What is Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

Compassion-focused therapy is a new, scientifically based psychotherapy. It’s an integrated and multimodal approach that draws from evolutionary, social, developmental and Buddhist psychology, and neuroscience. One of its key concerns is to use compassionate mind training to help people develop and work with experiences of inner warmth, safeness and soothing, via compassion and self-compassion.

Compassion can be viewed as a skill that one can be train in. Compassion-focused therapy refers to the underpinning theory and process of applying a compassion model to psychotherapy. Compassionate mind training refers to specific exercises designed to foster compassionate attributes and skills, especially those that influence emotional regulation.

Excessive shame and self-criticism are trans-diagnostic problems. Clients are helped to practice exercises to detect self-criticism and then refocus compassionately by creating and practicing feelings and thoughts that are kind, supportive and encouraging, and noticing mindfully how it helps them.