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What is Compassion Focused Therapy?

Updated: Nov 26, 2021


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Compassion focused therapy, or CFT, is another third-wave approach (see my earlier post on an alternative third-wave approach - Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) & draws on evolutionary psychology to understand the challenges that the human brain can experience in our modern world due to its evolutionary history. The human brain is an amazing organ - it can think about itself! But this can lead to problems such as shame & self-criticism.


Underlying shame & self-criticism can feed difficulties such as anxiety & depression. They can also present a barrier in therapy, making progress more difficult if they are left unadressed. People experiencing high levels of shame & self-criticism may often have backgrounds where abuse, bullying, neglect, or criticism are factors & Compassion focused therapies are particularly helpful in these cases.


The Compassionate Mind Foundation is a charity established in 2006 by Prof. Paul Gilbert and is the leading provider of training and research into compassionate approaches - you can find a wealth of information on their website if you are interested in finding out more about the compassionate approaches.


Photo credit: Sirisvisual on Unsplash

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