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 well-being, resilience and better relationships.
Compassion-Focused Therapy or Compassionate Mind Training is beneficial for 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 increases 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, and 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.
The Essence of 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, 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. As we cultivate self-compassion, we develop a relationship with ourselves that is kind, supportive, understanding and caring and in this way 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 are quick to use and can be easily 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 can arise 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 show 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.
Numerous other studies in the last ten years have found that Compassion Mind Training increases emotional regulation, well-being, resilience, positive relationships, a 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 intervention with single individuals, couples as well as applied in groups in therapeutic settings and wellness programs.
What you will learn:
This course will teach the underlying theoretical framework of Compassion-Focused Therapy as well as clinical 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 of a compassionate self to ease self-criticism.
5. Focus on cognitive and somatic mindfulness practices to stabilise the mind and to promote feelings 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.
8. Promote Positive Emotions of engagement and connections
9. Engagement in self-compassion practices
10. Applications of Case Formulation and Life Plan Formulation
At the end of the course you will be more able to:
What to expect:
This course is a live interactive Webinar. It provides practical applications and tools for your own personal practice as well as supporting clinical work with clients. The content is didactic and experiential with guided mindfulness and self-compassion meditations, visualisations, as well as self-reflective exercises and multiple worksheets.
We will also be recording every session so that if you cannot attend the session on the day, you can view the session at a later time.
The online Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) course is attended via a Zoom link and the link for attendance is the same for morning and evening sessions, so you can attend to the one that is most convenient for you.
The format of each session is more or less as followed:
1. Initial meditation/visualisation demonstrating a concept to be presented during the session
2. Breakout room in groups of 3-4 participants to discuss assignments of the previous session
3. Presentation of power points of concepts relating to the applications of CFT
4. Practices and self-reflective exercises with multiple worksheets
5. Assignments for the week: applications of CFT in our personal lives and to help our clients
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.
There will be a clinical focus as well as a personal practice focus and therefore will be beneficial 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) and Certificate of Attendance (12 hours) will be given to everyone at the end of the course. Also, a Certificate for Active Learning (14 hours) will be available, following the completion of a Questionnaire, Case Formulation and Life Plan Formulation. This course is advertised with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) for focused-psychological strategies for Mental Health practitioners and is also 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)
Compassion-Focused Therapy - Clinical Practice and Applications Edited by Paul Gilbert and Gregoris Simos, 2022
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 Compassionate Mind Approach to Difficult Emotions using CFT by Chris Irons, 2019
The Compassionate Mind Workbook by Chris Irons and Elaine Beaumont, 2017
The online Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) course is attended via a Zoom link and note that the zoom link is the same for morning and evening session, so you can attend to the one that is most convenient for you.
Date: Mondays 1st May - 5 June 2023
Time: Morning 10:00 am - 12:00pm (Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra) AEDT
Evening 7:00 - 9:00 pm (Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra) AEDT
Location: Event Online- Webinar- Live weekly meetings and sessions are video recorded
Price: Early bird (14 April ) $370.00~ Regular $420.00 AUD
Presenters: Marie Bloomfield, Clinical Psychologist and John Julian, Social Worker, both Senior Certified Mindful Self-Compassion and Compassion-Focused Therapy/Compassion Mind Training Teachers
Flyer: Compassion Focused Therapy Online Course May-June 2023
If you live elsewhere in the world check the different time zones:
Morning course time conversion table
Evening course time conversion table