top of page

PLEASE NOTE:  This event is over multiple days and ALL days must be attended.

An Introduction to Compassion-Focused Therapy

Russell Kolts

19 Feb 2024


PLEASE NOTE:  This event is over multiple days and ALL days must be attended:

19th February 2024  -  14.00 - 16.00 hrs

20th February 2024  -  14.00 - 16.00 hrs

21st February 2024  -  14.00 - 16.00 hrs 

Compassion is defined as having sensitivity to suffering combined with the motivation to alleviate and prevent it. Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) is a form of therapy that draws upon evolution science, affective neuroscience, attachment therapy, and behaviorism in assisting individuals who suffer with emotional difficulties. Supported by a growing body of scientific research, CFT is particularly suited to assist clients who struggle with prominent shame, self-attacking, and self-criticism, and has been applied to the treatment of depression, anxiety, anger, trauma, and psychosis, among others.  Utilizing the purposeful cultivation of compassion, and a host of treatment strategies such as imagery, chair-work, breath-body work, and behavioral and thought experiments, CFT assists clients in shifting their relationship to their suffering from a perspective of avoidance and/or self-attacking to engaging with these challenges from a stance of courage, compassionate understanding, and an orientation toward discovering what would be helpful in alleviating the suffering.  CFT approaches utilize and are compatible with many other empirically supported treatment approaches (e.g. ACT, DBT, CBT).

The event will be equivalent to 5.1/2hrs of CPD.


In this 3-day training, participants will be presented with:
• An organizational framework for understanding CFT as a set of layered processes and practices that can be systematically trained.
• A theoretical model for understanding how to infuse compassion into all aspects of the therapeutic interaction.
• An unpacking of the CFT definition of compassion.
• An exploration of the roles of the therapist in CFT.
• A de-shaming evolutionary model of emotion that can assist clients in understanding and accepting the challenging ways their emotions work.
• Additionally, participants will gain exposure to a number of core CFT concepts and practices.

Learning Objectives

1. Articulate the layered processes and practices targeted in CFT, and how they work together to set a context for the cultivation of self-compassion.
2. Describe the roles of the therapist in Compassion-Focused Therapy.
3. Articulate the forms of compassionate realizations that CFT therapists seek to help clients make.
4. Describe the three-systems model of emotion.
5. Guide clients in exploring the ways that different motives and emotions organize their mental experience.
6. Describe the acting approach used with Compassionate Self work in CFT.

Training Modalities

Didactic content, Q&A, and experiential exercises.

Key References

Gilbert, P. & Simos, G. (2022). Compassion Focused Therapy: Clinical Practice and Applications. London: Routledge.

Gilbert, P. (2010). Compassion Focused Therapy. London: Routledge.

Gilbert, P, & Proctor, S. (2006). Compassionate mind training for people with high shame and self-criticism: overview and pilot study of a group therapy approach. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 13, 353-379.

Kolts, R.L. (2016). CFT Made Simple. Oakland: New Harbinger.

Kolts, R., Bell, T., Bennett-Levy, J. & Irons, C. (2018). Experiencing Compassion-Focused Therapy from the Inside Out: A Self-practice/Self-reflection Workbook for Therapists. New York: Guilford Press.

Mikulincer, M., Gillath, O., Halevy, V., Avihou, N., Avidan, S., & Eshkoli, N. (2001). Attachment theory and reactions to others’ needs: evidence that activation of the sense of attachment security promotes empathic responses. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 1205-1224.

Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P.R. (2005). Attachment security, compassion, and altruism. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14, 34-38.

About the presenter

Russell Kolts is a Professor of Psychology at Eastern Washington University and Director of the Inland Northwest Compassionate Mind Center in Spokane, Washington, USA. He has authored or co-authored scientific articles on various areas of psychology and has authored several books about Compassion-Focused Therapy and compassion, including An Open-Hearted Life: Transformative Lessons on Compassionate Living from a Clinical Psychologist and a Buddhist Nun (with Thubten Chodron), CFT Made Simple, and Experiencing Compassion Focused Therapy from the Inside Out (with Tobyn Bell, James Bennett-Levy, and Chris Irons).

Who should attend

This event is suitable for all mental health professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, counsellors, social workers, and case managers.

Low Intensity clinical contact hours survey - BABCP Low Intensity Special Interest Group

Please click below if you are interested in contributing to the survey.


The BACP Low Intensity SIG are interested in the impact of clinical contact hours on Low Intensity/Wellbeing Practitioner wellbeing. This questionnaire contains six multi-choice questions and a free text box for you to share your experiences. The answers to these questions will help the BABCP SIG plan how to meet CPD topics and other developments within the SIG.  The SIG hope to produce a write up of the answers to this questionnaire to be shared with SIG members and to be used in training.

View Survey

This FREE conference is for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners working in Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression services and is brought to you by Bespoke Mental Health in collaboration with the NHS England Talking Therapies National PWP Leads Network

bottom of page