Compassion Focused Therapy | The Private Therapy Clinic

What is Compassion Focused Therapy?

Compassion Focused Therapy brings together elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and insights from a range of fields, including neuroscience, Buddhist psychology and evolutionary psychology to help patients to train their minds in compassion. In the process, they acquire the ability to feel compassion towards themselves, and to self-soothe when times are difficult.

Why Does Compassion Matter?

When we see the world, and ourselves, through a lens of compassion we can become enabled to change difficult behavioural patterns relating to negative thoughts and feelings into more positive ones. Negative thoughts and feelings can include a sense of shame, anger, or the tendency to be critical of oneself. When we tell ourselves that we are “stupid” or “lazy” when we do not achieve our goals as easily or as quickly as we like, we are reinforcing a negative world view that impacts on our ability to change our lives for the better. People who lack compassion for themselves frequently also struggle to feel compassion for others, often with profound repercussions for their ability to form and maintain healthy relationships.

Understanding the Human Mind

An understanding of how the human mind evolved, and how it still functions today, is at the root of Compassion Focused Therapy. Our brains have three distinct, basic ways to regulate our emotions:

  • Threat or protection
  • Drive or resource-seeking
  • Soothing

By understanding the role of each of these functions, which evolved over time to help us to survive an often very hostile environment, and how each interacts with the others, we acquire a more detailed understanding of how and why we react to stressors in the environment the way we do. For example, because we evolved in a risky environment, our brains are highly attuned to anything perceived as “risky” in our contemporary setting. This can sometimes result in us focusing excessively on encounters or events experienced as negative or upsetting. Your therapist can work with you to help you to understand how these systems impact on your behaviour, and how you can use a range of techniques to modulate your response to the things you see and experience.

How Does Compassion Focused Therapy Work?

Your therapist will use special training techniques and exercises, as well as mindfulness techniques, that will help you to develop the skills you need to feel compassion, such as the ability to tolerate distress and experience sympathy and sensitivity towards yourself and others. Over time, you will become enabled to step away from judgement and condemnation and to embrace more useful attitudes. By learning how to focus more on our positive experiences, we can learn how to see and appreciate compassion in the world around us. Steadily, we can learn how to recognise positivity more, giving us a brighter outlook as we face the challenges of everyday life.

Who is Compassion Focused Therapy For?

While Compassion Focused Therapy has a wide range of applications, it is especially useful for people who tend to be very self-critical and to experience feelings of shame and anger. These people often struggle to feel and demonstrate compassion to either themselves or others, frequently because of a personal history of being neglected, bullied, or not experiencing a lot of affection in their family of origin. By learning how their minds work and the origins of their negative feelings, they can learn about compassion, and start to experience feelings of compassion towards others, and towards themselves.

Get in Touch to Discuss Compassion Focused Therapy

If you would like to talk to someone about Compassion Focused Therapy, please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 03331 222 370

THERAPISTS WHO OFFER CFT AT PRIVATE THERAPY CLINIC

  • 23 Oct 2018

    How to Handle a Break Up

    Break ups are never a pleasant experience, even in cases when you’ve left on your own terms, there can still be residual emotions that need to be worked through. It doesn’t matter whether it was the end of a toxic relationship, a mutual parting of ways, or even because of external factors......

  • 13 Oct 2018

    Why Role Models in Fashion Matter

    Every so often the media gets interested in the role of the fashion industry in damaging young people’s self-image (mostly young women’s). For a while there are outraged op-eds and then maybe a fashion house makes a big deal about hiring a “plus size” model or two, and then the fuss dies dow.....

  • 05 Oct 2018

    The Challenges and the Joys of Bicultural Relationships

    An old Italian proverb advises men looking to get married and settle down to find both oxen and wives in their own home villages. The idea is that life is easier when spouses come from the same sort of cultural background. Today, in our multicultural world, it’s becoming increasingly common for co.....

  • 03 Oct 2018

    How to Overcome Abortion Depression

    Abortion has always been a polarising issue. Everyone has a view on the subject and are rarely shy in expressing it. But when you move beyond the argument of choice vs. ethics, not much else is generally said of the matter. The thought that women might have to overcome something such as depression b.....

  • 01 Oct 2018

    The Most Effective way to Treat Social Anxiety Disorder

    Social anxiety is a state that can affect people from all walks of life. Everyone has experienced a jangling of nerves before a big interview or date; this is normal. But when this sense of nervousness reaches such heightened levels it interferes with rational thought over a sustained period, it shi.....

ALL ARTICLES