Compassion Focused Therapy | The Psychology Company
page-template-default,page,page-id-41,page-parent,page-child,parent-pageid-61,bridge-core-3.1.1,qode-page-transition-enabled,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode_grid_1200,footer_responsive_adv,qode-theme-ver-30.0.1,qode-theme-bridge,disabled_footer_bottom,qode_header_in_grid,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-7.0,vc_responsive

Compassion Focused Therapy


Compassion Therapy can help with a range of difficulties including Depression,  Anxiety and Panic, Perfectionism, High Self Criticism, Low Self Esteem/Shame and Traumatic Stress. Compassion Focused Therapy builds on Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and was developed by Professor Paul Gilbert and colleagues in the UK. Many of the Psychologists in the practice have also trained in Mindful Self Compassion with Kristin Neff and Chris Germer who are leaders in this field based in the US.


Compassion Therapy in Surrey


We offer Compassion Focused Therapy in our clinics in Petersfield, Southsea and Haywards Heath. We also offer online therapy via Zoom.

What is Compassion Focused Therapy?


Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps people develop compassion for themselves and others. It was developed by Paul Gilbert, a clinical psychologist who has studied the role of compassion in mental health for many years. Gilbert’s work has shown that compassion can be a powerful antidote to shame, self-criticism, and other negative emotions that can contribute to psychological problems and help us build stronger relationships and live more fulfilling lives.


In compassion-focused therapy (CFT), there are three main systems that are thought to be involved in the experience of compassion:


  • The threat system: This system is responsible for our fight-or-flight response. It is activated when we perceive a threat, either real or imagined.


  • The drive system: This system is responsible for our motivation to achieve goals and seek rewards. It is activated when we want something or when we are motivated to do something.


  • The soothing system: This system is responsible for our ability to calm down and feel safe. It is activated when we feel relaxed, content, and cared for.


CFT argues that these three systems are all important for compassion, but that the soothing system is particularly important. This is because the soothing system helps us to regulate our emotions and to feel safe and cared for. When the soothing system is activated, we are more likely to be able to feel compassion for ourselves and others.


CFT also argues that the threat and drive systems can sometimes interfere with compassion. For example, if we are feeling threatened, we may be less likely to be able to feel compassion for ourselves or others. Similarly, if we are driven by a need for achievement, we may be less likely to be able to feel compassion for those who are not as successful as us or be compassionate to ourselves when we have set backs.


CFT teaches techniques that can help to strengthen the soothing system and to reduce the influence of the threat and drive systems. CFT is an integrative therapy that draws on a variety of sources, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and Buddhist psychology.  It uses a variety of techniques to help people develop compassion, including:


  • Building a compassionate mind: The therapist helps the client to develop a compassionate attitude towards themselves and others. This involves understanding the nature of compassion, identifying their own obstacles to compassion, and developing a compassionate inner voice.


  • Imagery exercises: These exercises help people to visualise themselves as compassionate figures, such as a loving parent or a wise friend.


  • Self-talk: CFT teaches people to use compassionate self-talk to counter negative thoughts and beliefs about themselves.


  • Sensate focus: This technique helps people to become more aware of the physical sensations of compassion, such as warmth, openness, and strength.


  • Compassionate actions: CFT encourages people to engage in compassionate behaviours, such as acts of kindness or generosity.


How can Compassion Focused Therapy Help?


Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) can help in a number of ways, including:

  • Developing greater compassion for oneself: CFT can help people to counter negative self-talk and develop a more compassionate inner voice. This can lead to a reduction in self-criticism, shame, and other negative emotions.


  • Coping with difficult emotions: CFT can help people to develop more effective ways of coping with difficult emotions, such as anxiety, depression, and anger.


  • Bolstering positive emotions: CFT can help people develop more life satisfaction, happiness, self-confidence, optimism, curiosity, creativity and gratitude.


  • Building stronger relationships: CFT can help people to develop more compassionate relationships with others. 


  • Living a more fulfilling life: CFT can help people to live more fulfilling lives by helping them to connect with their values, set goals, and take action.


  • Building resilience: Research has shown that the more compassionate we are to ourselves, the more resilient we are when it comes to stressful life events, such as academic failure, chronic pain and divorce. Self-compassion has also been shown to have a mediating effect on veterans exposed to trauma and burnout in staff.
01483 363 058

Start your journey with us today…

psychology Insurance logos