12th International CFT Conference

9th-12th October 2023
Millennium Point (Birmingham) & Online

To see the abstracts please click here.

We're looking forward to welcoming you to our 12th international conference, which will explore compassion through life's journey, and are delighted to have a range of experts who will discuss different aspects, or phases, of the life journey.

We'll be offering keynote and symposia talks, along with a clinical panel and practice focused and experiential workshops, as well as space for posters and socialising, and of course, our conference dinner and dance. The conference will take place in Birmingham, with a livestream option for those who would be unable to attend in person.

A detailed schedule will be released shortly, but we have provided information below on our pre conference one day workshops, and conference symposia. We very much hope to welcome you in October.

Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity Fund

Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity Fund We recognise that there are, for many of us, numerous barriers to attending conferences, so in 2019 we introduced our Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Fund (EDIF). The EDIF offers grants to assist those who would otherwise be unable, to attend our international conference by covering the cost of conference registration. A small number of grants are available in 2023.

To apply, please complete forward the application form (see below) to:

The deadline for applications is :
1st September 2023 for f2f attendance
1st October 2023 for livestream attendance

We also offer a discount for those from emerging countries - please see our pricing section for more information.

Application Form

Venue and Conference Meal

Conference Venue

Millennium Point, Curzon St,
Birmingham, B4 7XG, UK

You can see the venue's position on a map here.
For information about accommodation in Birmingham, please click here.

Livestream option for those who would be unable to attend in person is also available.

Conference Dinner & Dance

Our Conference Dinner and Dance will be held on Tuesday the 10th October from 7pm onwards until late at the
Millennium Point
(Millennium Point, Curzon St, Birmingham, B4 7XG)

This year's conference dinner will be a three course Indian cuisine buffet. Your dinner ticket includes a drink on arrival and three courses with tea/coffee and mints. There will be vegetarian and non-vegetarian choices in the buffet.

We will also be offering an after dinner Bollywood dance demonstration, where delegates will have the chance to learn follow along and enjoy a live performance. This will be followed by a disco until late, so we look forward to seeing you on the dancefloor. Those who wish to have dinner elsewhere are welcome to join us for the after dinner entertainment.

Conference Schedule (10th-12th October)

Tuesday, 10th October


Welcome and Opening Address Professor Paul Gilbert OBE


KEYNOTE: Dr Graham Music The Body is NOT a Brain-Taxi: Mis-sparking, Over-use of the Mind and the Compassionate Challenge of Defences




SYMPOSIUM: Early Life, Building Relationships and Mental Health Chair: Dr James Kirby
Dr Michelle Cree - Disgust and Disconnection, with Particular Reference to the Perinatal Period  
Deanna Varley - Examining the Associations between Attachment Style and Fears of Compassion: A Meta-Analytic Review
Dr Corinne Gale - Compassion Focused Therapy for People with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism




KEYNOTE: Dr James Kirby  Compassion and Parenting: Why it Matters?




Parallel Workshops
Dr Ken Goss - Compassion Focused Therapy and Eating Well
(B) Deirdre Fay & Dr Clodagh Dowling - Rewiring Threat System: Training Body Mind Heart to Receive Instead of Defend


Conference Dinner & Dance

Wednesday, 11th October


Experiential Practice with Deirdre Fay
Compassionately Switch out of Threat into Soothe and Comfort


KEYNOTE: Professor Shirley Reynolds Catalysts of compassionate care for children and adolescents in low and middle income countries




SYMPOSIUM: Transitions from Childhood to Adolescence
Chair: Dr Wendy Wood
Dr Hajra Ashra - Understanding and Measuring Self-criticism in Childhood and Youth
Dr Marcela Matos- Nurturing Compassion in Schools: Feasibility, Effectiveness and Mechanisms of Change of a Compassionate Mind Training Intervention for Teachers on Promoting Psychological and Physiological Wellbeing
Dr Anna Bratt- Group-based Compassion-Focused Therapy for Adolescents and Their Parents: Exploring Experiences and Effectiveness in a Swedish Mental Health Care Setting
Dr Theo Gilbert- Compassion: Taught and Credit - Bearing on Degrees and Across Disciplines in Student Team Work - At Last




KEYNOTE: Professor Frances Maratos Compassion in Education: The Why’s, The What’s, The Results, The Future




SYMPOSIUM: Compassion and the Challenges of Aging
Chair: Dr Rebecca Poz
Dr Anna Strudwick- Building Connections between Generations: Exploring the Potential to Increase Access to Compassion and Reduce Ageism
Dr Fiona Eccles & Dr Ruth Lewis-Morton - (Online)- Compassion Focused Therapy with People with Parkinson’s
Bianca Neumann-Morris- The ‘I’ After Bereavement

Thursday, 12th October


Experiential Practice session with Choden - Using the Mandala Principle as the Basis for Cultivating Wisdom and Compassion


Parallel Workshops
Dr Rebecca Poz - Compassion Focused Therapy and Aging
(B) Dr Zoey Malpus & Dr Lesley Armitage - Applying Compassion Focused Therapy to Physical Health Problems




Clinical Panel Discussion Chair: Professor Paul Gilbert




SYMPOSIUM: Transitions in Identity
Chair: Dr Hannah Gilbert
Julia Bueno - The Brink of Being: Miscarriage as a Challenge to Identities
Max Cohen- Transition for Transgender and Non-Binary People
Dr Julia Wahl - Compassion for Cancer: How We Can Heal and Live with Compassion
Dr Runa Dawood - Reflecting on our Compassion Focused Professional Identities in a Transitioning World




KEYNOTE (specially recorded) Prof Daniel Siegel Intraconnected


Poster Presentation Prizes
Closing Address - Prof Paul Gilbert OBE

Pre-conference Workshops (9th October)

These workshops will run from 09.30-16.30 on Monday, the 9th October and will take place at our conference venue in Birmingham. There is also a livestream option.

To see a description of workshop content please click here.

Parallel Workshops (10th & 12th October)

10th October, 15.00-16.30 BST

10th October, 15.00-16.30 BST

12th October, 09.30-11.00 BST

12th October, 09.30-11.00 BST

Conference Symposia


We offer discounts for those from emerging countries. As there is, as yet, not one standard list of emerging countries, we have based this list on those provided by similar conferences.

Poster Presentations

Setting and materials

Each poster chosen for display will be allocated a poster board. The poster boards are portrait and take an A0 size poster. Please note, posters can only be attached using adhesive Velcro tabs – these will be available on the day if required. There is no facility for audio-visual presentations in the poster display area and no electrical outlets available. Your presentation should be delivered using only the materials fixed to the poster board.

Setting up

We request that presenters attend as much of the conference as possible (at least 2 out of 4 days). Poster presenters should arrive approximately 15 minutes before registration to set up their display materials. Please note that no responsibility can be taken for any loss or damage to your poster or any other display materials and putting up your poster is taken as acceptance of these conditions.

Display materials

Please make sure that the information on your poster is clear and visible. It is essential to include a clear, complete heading to enable people to identify the poster and the presenter. As a general rule, it is recommended that the title be in 3 cm print or larger. The authors and the affiliations in 1.5 cm print. Please include an abstract typed in a large, clear type and several large, clearly labelled graphs and other visual aids. Figures should take up a regular page, but even larger materials would be desirable. If tables are included, they should probably be larger than a standard sheet of paper. Pictures, diagrams, and other materials of adequate size are often helpful. A useful rule here is that your material should be easily read from a distance of 1 to 2 metres. All materials you wish to display should be related to your presentation and the materials described in the abstract you submitted to the Compassionate Mind Foundation.

Poster content

The basic rule is to provide a short, clear, non-technical description of what you did, why you did it, and what you found. Generally, you should not go into detail regarding subjects, apparatus, or details of procedure — those who want to learn more can request a full copy of the paper. For example, you should keep references and reviews of the literature to a minimum. The format requires you to be bold in your style and to condense complicated descriptions into a few short sentences. Above all, a poster is not just a regular paper in large text. It is a discussion-oriented format. The poster should communicate the issue and conclusion. The discussion in person with conference delegates should fill in the details.


Individuals may view your poster at coffee breaks or lunch. The conference committee will request that you should make yourself available to discuss the materials and answer questions for at least the last 30 minutes of lunch. Many presenters wish to provide handouts about their project. These may include an abstract of the paper or perhaps a copy of the complete paper itself. Other authors prefer to send reprints of their paper by email after the conference

DEADLINE: 30th September 2023

APPLICATION: Using the link below, please email us with your abstract. We aim to inform you of the outcome of your application as soon as possible after it is submitted.

Terms and Conditions for Face To Face Attendance

Please contact us as soon as possible on hello@compassionatemind.co.uk for any cancellations. Refunds, less a 20% administration fee, will be made if cancellations are received in writing up to six weeks (28thAugust 2023) before the event. Any cancellations received after this time will not be eligible for a refund. We regret, refunds for failure to attend cannot be made but you can transfer your event fee to a future event within 12 months. 

Please note that information about the event and venue may be subject to change and cancellation. Occasionally, an event may have to be cancelled or postponed. We will try and inform you of any changes and cancellations as soon as possible via email.  We cannot beheld responsible for any resulting costs you may incur for travel, accommodation, any other related goods or service or other compensation. 

We will confirm the final details of the event, 7-10 days before the start date. Lunch provided at the event will be vegetarian and will include eggs, but no meat. However, please advise us of any dietary requirements on the booking form and we will try to accommodate your request. 

For more information :

Contact us