself but will also give you the tools to help your clients, students, or employees show more compassion to themselves.

This Article Contains:

  • What is Compassion Focused Therapy?
  • 3 Distinctive Features of CFT
  • 10 Compassion Focused Therapy Exercises (PDF)
  • 2 Compassion Focused Therapy Worksheets
  • Other Compassion Focused Therapy Techniques
  • Example of Application: Eating Disorders
  • CFT Manuals
  • The 4 Best Books on CFT
  • CFT Training in the US, UK, Australia, and Canada
  • Online Training Opportunities
  • A Take-Home Message
  • References

What is Compassion Focused Therapy?

According to the Compassionate Mind Foundation, Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is:

“an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that draws upon our evolved capacity for compassion to facilitate the alleviation of human suffering”

(CMF-USA).

CFT was developed by Dr. Paul Gilbert, a psychologist from England who believed that compassion (both self- and other-focused) could be the key to relieving intrusive feelings of shame and self-criticism (Gilbert, 2009).

3 Distinctive Features of CFT

So, what sets Compassion Focused Therapy apart from other types of therapy? Surely all therapies have some kind of component related to compassion?

While other therapies may employ similar techniques, focus on similar issues, or work toward similar goals, there are a few features that set CFT apart:

  • The wedding of Western and Eastern philosophies
    o CFT draws from a range of disciplines, including evolutionary psychology, biology, neuroscience, and Buddhist thought; most therapies are more firmly based in one discipline or philosophy.
  • CFT takes an interactional and compensatory view of the mind (Gilbert, 2010a)
    o This is the view that the mind is organized in such a way that some mentalities can be neglected while others flourish or take control, that harmful or maladaptive links can be made, and, on the flipside, improving one mentality or making new links can have a significant impact on others.
  • The idea of social mentalities (Gilbert, 2010a)
    o Gilbert identified a set of “social mentalities” that enable them to seek out and form certain types of relationships (e.g., sexual, tribal, dominant-subordinate, caring of-cared for)

With these features in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best CFT-based exercises.

10 Compassion Focused Therapy Exercises (PDF)

16 Compassion Focused Therapy Training Exercises and Worksheets (2)There are many Compassion Focused Therapy exercises to be found online. These exercises are pulled from a manual from the CFT founder himself, Dr. Paul Gilbert (2010a). The PDF can be found here.

1. Soothing Rhythm Breathing

To practice the soothing rhythm breathing exercise, first make sure that you are sitting comfortably with both feet flat on the floor, about shoulder’s width apart. Rest your hands on top of your legs and close your eyes or look down at the floor. Let yourself have a gentle facial expression, like a small smile.

Begin to focus on your breathing. Allow the air of each breath to come down into your diaphragm and feel it move in and out as you breathe. Play with the speed of your breath until you find a comfortable, soothing rhythm of breath.

You will likely find that your soothing rhythm is about three seconds in-breath, a slight pause, and three seconds out-breath. Continue focusing just on your breathing, through your nose, and in your peaceful rhythm.

Next comes a grounding moment. Turn your attention to your body, sensing the weight of your body resting on the chair and the floor underneath you. Let yourself feel held and supported by the chair.

Remember that it is okay for your mind to wander – just notice where it wanders, and gently guide it back to awareness of your body. Feel the air flowing in and out of your nostrils, and simply allow yourself to “be.”

If you find yourself stuck on noticing your breathing, let yourself focus on an object instead. You can hold something like a smooth stone or a softball, something that feels good to hold. Focus on the object as well as your breathing, and note the way it feels to hold the object.

When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes and bring yourself back to the present moment. A small stretch and a deep breath can help you ready yourself for the rest of your day.

2. Simple Body Scan and Relaxation

This exercise builds on top of the soothing rhythm breathing you just read about. To begin, bring yourself to a calm and soothing focus on your breath.

Next, focus on how your legs feel. Imagine that all the tension in your legs is flowing down through your legs, into the floor, and away. Let the tension go. As you breathe in, notice the tension, and as you breathe out, imagine the tension flowing away. Imagine your legs feeling grateful that the tension is leaving. You may find it helpful to slightly tense your leg muscles as you breathe in, and allow them to relax as you breathe out.

Move your focus to your body, and repeat the process of breathing in and noticing the tension, this time in your shoulders, and breathing out and allowing it to flow away into the floor and away. Feel your body’s gratitude as you empty it of tension, and enjoy the feeling of being kind to your body.

Focus on the tips of your fingers next. Imagine the tension stored there and allow it to be released, through your hands, your wrists, your arms, elbows, and shoulders, and finally all the way through your body to the floor.

Next, move on to the tension in your head, neck, and forehead. Allow them to relax with each breath, and visualize the tension running down through your shoulders, your stomach and your back, all the way down through your legs and into the floor.

Finally, focus on your whole body. Each time you breathe, focus on the word “Relax.” Imagine your body becoming a bit more relaxed with every breath. Practice this breath for a few minutes.

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End the exercise by taking a deep breath, moving your body around a little, and notice how your body feels now, especially in comparison to how it felt when you began. Allow yourself to be grateful for your body, and for your body to be grateful for the special attention and release it just received.

When you are ready, get up and go about your day feeling a bit more relaxed.

16 Compassion Focused Therapy Training Exercises and Worksheets (3)

3. Creating a Safe Place

Begin this exercise with another session of soothing rhythm breathing. Create a sense of calmness, safety, and peace within yourself.

When your sense of calmness, safety, and peace is in place, imagine looking around yourself. What can you see? Your safe and peaceful place may be a beautiful forest with leaves dancing on the breeze.

It may be by the ocean, hearing the gently crashing waves rolling in and out on a soft, sandy beach. It might be a special place for you, like your grandmother’s kitchen when you were a child or a special vacation place.

Wherever this place is, focus on what you can feel. In your safe place, you may feel the sun on your face, a breeze lifting your hair or caressing your cheek or the heat of a campfire burning. You may feel sand between your toes or the ambient warmth of a cozy kitchen.

Next, think about what you can hear. You might hear rolling waves or seagulls crying at the beach. You might hear the fire crackling or the sounds of your grandmother baking. Perhaps you hear the soft cries of the birds in the trees or the rustling of leaves in the breeze.

Now focus on what you can smell. Maybe you smell the fresh scent of pine, the salty smell of the ocean, the delicious scent of apple pie baking in the oven, or the smell of a crackling log fire.

Allow your body to relax – your whole body, which includes your face. Let your face show your pleasure at being in the safe space.

Finally, imagine that your safe place actually finds joy in your presence as well. Feel how your safe place rejoices when you arrive, and feel your own pleasure at being there mirrored back to it. Create an emotional connection with this place, and return to it whenever you need to feel safe, loved, and at peace.

4. Compassionate Colors

16 Compassion Focused Therapy Training Exercises and Worksheets (4)This exercise also begins with your soothing rhythm breath. Bring yourself to a sense of calm and allow yourself to simply breathe and simply be.

When you’re ready to move on, imagine a color that you associate with compassion, kindness, or warmth. There are no rules on what color this can be – it will likely be different for everyone, it only needs to remind you of compassion.

Imagine this compassionate color surrounding you. Once it has surrounded you, imagine it entering through your chest, near your heart, and slowly spreading through every inch of your body.

If this imagery doesn’t call to you, try imagining a mist or a light made of this color that slowly drifts or flows through you.

As the color permeates your body, focus on this color as one of wisdom, strength, warmth, and total kindness. Create a facial expression to match the feelings of this color, and make sure to keep this expression on your face as you practice this exercise.

As you imagine the color flowing through you, focus on the feeling that this color’s sole purpose is to help you, strengthen you, and support you. Allow yourself to feel supported and loved.

5. The Compassionate Self

The compassionate self is a vital sense of self to develop, both for your compassion for others and for yourself.

Once again, begin with your soothing rhythm breathing. When your body has slowed down a bit and you feel ready to begin, imagine that you are a deeply compassionate person. Think of all the qualities you would ideally have as that compassionate person.

Focus on your desires to become a compassionate person and to be able to think, feel, and act compassionately. Imagine yourself with each of the qualities of compassion – wisdom, strength, warmth, and responsibility.

First, imagine yourself with a wealth of wisdom. This wisdom comes from your understanding about the nature of life, of our minds and bodies. Spend some time thinking about how much goes on inside of us which is not our fault.

Next, when you have a grasp on how it feels to have this wisdom, imagine having a compassionate strength. Allow your body posture to change in order to match how this compassionate strength feels. Imagine yourself as a person that understands your own difficulties and those of others in a non-judgmental way, and has the confidence to be sensitive and the tolerance to withstand difficulties.

When you have added a sense of strength to your wisdom, move on to focusing on warmth. Imagine that you are warm and kind, to yourself and to others. Create a facial expression to match, and try to keep it on as you work through the exercise. Imagine yourself speaking to someone kindly, and note the tone of your voice. Imagine reaching out to someone with warmth and feel what that might be like.

Finally, imagine yourself with a sense of responsibility. Imagine that you have no interest in condemning or blaming others or yourself and that you only want to do the best you can to help yourself and others through a difficult situation. Hold on to your compassionate facial expression and warmth and focus on the experience of committing yourself to a compassionate path.

Remember that it doesn’t matter if you feel you actually have these qualities or not, just imagine that you have them. It may be difficult to imagine yourself with these qualities, but no one gains them overnight – like anything else, being wise, strong, warm, and responsible comes with time and practice.

6. Compassionate Flowing Out

To try this exercise, sit somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed and begin to focus on your breathing. Think about a time when you felt very kind and caring towards a person or a beloved animal.

Try not to choose a time when that person or animal was very distressed because then you are likely to focus on that distress instead of the kind, compassionate feelings for him or her.

Next, focus on the desire to help the person or animal, and the feelings of kindness that will guide you to help. Remember that in this exercise it is your intentions that are important, not how the person or animal responds.

Bring to mind a specific time when you felt compassionate towards him or her. Imagine yourself expanding, as if you are becoming calmer, wise, stronger, and more responsible, and able to help him or her.

Pay attention to your body as you remember how it felt to be kind. Spend some time expanding with warmth in your body. Notice the genuine desire for this person to be free of suffering and to flourish.

Spend a minute or two thinking about the tone of your voice and the kinds of things you said, or the kinds of things you did or wanted to do to help.

Spend another minute or two on thinking about how good it felt to be kind to him or her.

Finally, focus only on your desire to be helpful and kind: the sense of warmth, feelings of expansion, your kind tone of voice, the wisdom in your voice and your behavior. When you have finished this exercise, you may want to take some notes about how this felt for you.

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7. Focusing the Compassionate Self on Others

This exercise also requires a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Try to create a sense of being a compassionate person, as you did in the previous two exercises. Some days this will be easier than others, but hold on to even the slightest glimmer of feeling like a compassionate person.

Next, think about someone you care about (e.g., a partner, friend, parent, child, or even a beloved animal). Focus on them and direct your attention towards them with three basic feelings and thoughts:

  • May you be well
  • May you be happy
  • May you be free of suffering

Remember that it is your behavior and intentions that are important, rather than how he or she will react. Be gentle, take your time, and allow yourself to focus on the desires and wishes you create in yourself for this other being.

It may help to picture them smiling at you and sharing these feelings. Spend some time simply focusing on this genuine desire of yours for the other to be happy.

8. Compassion Flowing Into Oneself: Using Memory

16 Compassion Focused Therapy Training Exercises and Worksheets (5)Memory can be a great tool for provoking and practicing compassion. Begin with your soothing rhythm breathing and practice this for a minute or two.

Once you feel that your body has slowed down a bit, prepare for the exercise by allowing your body posture and facial expression to become compassionate.

Feel free to play around with postures and facial expressions, but whatever expression and posture you go with, they should be gentle.

Once you are ready, think of a time when someone was kind to you. Like the previous exercise, you shouldn’t think of a time when someone was kind to you because you were in distress; the point of this exercise is not to focus on your distress, but on the desire to be kind and to help others.

Put on your compassionate expression and adopt the compassionate body posture you have cultivated as you remember the compassion you received. Recall how it felt to receive that kindness.

Spend a minute thinking about the expressions of the person who was kind to you and mimicking them, if that helps. If you’re having trouble remembering them, imagine the person moving toward you with a smile on their face or their head tilted to one side.

While recalling the memory, focus on the important sensory qualities of your memory. Try the following steps:

  1. Focus on the kinds of things this person said, as well as the tone of their voice when they spoke. Spend one minute on this.
  2. Next, focus on the feeling of the emotion in the person – what they really felt for you at that moment. Focus on that for another minute, if you can and would like to.
  3. Finally, focus on the entire experience. Think about whether they touched you in a friendly or comforting way, or whether they helped you in some other way. Allow the experience of gratitude and joy in being helped to grow in you. Remember to keep your expression as compassionate as you can. Spend a few minutes in this step.

When you are ready, let the memory gently fade. Come slowly out of the exercise, and take some notes about how you felt before, during, and after the exercise.

9. Focusing the Compassionate Self on Yourself

This exercise can be focused on one of two different “selves.” You can do both if you wish, but focus on only one at a time.

First, you can focus your compassion on your troubled self. It will help if you have completed the exercise in which you imagined yourself as a completely compassionate person, full of wisdom, strength, warmth, and responsibility.

First, come to a quiet and contemplative place. Notice how your body feels, and remember to focus on your facial expressions. When you feel you have engaged your compassionate self, move on to the first step.

Imagine that you are watching a video of yourself like you’re watching a movie. You watch yourself get up in the morning, moving around your bedroom, and preparing yourself for the day. Be sure to keep your compassionate and kind position as you watch this “home movie.”

Notice how the person you are watching is troubled by self-critical thoughts or feelings, and be in touch with their struggle – but don’t get dragged down into it. Keep your compassionate self forward, looking through the eyes of compassion and with the intention of being warm, kind, and helpful.

If you sense your compassionate self wandering away, let the imagery fade and go back to the first exercise: finding your soothing rhythm breath. Recapture your compassionate expression and upright, confident posture and begin again.

This exercise can help you to adopt a more objective view of yourself and your struggles – a very difficult thing to do. It can also help you develop your own intuitive wisdom and abilities to heal, to become more accepting of yourself.

For the second version, the focus will be on your anxious self. Whether you have a diagnosis of anxiety or not, you likely struggle with some anxiety at one point or another. This exercise can help you tap into your compassion for your anxious self.

Like you did with the troubled self, spend a few minutes engaging your compassionate self. Feel yourself slowing down, and adopt your compassionate expression.

Next, imagine yourself in a situation where you become anxious. Remember to keep your compassionate position. Look at your anxious self through the eyes of your compassionate self and practice compassion for the person that you see. Understand and empathize with your anxious self, and extend compassion to him or her.

Imagine how you might like to help that person, what you might want to say to help them deal with their anxiety. You might say something to validate their emotions, or you may say something encouraging to help them recognize their ability to pull through the anxiety. Whatever you say, make sure it’s kind and helpful.

Imagine time gradually moving, and see yourself gradually reducing your anxiety until enough time has passed that the anxiety is all gone. Get a sense of how it feels to have come through an anxiety episode, and offer your anxious self some encouragement and understanding. Recognize the courage that it took your anxious self to get through the episode.

Later, when you’re in a situation that is causing your anxiety to spike, practice switching to your soothing rhythm breath. Spend a few moments slowing down, reminding yourself of your compassionate self, and seeing yourself through the eyes of compassion.

10. Creating a Compassionate Ideal

The final exercise in this PDF is Creating a Compassionate Ideal. It will be helpful to complete the other exercises before moving on to this one, especially the initial exercise, the exercise in which you cultivate a compassionate expression, and the safe place exercise.

Engage your soothing rhythm breath and adopt your compassionate expression. Recall your safe place, with all the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings that come with it. Remind yourself that this is your special place and that it delights in your presence. If you wish, this is a good place to create and “meet” your compassionate self.

Create a compassionate vision of yourself. It may be created out of the mist in front of you, or it may snap into existence once you have the idea in mind. It may be walking toward you with a smile.

Once you build a solid image of your compassionate self, think about the qualities that your compassionate image holds. These questions can help you build a good image:

  • How would you like your ideal caring, compassionate image to look or appear? Would you want your ideal compassionate image to feel/look/seem old or young; to be male or female (or non- human looking, e.g. an animal, sea or light)?
  • How would you like your compassionate image to sound? What would be a compassionate voice tone for you?
  • Are there any other sensory qualities that would come with your image, such as colors or sounds?
  • How would you like your ideal compassionate image to relate to you? What would help you sense their commitment and kindness for you?
  • How would you like to relate to your compassionate image?

Remember that your compassionate image wants you to be free from suffering and to flourish. The compassionate self understands that we are all just doing the best we can, and it understands that the emotions that can pop up in our minds are not our fault.

Experience what it is like to focus on the feeling that another being values and cares for you unconditionally. Focus on the idea that your compassionate self is looking at you with warmth and kindness, and imagine that they have the following desires for you:

  • That you be well
  • That you be happy
  • That you be free from suffering

Practice this exercise as much as you need to tap into your compassionate self and surround both yourself and others with love, acceptance, and compassion.

2 Compassion Focused Therapy Worksheets

16 Compassion Focused Therapy Training Exercises and Worksheets (6)In addition to the previous exercises, there are some Compassion Focused Therapy worksheets and handouts that can help you cultivate compassion. Two of these worksheets are listed and described below.

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What Is Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)?

Although this resource is more of a handout than a worksheet, it is a great way to learn about compassion focused therapy and the important role that compassion plays in our lives.

First, What Is Compassion-Focused Therapy? gives some background on CFT (Gilbert 2009; Gilbert, 2010a):

  • It was developed to treat shame, self-loathing, and self-criticism
  • It is useful for treating a variety of mental illnesses or issues
  • It is built on a new model, drawing from the science of human nature, evolution, and attachment.

Next, the CFT model is described (Gilbert, 2009):

  • The CFT model proposes three systems humans use to manage their emotional states:
    o Threat system – motivation is to simply survive, attention is threat-focused, driven by fear, anxiety, thoughts of danger, and the fight or flight system.
    o Drive system – motivation is to achieve/win, attention is given to goals and finding the advantage; it is concerned with motivation, arousal, and focus.
    o Care-giving system – motivation is to look after or soothe, attention is on empathy to others distress or pain; it is concerned with caring, soothing, safety, and calm.
  • We are all born with each system in place, ready to go, but our environment affects whether we develop, use, and maintain the non-survival based systems (drive and care-giving).

The handout also describes how developing compassion will affect the symptoms of mental illness:

  • The goal of CFT is to help individuals develop their care-giving system, which helps them to be at peace with their thoughts and comfortable in their own head.
  • The care-giving system can activate non-judgment, strength, warmth, empathy, wisdom, kindness, and moral courage – all linked to compassion.
  • CFT involves three main components:
    o Learning about human nature
    o Learning skills to develop the care-giving system
    o Practicing activating the care-giving system and using it in one’s daily life

The key messages communicated by this handout include:

“The things that have happened to you in your life are not your fault, but it is your responsibility to alleviate your suffering.”

“Compassion is about choosing to be the best version of you that you can be.”

“You are living a life that was not of your choosing.”

CFT Formulation

This Compassion Formulation Worksheet will walk you through the process of forming compassion for yourself. It might seem like an unnecessarily in-depth process, but this makes sense when you consider how deeply some of the self-criticisms are embedded in ourselves, and how early in our lives they set in.

The worksheet follows a “problem → coping strategy → unintended consequences” format, but it focuses on the importance of compassionate processes as well.

The first step is to identify the past influences on the shame, self-blaming, and self-criticism behaviors that you experience today. This space encourages you to dig up any emotional shame memories, or early memories of abuse or trauma that led to shame and self-blame.

In the “Primary Fears” section, you must write down the fears that they struggle with most in terms of shame, blame, and criticism. There are internal and external fears. Internal fears relate to anxiety, panic, shame, depression, or rage. External fears relate to the power the external world has over you, including rejection, shaming, and the potential to hurt you (Gilbert & Procter, 2006).

Next, the worksheet presents the “Protective/Defensive Behaviors” box. This is where you are to note the defensive measures he or she takes to avoid getting hurt and minimize risk.

Internal defensive behaviors are used to keep the self from experiencing difficult internal situations or emotions and can include dissociation, substance misuse, harming oneself, and constantly reminding oneself of one’s faults, flaws, and weaknesses.

External defensive behaviors are intended to help the individual avoid harm from others, and include blaming the self, silencing the self, being submissive and non-assertive, distrusting others, and keeping others at a distance (Gilbert & Procter, 2006).

Finally, the worksheet displays the cyclical nature of safety and defensive behaviors in relation to the unintended outcomes and how people relate to themselves. “Unintended Outcomes” refer to the outcomes from these protective and defensive behaviors that the individual does not foresee or intend to produce.

These outcomes can be things like self-harassment, exhaustion, inability to be at peace with oneself, feelings of emotional isolation or feeling like an “outsider,” or never learning or considering what one’s own needs are (Gilbert & Procter, 2006).

These unintended outcomes can have a profound and negative impact on how one relates to oneself. People may attack themselves for bringing about these unintended outcomes, leading to even more protective/defensive behaviors, which also result in unintended outcomes – it is easy to see how the cycle perpetuates itself.

In the “Relationship With Self” box, you should write down how the unintentional outcomes of your protective and defensive behaviors make you feel about yourself, and how these feelings lead you to more unproductive protective/defensive behaviors.

This worksheet can be an emotionally challenging one to complete, but it is vital for anyone who is in compassion focused therapy or is interested in building self-compassion. It may be a long road to self-compassion, but the journey is worth the outcome at the end!

Other Compassion Focused Therapy Techniques

The main Compassion Focused Therapy technique is what is known as compassionate mind training, or CMT. This technique is used to help clients experience compassion and cultivate compassion for themselves and for others (Gilbert & Procter, 2006).

The focus is on developing compassionate motivation, sympathy, sensitivity, and distress tolerance, as well as the qualities of non-judgment and a non-condemning attitude.

Exercises to support CMT might include (Kolts, Bennett-Levy, Bell, & Irons, 2018):

  • Appreciation exercises – these are exercises that encourage the client to savor the activities they enjoy.
  • Mindfulness – this is the practice of being aware and observing what is happening both within and outside yourself, in a non-judgmental and objective way.
  • Compassion-Focused Imagery Exercises – these exercises make use of guided imagery to stimulate the mind and provoke the individual’s soothing system.

CMT is most applicable for people struggling with shame and self-criticism, but just about everyone can stand to be a bit more compassionate with themselves.

Relevant Reading:

Example of Application: Eating Disorders

Compassion Focused Therapy can be applied in many circumstances, including depression, anxiety, and anger. Another useful application of CFT is in eating disorders.

Researchers Stanley Steindl, Kiera Buchanan, Kenneth Goss, and Steven Allan (2017) dove into the literature on CFT and eating disorders to find out how it can help those struggling with eating, body image, and weight concerns.

They found eating and weight concerns are associated with higher self-criticism and shame and lower self-compassion, a finding that is unsurprising but disheartening.

They also found that CFT can indeed be successfully applied to those struggling with eating disorders. The usual treatment is slightly altered to help the client discover how their eating and their emotions have become linked and to help them develop empathy and compassion for their particular issues.

While the application of CFT to eating disorders is still new, there is some evidence that CFT can have a positive impact for those suffering. A study by another group of researchers found that clients with bulimia nervosa specifically benefitted from the CFT treatment, while those with an unspecified eating disorder also made progress.

A second study showed improvements in outcomes for a range of eating disorders, and a third study found that eating symptomatology decreased after CFT treatment.

It makes sense that those struggling with eating disorders would benefit from CFT. It is a therapy that encourages individuals to be more kind and compassionate to themselves, an issue that is often especially difficult for those with eating disorders. Improving their self-confidence and self-acceptance is an excellent way to tackle the other issues they are facing related to their disorder.

CFT Manuals

16 Compassion Focused Therapy Training Exercises and Worksheets (7)There are several Compassion Focused Therapy manuals that can help you work through specific issues or simply develop a greater sense of self- and other-focused compassion.

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True Strength: A Compassion-Focused Therapy Approach for Working with Anger

This manual from Dr. Russell Kolts is intended to help a therapist or other mental health professional facilitate group sessions on dealing with anger.

The manual includes instructions, talking points, discussion questions, and some helpful handouts and worksheets at the end. At 131 pages, this manual is a treasure trove of CFT resources. You can find it at this link.

Training Our Minds In, With, and For Compassion: An Introduction to Concepts and Compassion-Focused Exercises

The CFT exercises we described earlier come from this manual, but there are countless other resources, tips, explanations, and suggestions in this PDF to explore. This manual was written by Dr. Paul Gilbert, the founding father of CFT, and includes 82 information-packed pages on CFT theory, techniques, sessions, and worksheets.

The Compassionate Mind Approach to Overcoming Anxiety: Using CFT to Treat Worry, Panic, and Fear

This resource is actually a slideshow presentation, but it draws on the training materials created by Dr. Gilbert and colleagues to facilitate the treatment of anxiety with CFT. This 33 slide resource will walk the reader through CFT’s background, theory, and applications for helping clients overcome their anxiety. You can find this slideshow at this link.

The 4 Best Books on CFT

There are many books out there on Compassion Focused Therapy. The four books listed below are some of the most popular, but don’t stop with these if you’re interested in learning about CFT – Google is your friend!

1. CFT Made Simple: A Clinician’s Guide to Practicing Compassion-Focused Therapy – Russell L. Kolts

16 Compassion Focused Therapy Training Exercises and Worksheets (8)This book is a fantastic resource for those interested in applying CFT in their practice. It includes information on the foundations of CFT, the theory of CFT, and tools to help your clients become more compassionate people.

If you are considering adding CFT techniques to your work as a mental health professional, this book is a great place to start.

Find the book on Amazon.

2. Compassion Focused Therapy: Distinctive Features – Paul Gilbert

16 Compassion Focused Therapy Training Exercises and Worksheets (9)This book by CFT founder Paul Gilbert is more of a learning resource than a manual or how-to guide, making it perfect for students and others who simply wish to learn more about CFT.

This book will dive into the research behind CFT, the features that separate it from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and the key principles behind it.

Find the book on Amazon.

3. Mindful Compassion (How the Science of Compassion Can Help You Understand Your Emotions, Live in the Present, and Connect Deeply with Others) – Paul Gilbert

16 Compassion Focused Therapy Training Exercises and Worksheets (10)Another book that is targeted toward the curious and self-driven individuals.

It will walk the reader through CFT’s foundations in both evolutionary and Buddhist psychology, the awesome potential of mindfulness, and the harmonious melding of mindfulness and compassion.

This book is a great read for anyone who wishes to learn more about mindfulness or CFT as well as anyone who would like to give some of the techniques a try.

Find the book on Amazon.

4. Compassion Focused Therapy for Dummies – Mary Welford

16 Compassion Focused Therapy Training Exercises and Worksheets (11)You don’t have to be a dummy to find this book useful – in fact, you’d be a dummy not to give it a read! This book will describe CFT and the ideas that drive it in addition to providing evidence of its effectiveness.

Both curious individuals and mental health professionals will find helpful information on CFT in this book.

Find the book on Amazon.

CFT Training in the US, UK, Australia, and Canada

If you’re interested in being trained to provide Compassion Focused Therapy to your clients, there are several avenues open to you. We’ll cover the online options later, but here we’ll note the in-person training available to those in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia. If you want more information, the Compassionate Mind Foundation website (US and UK) is an excellent resource for finding training opportunities.

For a growing list of CFT therapists and trainers in North America, click here. If you’re quite sure you’d like to train in CFT, you can find more information by emailing compassionfocused@gmail.com. The Center for Compassion Focused Therapy also provides a comprehensive list of training available in North America, which can be found at this page.

To learn about training opportunities in the UK, visit this website. The page, from The Association for Psychological Therapies (APT) describes a 3-day CFT training called CFT Essentials. You can also find information about the first Post Graduate Certificate in CFT at the University of Derby by clicking here.

This page from Compassionate Mind Australia lists special events, including training and workshops, hosted in Australia, in addition to providing other CFT resources and a blog focused on mindfulness and compassion. An Australia-based CBT website provides information on a CFT workshop in Melbourne facilitated by Dr. Paul Gilbert himself.

Online Training Opportunities

There are many more ways to obtain training in CFT if you’re comfortable with online learning.

Here is just a sample of the online CFT training opportunities:

  • You can find information on webinars, online training, and other CFT resources at this website.
  • Click here to find information on online training in CFT, mindfulness, self-compassion, and meditation.
  • You can take a CFT short course from VITA Online Training & Education at this link, although be warned that it is not a free training.

Again, if you’d like more information on online CFT training, simply Google “compassion focused therapy online training” and scroll through the results – you will find at least one or two possibilities!

A Take-Home Message

This piece covered a ton of information on Compassion Focused Therapy, including exercises, worksheets, techniques, and training.

I hope you found this information useful, whether you’re simply a curious reader or a mental health professional who is looking to add compassionate practices to your sessions.

What do you think of CFT? Have you ever tried CFT, as a patient or as a practitioner? How do you think building more compassion for yourself and others impacts your life? Let us know in the comments!

Thank you for reading, and remember to give yourself some love and kindness today!

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Self Compassion Exercises for free.

  • CMF-USA. (n.d.). Compassion focused therapy. Retrieved from http://www.compassionfocusedtherapy.com/
  • Gilbert, P., & Procter, S. (2006). Compassionate mind training for people with high shame and self‐criticism: Overview and pilot study of a group therapy approach.Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy: An International Journal of Theory & Practice,13(6), 353-379.
  • Gilbert, P. (2009). Introducing compassion-focused therapy.Advances in Psychiatric Treatment,15(3), 199-208.
  • Gilbert, P. (2010a). Compassion focused therapy: The CBT distinctive features series. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Gilbert, P. (2010b). Training our minds in, with, and for compassion: An introduction to concepts and compassion-focused exercises. Retrieved from https://files.builder.misssite.com/72/a3/72a34148-8bc0-471d-86fd-9c02dc18a661.pdf
  • Kolts, R., Bennett-Levy, J., Bell, T., & Irons, C. (2018). Experiencing compassion-focused therapy from the inside out: A self-practice/self-reflection workbook for therapists. New York, NY: Guilford.
  • Steindl, S. R., Buchanan, K., Goss, K., & Allan, S. (2017). Compassion focused therapy for eating disorders: A qualitative review and recommendations for further applications.Clinical Psychologist,21(2), 62-73.
(Video) Cultural Responsivity | Best Practices Session 2 | February 28th 2022

FAQs

What is compassion focused therapy PDF? ›

What is Compassion Focused Therapy? According to the Compassionate Mind Foundation, Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is: “an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that draws upon our evolved capacity for compassion to facilitate the alleviation of human suffering

What is a compassion exercise? ›

Research has shown that writing self-compassionate letters to ourselves can decrease depression and increase happiness. So try to write out something kind to yourself, talking to yourself like you're a child or someone in need of kindness. Here is a self-compassion exercise that can help you build this skill. 2.

Is compassion focused therapy a form of CBT? ›

CFT emphasizes the links between cognitive patterns and these three emotion regulation systems. Through the use of techniques such as compassionate mind training and cognitive behavioral counselling (CBT), counselling clients can learn to manage each system more effectively and respond more appropriately to situations.

What are compassion based interventions? ›

Thus, compassion-based interventions focus on activating affiliative processing systems (e.g., parasympathetic system) to promote better health. In so doing, compassion-based interventions can be viewed as a transdiagnostic process.

What does compassion focused therapy treat? ›

Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) helps those who struggle with the shame and self-criticism that can result from early experiences of abuse or neglect. CFT teaches clients to cultivate skills in compassion and self-compassion, which can help regulate mood and lead to feelings of safety, self-acceptance, and comfort.

What are some examples of compassion? ›

Giving up a seat to a pregnant woman, being polite to retail workers, helping your friend move, taking a second to listen at work — compassion takes many forms.

How do you teach compassion? ›

8 Activities and Exercises to Cultivate Compassion in Children
  1. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or at an animal shelter. ...
  2. Read books with compassion themes. ...
  3. Discuss suffering. ...
  4. Ask children who they would want to help in the world. ...
  5. Read about helpers. ...
  6. Teach them self-compassion. ...
  7. Model, Model, Model.
May 6, 2019

What is compassion cultivation training? ›

Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is an 8-week course designed to develop the qualities of compassion, empathy, and kindness for oneself and others.

How many sessions is CFT? ›

However as a guide, if you are having CFT as a stand-alone intervention or blended with clinical hypnotherapy, you can expect to have between 4-6 weekly sessions. If instead, CFT is being provided as a blended approach alongside either CBT or counselling, you can expect to have between 6-15 sessions.

What is the difference between CBT and CFT? ›

While Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is primarily focused on thinking and behaviour change, Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) looks at the emotion behind people's thoughts.

What are the 3 strategies for more self-compassion? ›

Below are the three elements of self-compassion:
  • Self-kindness vs. Self-judgment. ...
  • Common humanity vs. Isolation. ...
  • Mindfulness vs. Over-identification.

Is Kristin Neff Buddhist? ›

During Kristin's last year of graduate school she became interested in Buddhism and has been practicing meditation in the Insight Meditation tradition ever since.

What are three ways you might demonstrate self-compassion? ›

Here are four ways to give your self-compassion skills a quick boost:
  • Comfort your body. Eat something healthy. ...
  • Write a letter to yourself. Think of a situation that caused you to feel pain (a breakup with a lover, a job loss, a poorly received presentation). ...
  • Give yourself encouragement. ...
  • Practice mindfulness.

What is compassion counseling? ›

Compassion Counseling Inc is a diverse, multi-specialty group of skilled, licensed mental health professionals. All our therapists have a master's degree and are licensed at the highest level. We help all people…. all ages, while maintaining the highest level of professionalism and ethics.

What is self empathy? ›

Self-empathy observes and integrates experiences

Self-compassion involves treating yourself with the same kindness, concern, and support you'd show to a good friend (Neff & Dahm, 2015). Self-empathy means that an aspect of yourself observes, in an empathic manner, the aspect of yourself that experiences.

Is CFT a third wave CBT? ›

Third Wave Therapies/Third Wave CBT

These therapies include acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), mindfulness, and compassion focused therapy (CFT).

What are 5 ways to show compassion? ›

10 Easy Ways To Cultivate Compassion
  1. Start by practicing self-compassion. ...
  2. Put yourself in someone else's shoes. ...
  3. Move beyond your self-referencing. ...
  4. Practice kindness, without people-pleasing. ...
  5. Relax your judgments. ...
  6. Listen generously. ...
  7. Heal your own trauma. ...
  8. Practice presence.
Jan 21, 2021

What are 5 ways to show self-compassion? ›

5 Ways to Practice Self-Compassion
  1. Step 1: Practice Forgiveness. Stop punishing yourself for your mistakes. ...
  2. Step 2: Employ a Growth Mindset. At the heart of Carol Dweck's research is the impact of our mindset on wellbeing. ...
  3. Step 3: Express Gratitude. ...
  4. Step 4: Find the Right Level of Generosity. ...
  5. Step 5: Be Mindful.
Oct 9, 2016

What are the 3 types of empathy? ›

Renowned psychologists Daniel Goleman and Paul Ekman have identified three components of empathy: Cognitive, Emotional and Compassionate.

What kind of actions show compassion? ›

Compassion in action is the understanding of a problem or the suffering of another and acting to solve the problem or alleviate the suffering. When you show compassion in action, you step outside yourself to do something to connect with and help others.

How do you teach empathy and compassion? ›

5 Tips for Cultivating Empathy
  1. Empathize with your child and model empathy for others. ...
  2. Make caring for others a priority and set high ethical expectations. ...
  3. Provide opportunities for children to practice empathy. ...
  4. Expand your child's circle of concern. ...
  5. Help children develop self-control and manage feelings effectively.
Oct 12, 2018

How do you explain compassion to a child? ›

Compassion means we care about others, treat them with kindness, and feel a strong desire to help people in need. Compassion is empathy in action. For a six-year-old, compassion might look like giving a hug, making a card, or saying something kind to help a friend or family member who is feeling sad or upset.

Who experiences compassion fatigue? ›

Compassion fatigue occurs when psychologists or others take on the suffering of patients who have experienced extreme stress or trauma, explains Charles R. Figley, PhD, founder of the Traumatology Institute at Tulane University.

Why is compassion focused therapy important? ›

Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) helps those who struggle with the shame and self-criticism that can result from early experiences of abuse or neglect. CFT teaches clients to cultivate skills in compassion and self-compassion, which can help regulate mood and lead to feelings of safety, self-acceptance, and comfort.

What is compassion Gilbert? ›

Kal Kseib meets Professor Paul Gilbert, founder of compassion-focused therapy. In a nutshell, what is compassion-focused therapy? A way of helping people to develop compassion motivation for themselves and for others, and also to be open to receiving compassion.

What is the ACT technique? ›

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT therapy) is a type of mindful psychotherapy that helps you stay focused on the present moment and accept thoughts and feelings without judgment. It aims to help you move forward through difficult emotions so you can put your energy into healing instead of dwelling on the negative.

What is existential therapy used for? ›

Existential therapy focuses on the anxiety that occurs when a client confronts the conflict inherent in life. The role of the therapist is to help the client focus on personal responsibility for making decisions, and the therapist may integrate some humanistic approaches and techniques.

What are the elements of compassion? ›

Compassion consists of six 'attributes': Sensitivity, Sympathy, Empathy, Motivation/Caring, Distress Tolerance, and Non-Judgement. 6. “The feeling that arises in witnessing another's suffering and that motivates a subsequent desire to help” (Goetz et al., 2010, p. 351).

What is self-compassion PDF? ›

Self-compassion involves being aware of our own pain and suffering, and understanding that while feeling this pain is hard, it is a normal human experience.

What is the self-compassion scale? ›

The Self-Compassion Scale (SCS; Neff, 2003a) was the first tool of its kind and specifically developed as a method by which individual differences in self-compassion could be assessed. In its early form, the SCS was hypothesized to be a three-factor scale that included self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.

Who is Dr Kristen Neff? ›

Dr. Neff is an Insight Meditation practitioner and an associate professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Harvard Business Review, among others, and her TEDx talk has been viewed over 1.7 million times.

What does Buddhism say about self love? ›

An important core teaching in Buddhism is self-love. Buddha teaches that you love the self before extending the love to others. In other words, before you are able to be a love luminary, you must have the capacity to embrace yourself fully.

What does Buddha say about self compassion? ›

Self-compassion was emphasized often in Buddhist teachings and can lead us to the steps we need to take towards loving ourselves in a natural, organic and healthy way. Loving ourselves unconditionally exactly the same way we love our children and pets is what we are striving for.

Is empathy the same as compassion? ›

Empathy and compassion are very different. They are represented in different areas of the brain. With empathy, we join the suffering of others who suffer, but stop short of actually helping. With compassion, we take a step away from the emotion of empathy and ask ourselves 'how can we help?

How can self-compassion transform? ›

Individuals who are more self-compassionate tend to have greater happiness, life satisfaction and motivation, better relationships and physical health, and less anxiety and depression. They tend to be more resilient in the face of stressful life events, like divorce, illness, and even trauma from combat.

What theory underpins CFT? ›

Compassion focused therapy adapted and integrated concepts from Jung's theory of archetypes and evolutionary concepts of modularization and encapsulation with motivation theory to suggest the concept of social mentalities (Gilbert, 1989, 1993, 2005b).

Who created CFT? ›

Developed in the early 21st century by Paul Gilbert, the CFT approach incorporates theories, principles, and techniques from various schools of psychology, treatment modalities, and religion.

When was CFT developed? ›

CFT was founded by Paul Gilbert (2000) in response to the observation that many people, in particular those high in shame and self-criticism, were experiencing difficulties generating kind and self-supporting inner voices when engaging in traditional therapy.

What is self-compassion therapy? ›

Self-compassion has been shown in neuroscience research to strengthen the parts of the brain that make you happier, more resilient, and more attuned to others. It can comfort negative emotions in the present, permanently heal painful memories from the past, and change negative core beliefs.

Is compassion focused therapy a third wave? ›

Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is a 'third-wave' cognitive behavioural therapy which recognises self-criticism, shame, self-loathing, and trauma as common factors underpinning a variety of mental health conditions.

What is the difference between CBT and CFT? ›

While Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is primarily focused on thinking and behaviour change, Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) looks at the emotion behind people's thoughts.

How many sessions is CFT? ›

However as a guide, if you are having CFT as a stand-alone intervention or blended with clinical hypnotherapy, you can expect to have between 4-6 weekly sessions. If instead, CFT is being provided as a blended approach alongside either CBT or counselling, you can expect to have between 6-15 sessions.

How do you do a CFT formulation? ›

What is CFT? How to do a collaborative CFT case formulation

What are the 3 strategies for more self-compassion? ›

Below are the three elements of self-compassion:
  • Self-kindness vs. Self-judgment. ...
  • Common humanity vs. Isolation. ...
  • Mindfulness vs. Over-identification.

What are examples of self-compassion? ›

For example: “I'm going be kind to myself” rather than “I'm a patient and understanding mom to my kids”; or. “I'm going to treat myself the way I would treat my very best friend” instead of “My body is amazing just the way it is and I accept myself this way.”

What are the elements of compassion? ›

Compassion consists of six 'attributes': Sensitivity, Sympathy, Empathy, Motivation/Caring, Distress Tolerance, and Non-Judgement. 6. “The feeling that arises in witnessing another's suffering and that motivates a subsequent desire to help” (Goetz et al., 2010, p. 351).

To learn more about Compassion Focused Therapy and the exercises and techniques that can help you be a more compassionate person, read on.. According to the Compassionate Mind Foundation, Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is:. Each time you breathe, focus on the word “Relax.” Imagine your body becoming a bit more relaxed with every breath.. When your body has slowed down a bit and you feel ready to begin, imagine that you are a deeply compassionate person.. Focus on your desires to become a compassionate person and to be able to think, feel, and act compassionately.. Try not to choose a time when that person or animal was very distressed because then you are likely to focus on that distress instead of the kind, compassionate feelings for him or her.. Finally, focus only on your desire to be helpful and kind: the sense of warmth, feelings of expansion, your kind tone of voice, the wisdom in your voice and your behavior.. Once you feel that your body has slowed down a bit, prepare for the exercise by allowing your body posture and facial expression to become compassionate.. Put on your compassionate expression and adopt the compassionate body posture you have cultivated as you remember the compassion you received.. It will be helpful to complete the other exercises before moving on to this one, especially the initial exercise, the exercise in which you cultivate a compassionate expression, and the safe place exercise.. Mindful Compassion (How the Science of Compassion Can Help You Understand Your Emotions, Live in the Present, and Connect Deeply with Others) It will walk the reader through CFT’s foundations in both evolutionary and Buddhist psychology, the awesome potential of mindfulness, and the harmonious melding of mindfulness and compassion.

Read on to learn about six of her best exercises for enhancing your self-compassion.. Part One First, think about the imperfections that make you feel inadequate – everyone has at least a few things they don’t like about themselves or makes them feel “not good enough.”. It will feel good to make up with her.”. However difficult you find it to love and accept yourself, there are steps you can take to enhance your compassion, acceptance, and love for yourself.. Step One – Be Willing to Feel Pain and Take Responsibility for Your Feelings First, understand that all of our feelings are messages to ourselves that contain vital information.. Step Five – Take the Loving Action Learned in Step Four Next, take the insights you gained in Step Four and apply them to your life.

Self-compassion worksheet helps individuals increase acceptance, understanding of himself and his emotions and love for himself.. These three things help develop self-compassion in an individual.. Self-compassion enables the individual to love himself, understand himself, accept the reality and manage the situation using his competencies.. He needs to focus on his abilities to increase his self-compassion and be strong enough to confront the daily challenges of his life.. It helps encourage the individual, increases the level of satisfaction and happiness, improves body image , enhances self-worth and makes an individual resilient and helps reduce the chances of getting mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety etcetera.. Some ways to increase self-compassion includes, changing perceptions, viewing one thing form more than one perspective, speaking what the individual is feeling, foreign oneself for the mistakes one had done and learn from those mistakes, spending time doing what the individuals enjoy doing, being non-judgmental, working to avoid judgments and assumptions, taking care of one’s mind and body to increase self-love.. These exercises are explained in detail and are very effective as well as helpful for increasing the self-compassion in an individual.. The exercises included in self-compassion worksheets include; planning ways of treating your friend, self-compassion break that allows the individual to understand and accepts himself by being gentle to oneself, writing a journal to practice self-compassion, identifying and dealing with three different parts of the self viz the criticizer, the criticized and the compassionate observer, modifying the critical self-talk, self-compassion journal for practicing the three components of self-compassion viz mindfulness, common humanity and self-kindness, identifying the needs of self and last but not the least, taking care of the caregiver.. It helps increase self-compassion and improves their self-esteem.. This worksheet helps improve self-compassion, self-esteem, trust in self and abilities, problem-solving skills, competencies, and aid in developing positive emotions, positive perceptions and positive image about oneself.. It enables the individual to view one thing for more than one perspective and perceive things in a more positive way.. This worksheet consists of 4 pages and is a great resource for practicing self-compassion and being able to confront self-defeating thoughts with positive thinking styles.. This page provided you with some of the most effective self-compassion worksheets that are helpful in improving self-compassion and reducing self-defeating thoughts, actions and behaviors.. These worksheets are a great source of acknowledging ways in which one can improve his self-compassion and deal with his daily issues mindfully.. Your feedback helps us improve the quality of these articles.

To benefit your compassion practice, you can try increasing your mindfulness in any way, or specifically being mindful of others and of suffering.. Soothing Rhythm Breathing is the foundational mindfulness practice in Compassion Focused Therapy and is used consistently in conjunction with compassion exercises.. If your lack of compassion for yourself is impeding your compassion for others, or even if you simply realize that you aren’t including yourself in your circle of compassion, consider learning more about self-compassion.. Compassion Toolbox - Make a “toolbox” of words or actions you might use when you are with someone who is suffering.. If there is someone whose suffering you encounter often (for example, if you are a caregiver or parent or spouse), make a list of words or actions that would be specifically meaningful to them, including things that have been effective in the past.. The following meditation can help you learn to more successfully visualize compassion: Giving and Receiving Compassion Meditation by Olivia

Compassion is such an important aspect that it has its own therapy named compassion focused therapy which emphasizes the importance of compassion and its development for the well-being of self and others.. Compassion focused therapy focuses on the understanding of basic emotion regulation systems including the threat and self-protection system, the drive and excitement system, and the contentment and social safeness system.. Let’s have a look at how compassion focused therapy differs from other therapies.. Other than applying similar interventions for focusing on issues and working on similar goals, some pictures that make compassion focused therapy distinct from other therapies are as follows.. Unlike compassion focused therapy, the majority of the other therapies focus on just a single discipline.. Unlike other therapies, compassion focused therapy takes interplay and compensatory view of the mind (Gilbert, 2010).. Compassion focused therapy is found to be very effective in treating long-lived emotional problems such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, hoarding disorders and psychosis by dealing with issues of shame and self-criticism that led to the development of these mental disorders.. Compassion focused therapy was introduced with the aim of helping individuals deal with their shame and self-criticism issues with the help of a combination of different disciplines including evolutionary, social, developmental and Buddhist psychology, and neuroscience.. Compassion focused therapy emphasizes replacing the feelings of insecurity and endangeredness with those of compassion and understanding to help clients soothe themselves, seek kindness from others, and feel secure as well as happy.. These books and tools are a very effective source of increasing your knowledge about compassion focused therapy and learning ways in which compassion can be developed.. CFT Made Simple: A Clinician’s Guide to Practicing Compassion-Focused Therapy (The New Harbinger Made Simple Series) Part of The New Harbinger Made Simple Series (7 Books) | by Russell L Kolts, Paul Gilbert, et al. Compassion Focused Therapy (CBT Distinctive Features) by Paul Gilbert | May 13, 2010 The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Recovering from Trauma and PTSD: Using Compassion-Focused Therapy to Overcome Flashbacks, Shame, Guilt, and Fear (The New Harbinger Compassion-Focused Therapy Series) by Deborah A. Lee, Sophie James, et al.. Yes, compassion focused therapy is an evidence-based therapy.. Compassion focused therapy was introduced by Paul Gilbert in the 2000s with the aim of helping individuals deal with their shame and self-criticism issues (which are said to arise as a result of neglect abuse or bullying ) with the help of a combination of a number of disciplines including evolutionary, social, developmental, and Buddhist psychology and neuroscience.

Paul Gilbert (2011) says "compassionate mind training helps people develop and work with experiences of inner warmth, safeness and soothing, via compassion and self-compassion.". When we've experienced repeated trauma, particularly early in life, then we spend a lot of time in our threat focused system, so our focus of attention, thoughts, feelings and behaviour are taken up with fear, danger and trying to keep ourselves safe.. We can use that ability to feel natural compassion, and start to use it for ourselves - rather than believing those self-critical thoughts and get caught up in beating ourselves up - we can start to treat ourselves with compassion.. Compassionate Mind / Kind Mind. See situations using Compassionate Mind: If I wasn't feeling so emotional, how else would I see this situation?

The goal of cognitive behaviour therapy 9. 2 The process of cognitive behaviour therapy 15. Cognitive vs behavioural focus 20. Common problems when undertaking CBT with young people 22. Thoughts, feelings, and what you do 31. 8 Thoughts, feelings, and what you do 93. How do your feelings change?. What you do and how you feel 198

Based on the groundbreaking research and clinical work of Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, Mindful Self-Compassion teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.. Mindful Self-Compassion is primarily a compassion training program rather than mindfulness training like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, although mindfulness is one foundation of self-compassion.. Practice self-compassion in daily life Understand the empirically-supported benefits of self-compassion Develop a more accepting self awareness Neutralize toxic self-criticism and motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism Handle difficult emotions with greater ease Transform challenging relationships, old and new Manage the fatigue of caring for and about others Practice the art of savoring and self-appreciation. With a keen interest in Mindfulness, Karen attended training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and Mindful Self-Compassion, and completed her teacher training in Mindful Self-Compassion.. As someone who has spent his entire working life devoted to applying psychological and behavioral science to help others learn, develop, and grow, Ben is profoundly inspired by the proven, transformative alchemy of mindfulness, purpose-guided engaged living, and self-compassion.. Ben attended the Mindful Self-Compassion program in 2016 and is now a certified teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion; Ben was the first certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher in Thailand and he regularly teaches the Mindful Self-Compassion program in English and in Thai.

Read on for step-by-step instructions and lots of visuals to make treating a little easier—and a lot more fun!. For example, visualize where you left your keys and take a mental picture.. Calendar tasks can make great cognitive speech therapy activities for adults.. Simple Tasks Using the Monthly Calendar Fill in the dates for the month, year, and each day Add birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.. Print out some review questions, such as: What day of the week is May 10?. Ask your patient to review the appointments for about a minute before filling in the blank calendar (depending on their needs and your goals, patients can write in the answer or dicate or otherwise).. Remembering people’s names can also make great cognitive speech therapy activities for adults.. Write down the name of the person you want to remember: Write down the same name three more times: Do you know anyone with that same name?. Repeat the association to yourself at least three different times throughout the day.. For the following Names to Pictures task, the same set of photos are displayed twice: first with the name next to the photo and the second set without the name.. You can create many cognitive speech therapy activities for adults around remembering instructions for their ADLs.. Read one instruction aloud, then ask the patient to repeat back the key information.. Come up with cognitive speech therapy activities for adults around planning and creating a shopping list.. Using the weekly ad, have them write down the price of all the items they’ll need Have them calculate what the total cost will be. Have the patient set a budget Have them write a list of all the items they want Have them calculate tax and tip Then have them calculate how much their total will be

Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) aims to help promote mental and emotional healing by encouraging people in treatment to be compassionate toward themselves and other people.. CFT is grounded in current understanding of basic emotion regulation systems: the threat and self-protection system, the drive and excitement system, and the contentment and social safeness system.. This soothing system acts as a regulator for both the threat and drive systems.. CMT refers to the strategies typically used to help individuals experience compassion and foster different aspects of compassion for the self and others.. The goal of compassion-focused imagery exercises is the production of a relational image that stimulates the soothing system.. CFT can be helpful to people who find it challenging to understand, feel, or express compassion, as therapy can be a safe place in which to discover any reasons behind this difficulty and explore methods of positive change.. CFT can be helpful to people who find it challenging to understand, feel, or express compassion, as therapy can be a safe place in which to discover any reasons behind this difficulty and explore methods of positive change.. People seeking treatment for the above concerns may wish to first talk to the therapist offering CFT to see if the approach is a good fit for the particular challenge they are experiencing.. An introduction to the theory and practice of compassion focused therapy and compassionate mind training for shame based difficulties.

Videos

1. CFHA Webinar: Tackling Persistent Pain in Primary Care
(Integrated Care TV)
2. Wellness While Safer at Home
(janmdotorg)
3. Ch15 (sec 4-5) Pre-Session Video Lecture (M 11/16/2020)
(Psych SI Team Taught)
4. Strengths Needs Attitudes Preferences and Temperament: SNAP T Overview
(Doc Snipes)
5. The Power of Financial Therapy: How to Improve Your Money Management Skills with Bari Tessler
(Retire with Purpose)
6. Organizational Wellness From the Top: Stress Mitigation and Work Satisfaction for Staff
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