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Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

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. Compassion, both toward the self and toward others, is an emotional response believed by many to be an essential aspect of well-being. Its development may often have the benefit of improved mental and emotional health.

At Working Minds, we provide CFT as a 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. Treatment sessions highlight the association between these systems and human thought and behaviour. Our aim of establishing CFT is to bring these three affect systems into balance.

According to CFT theory, the threat, drive, and contentment systems evolved throughout human history in order to facilitate survival. Early humans were eager to avoid or overcome threats, seek resources such as food or intimacy, and enjoy the benefits of being part of a social community. Proponents of CFT suggest these systems are still active and affect human emotions, actions, and beliefs today. If a threatening stimulus is received, for example, a person may experience different feelings (such as fear, anxiety, or anger), exhibit various behaviours (submission or a fight or flight response), and develop certain cognitive biases (jumping to conclusions, stereotyping, or assuming it is always better to be safe than sorry).

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. This type of therapy can also be effective at helping people manage distressing thoughts, behaviours, and feelings of any kind but may be particularly helpful when dealing with feelings associated with self-attack.

Other concerns treated with CFT include:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Disordered eating
  • Psychosis
  • Self-criticism
  • Self-injury
  • Shame

At Working Minds, we will first assess you to see if this approach is a good fit for your particular challenges you are experiencing. CFT can help individuals achieve improved well-being overall but may not be the most relevant approach for some mental health issues.

References

  • Braehler, C., Gumley, A., Harper, J., Wallace, S., Norrie, J. & Gilbert, P. (2013). Exploring change processes in compassion focused therapy in psychosis: Results of a feasibility randomized controlled trial. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 52, 19

  • Gilbert, P. (2009). Introducing compassion-focused therapy. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 15(3), 199-208. DOI: 10.1192/apt.bp.107.005264.

  • Gilbert, P. (2010). An introduction to the theory and practice of compassion focused therapy and compassionate mind training for shame-based difficulties.

  • Gilbert, P. (2014). The origins and nature of compassion focused therapy. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 53(1), 6-41. DOI: 10.1111/bjc.12043

  • Good Therapy, ‘Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT)’ (2020, August 21)

  • Goss, K. & Allan, S. (2014). The development and application of compassion-focused therapy for eating disorders. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 53, 62-77.

  • Leaviss, J., & Uttley, L. (2014, September 12). Psychotherapeutic benefits of compassion-focused therapy: An early systematic review

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Over 20 Years’ Experience High Success Rate Helping Individuals & Organisations
Over 20 Years’ Experience

High Success Rate Helping Individuals & Organisations

Why Choose Us For Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

We are unique in the way that we provide personal, individual attention and care to each of our clients. We are flexible and can often arrange for you to have your therapy face to face, via telephone, or video links such as zoom. We try to work around your schedule as best as we can and for what suits you best to ensure your maximum progression and attention in sessions. Our services will go the extra mile to bond and build rapport to get the most effective and positive outcome.

Therapy is not only a job, but also, a passion that we provide 100% to each individual client. Our team is well equipped with assessments, materials, and knowledge to ensure that each session is useful. We provide advice and set targets so you can develop and improve even outside your time with the therapist.

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Argent
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West Midlands Fire Service

At West Midlands Fire Service we have established a long and productive relationship with Working Minds UK. Alan Dovey has a clear understanding of the needs of our service and has provided support for operational and non-operational staff alike. The input he delivers has proved to be extremely cost-effective and has shown an excellent return on investment in terms of a reduction in sickness absence days. We regard Alan as an essential and valued member of our multidisciplinary Occupational Heal ...

Paul Hinckley, Senior Business Partner
South Yorkshire Police

CBT has been integrated in to all aspects of the occupational health practitioner’s work in South Yorkshire Police. Having now had three practitioners trained by Alan and Sharon on their national course, we are able to provide effective, practical therapeutic and educational support to our clients. Extending the remit of the occupational health advisor with cognitive behavioural training has been the most rewarding, efficient and effective investment not only for the professionalism of the ...

Sharon Whitehouse, Occupational Health Manager
Healthcare RM

Sharon and Alan’s training in cognitive behavioural practice and their ongoing supervision has helped us develop and maintain our skills in the complex area of workplace mental health.

Anita Ross and Hayley Arnold, Case Managers
Healthcare RM

As a specialist occupational/corporate healthcare provider Alan Dovey and Sharon Wilday’s cognitive behavioural training to our case managers has proved invaluable in ensuring we provide a first class service to our clients

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