Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

Compassion Focused Therapy

What is Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT)?

Compassion-focused therapy is an evidence-based therapeutic approach that encourages and promotes internal healing by embracing compassion towards ourselves and others.

The approach seeks to improve mental health and overall well-being.

History of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

CFT was originally developed by psychologist Paul Gilbert (OBE), who incorporated various principles, theories and techniques from various schools of psychology, religion and treatment modalities.

CFT draws upon the following primary components:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Neuroscience
  • Buddhist Philosophy
Ian Stockbridge, Founder of Hope Therapy & Counselling Services talks about Compassion Focused therapy (CFT)

How does it work?

This approach recognises three primary systems and, when necessary, move between them.

  • Threat System: This system is focused on protecting us. People may have heard of ‘Fight or Flight’ – this system can lead to us being in a state of high alert or stress.
  • Drive System: This system motivates us to get resources and meet basic needs like food and shelter. It is also keen for us to achieve goals like passing exams or succeeding on a date. It’s related to feelings of excitement and arousal.
  • Contentment System: This can be thought of as the soothing system. This system is triggered when we do not need to achieve a particular goal and are not under stress.

What can it help with?

It appears to be particularly useful for certain clients. If you have struggled with:

  • Shame or Guilt
  • A history of bullying
  • Abuse – either physical or emotional
  • Trust Issues
  • Struggles with self-kindness

Often CFT is used to support clients with:

If you are struggling with any of the conditions above or would like to speak to one of our team about Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), book an appointment with one of our team to discuss things further.

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