PG Cert Compassion Focused Therapy

Why choose this course?

  • This course will allow you to gain a qualification that your future employers will really value, and you'll develop all the key skills and knowledge they'll be looking for in practitioners.
  • You will receive training with experts in the field of compassion focused therapy including Professor Paul Gilbert OBE, who is the founder of the charity The Compassionate Mind Foundation.
  • You will study this course for one day a week for 36 weeks and learning will be based here at the university, online and there will also be supervised sessions to help you to transfer learning to your own workplace. This will allow you to integrate your studying within your personal and professional commitments.

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Fact file

Start date: September

Course length: part time: one year

Campus: Kedleston Road site, Derby Campus

Faculty: Education, Health and Science

School: School of Health and Social Care

About this course

Compassion focused therapy is a psychological approach that was originally developed to help people with high shame and self-criticism, and this course will introduce you to the basic ideas and interventions that are used. This course is for you if you are in a mental health profession, for example psychiatry, psychology, nursing or occupational therapy and you are trained to form and develop psychotherapeutic relationships. Also, if you have basic counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy skills and you would like to develop your skills when working with clients who experience shame and self-criticism thoughts, then this course is for you.

By studying this course, you will develop your clinical and theoretical knowledge in compassion focused therapy. You'll have the opportunity to network with like minded, dynamic individuals and be taught by leading academics and professionals in your field of expertise. There is also the opportunity for you to experience expert clinical and academic supervision to develop your practical skills and ensure you can provide proficient therapy to your future clients.

Throughout this course you will learn to focus on the forms and functions of shame and self-criticism and how to treat them by developing self and other directed compassion. Compassion focused therapy aims to develop care and affiliative-focused motivation, attention, emotion behaviour and thinking in clients, and the key skills that are used include Socratic questioning, guided discovery behaviour experiments and multiple chair work. You will also look at the use of compassion focused imagery during this course, which includes building the compassionate self and using the sense of a compassionate self to engage with areas of personal difficulty.

You will study this course for 36 weeks based on studying for one day a week. You will learn through a combination of e-learning, personal study, workshops and case provision where you will need to identify suitable clients to work with. For your supervision sessions, you will be video recorded, which is a fundamental part of this course and will help to transfer you from a learning environment into practice and help to refine compassion focused practice.

What you will cover

You’ll study these modules:

Compassion Focused Therapy 1

Single module worth 20 credits.

During this module you’ll cover theories of compassion including drive, safeness and threat. You’ll also explore different types of shame and how shame is linked to selfcriticism, threat and safety behaviours. You’ll address the therapeutic relationship and micro skills, formulating problems in terms of threat and safety strategies. We’ll also introduce you to the basic model: the nature of compassion as an antidote to shame and self-attacking.

Compassion Focused Therapy 2

Double module worth 40 credits.

This module will take your learning to an advanced level, as you’ll develop your advanced therapeutic relationship and micro skills. You’ll cover theories of compassion and shame and psycho physiology, and consider compassion therapy under the context of complex clients. You’ll develop your understanding of the use of imagery, compassionate reframing and compassionate letter writing.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need an undergraduate degree (at least second class) or an equivalent qualification in nursing, health or a social science subject. If you have a professional qualification in mental health or a related area then this is also accepted. You will also need to show evidence of being able to study at postgraduate level.

How to apply

UK/EU students

Fees and finance

UK/EU students

The course consists of two modules:

  • Compassion Focused Therapy 1 module: £1,000
  • Compassion Focused Therapy 2 module: £2,000

The cost includes teaching and clinical supervision.

*These fees apply if you're starting this course between September 2013 and August 2014. We recommend you check fee details with us though, as they can change. Costs can increase each year.

How you will learn

How you're assessed

You will be assessed by a portfolio, written case study and assessment of practice.

Careers and employability

If you are interested in developing your career in the psychological therapies field, then this course will help you to do just that. You may have identified this course as part of your own personal or professional development, and as this course is highly valued by employers in the sector, it's a worthy addition to your CV. Many of our current students are keen to advance in their careers and maintain their links to practice by developing their clinical and practical skills.

Where will I study?

Kedleston Road site, Derby Campus