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Compassion Focused Therapy

An increasingly popular modality of intervention based on boosting self-esteem and lowering self-criticism.

“Receiving kindness, gentleness, warmth and compassion tells the brain that the world is safe and other people are helpful rather than harmful. Receiving kindness, gentleness, warmth and compassion improves our immune system and reduces the levels of stress hormones. Receiving kindness, gentleness, warmth and compassion helps us to feel soothed and settled and is conducive to good sleep. Kindness, gentleness, warmth and compassion are like basic vitamins for our minds.”

― Paul A. Gilbert

Woman on Van by Beach

What is CFT?

Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) is an integrative psychotherapy model that integrates cognitive-behavioural therapy techniques with evolutionary, developmental and social psychology; affective neuroscience; and Buddhist psychology.

CFT aims to help promote mental and emotional healing by reducing feelings of threat and shame, which tend to be core features of mental health difficulties.

Practicing compassion has been shown to have powerful effects on physiological, psychological, and social processes, specifically in the regulation of threat-focused emotional experiences and the development of a caring orientation to suffering. Compassion-focused therapy is particularly effective for people with high levels of self-criticism and low self-esteem.

What to expect?

You’ll learn to use mindfulness techniques to compassionately ‘stand back’ from turbulent cognitions and emotion. You and your therapist will explore the practice of self-soothing techniques and your therapist will help you to develop self-compassion using imagery to  aversive or traumatic inner experiences.

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