Compassion Focused Therapy – Find a CFT Therapist Nearby or Online
If you are looking for Compassion Focused Therapy with a qualified and professionally accredited expert, then you are in the right place. The therapists offering CFT on this registry service have attended professional CFT training in addition to their core Cognitive Behavioural Therapy qualifications. You can view the featured CFT therapists in the profile showcase on this page or browse CFT therapists by entering your postcode and selecting the CFT option in the search box.
What Is Compassion Focused Therapy?
Compassion Focused Therapy also known as CFT , is a modern form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that demonstrates good treatment results for individuals experiencing problems rooted in shame and self-criticism. Like other forms of CBT, Compassion Focused Therapy focuses on altering the impact of deeply rooted thinking and behavioural patterns that maintain a wide range of emotional and psychological problems. CFT is oriented towards developing a mindful, accepting and self-compassionate response to the factors that maintain psychological distress. This follows a specific treatment approach which is known as “The Compassionate Mind” model.
Whilst there are many parallels between CFT and other forms of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Compassion Focused Therapy has been found to be particularly helpful for individuals who struggle with feelings of shame, self-criticism and disgust. These problems are frequently rooted in childhood neglect, abuse, bullying or trauma and often present as “treatment resistant “ psychological problems. People who have experienced these treatment resistant problems often find that they can logically understand and apply traditional CBT techniques, but that the underlying emotional response does not significantly shift.
How Does Compassion Focused Therapy Work?
The CFT model combines a number of theoretical concepts including CBT, evolutionary psychology, neuroscience and Buddhist philosophy to offer a model of therapy that can be delivered on an individual basis or in groups. The overarching goal is to alleviate suffering by cultivating a mindful and compassionate perspective towards the self and others.
Clients learn about the evolution of the human brain, the construction of a self-concept and the three neuro-biological systems that regulate emotions and behaviour. The three emotional regulation systems include:
- The Threat - Protection System; this generates fear, anger and disgust as a basis for self-protection.
- The Drive- Excitement System; this generates motivation to find a mate, resources and status.
- The Soothe – Social Safety System; this generates feelings of nurture, bonding and security.
The research shows that a number of psychological problems arise when these systems are out of balance or when early life experiences resulted in the over-activation of the threat system.
As the Threat and Soothe systems are mutually inhibitive, clients are supported to develop their capacity to self-soothe and promote a compassionate mind. This helps to calm the threat system and bring the emotional regulation system into balance.
Current research shows that CFT can be delivered as a stand-alone process or integrated into other cognitive Behavioural Therapy approaches. A competent and experienced CFT therapist should be able to seamlessly integrate approaches from other forms of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy into the CFT treatment approach.
The therapists offering CFT on this website have completed their post-graduate training in CBT and have undertaken additional specialist training in Compassion Focused Therapy.