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Compassion Focused Therapy

Introduction to Compassion Focused Therapy for Shame and Self-Critical Difficulties Workshop

22 - 24 September 2014

With Professor Paul Gilbert OBE 

This workshop will introduce you to the basic ideas and interventions used in Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). 

CFT was originally developed with people with high shame and self-criticism. These individuals often come from difficult backgrounds where there are low levels of affiliation and affection. This is problematic because from infancy onwards attachment and affiliative experiences play a major role in brain development and regulation of threat-based emotion. Indeed, individuals from these backgrounds can find experiencing positive, affiliative emotions (accepting compassion and being self-compassionate) difficult.

This workshop will explore the role of the evolution of mammalian attachment and affiliation in threat regulation with a focus on the complexity of threat processing systems and its regulation through affiliative processing. This workshop is led by the founder of CFT, Professor Paul Gilbert.


  • University of Derby, Enterprise Centre, DE1 3LD


  • Normal rate (for bookings after 20 August) - £405
  • Student rate - £250

Book your place now

What’s covered

Participants will learn the evolutionary model, the nature of our three basic emotions regulation systems and how to apply it to case formulation. There will also be a focus on the forms and functions of shame and self-criticism and how to treat them by developing self and other directed compassion.

CFT aims to develop care and affiliative-focused motivation, attention, emotion behaviour and thinking. Key skills include the use of compassion focused imagery, building the compassionate self and using the sense of a compassionate self to engage with areas of personal difficulty. Conceptual bridges between CFT and contextual behavioral science will be illustrated.

By the end of the workshop you will be able to:

  1. Explain how evolutionary concepts can be used to help us understand psychopathology and psychotherapy processes
  2. Distinguish different types of positive emotions (e.g. activating versus soothing emotional experiences)
  3. Describe the importance of the attachment system and its link to the experience of vulnerability
  4. Explain the complexities of threat processing, and our "multiple selves"
  5. Distinguish internal shame from external shame, and guilt
  6. Discriminate the two psychologies of compassion: engagement and alleviation
  7. Work in the affiliative soothing system by utilising compassion focused imagery and process
  8. Utilise compassion focusing in different types of therapy

The workshop will use a range of PowerPoint presentations, DVD presentations and some limited personal practice.

Who is it for?

Clinical; Beginner; Intermediate

Any queries?

If you have any questions about the conference then please contact Jo Atkinson 01332 597842 or email 

Take your knowledge to the next level

Develop your knowledge and practice of CFT. Find out about our Postgraduate Certificate in Compassion Focused Therapy