We are looking forward to welcoming you to our 13th international conference this October, which will explore how compassion can help us to work with our potential for harm, both to ourselves and to others. The conference will take place in Birmingham, with a livestream option for those who would be unable to attend in person.

This conference will focus on three specific themes: Harm to Self, Harm to Others, and Forgiveness and Reconciliation.

Along with our conference and pre-conference workshops, there will be space for posters, socialising and networking. The year our conference dinner, on the 8th October, has the theme of a murder mystery which you will invited to solve in table teams,  and we're also offering a social evening, on the 9th October, as an open mic night. More information about this will be available shortly.

We very much hope to welcome you in October.

Pre-Conference Workshops (7th October)

These workshops will run from 09.30-16.30 on Monday, 7th October and will take place at our conference venue - Millennium Point in Birmingham. There is also a livestream option for all of our workshops.

Read the Workshop Abstracts Here

Conference Schedule (8th-10th October)

Tuesday, 8th October
Harmfulness to Self




Welcome and Opening Address Professor Paul Gilbert OBE
Shame: An Inhibitor of Compassion - A Transdiagnostic Difficulty


KEYNOTE: Professor Rory O'Connor
Understanding the transition from Suicidal Thoughts to Suicidal Acts




SYMPOSIUM: Compassion Focused Therapy for Harm to Self
Dr Keith Waters and Dr Jennifer Ness Understanding the Role Arrested Escape and Anger in Self-Harm  
Dr Tobyn Bell Compassion-Focused Chairwork to Address Hostile Self-Criticism, Self-Hatred, and Abusive IntrojectionsDr Marcela Matos Working with Shame Memories
Chair: Dr Marcela Matos




KEYNOTE (via livestream): Professor Ruth Lanius
The Hijacked Self: Toward Feeling Alive Without Threat




SYMPOSIUM: Compassion Focused Therapy for Harmful Behaviours
Dr KariAnne Vrabel Comparing CBT and CFT for Adult Eating Disorder Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Cristiana de Campos Marques Reshaping the Brain using CFT for Overeating
Professor David Veale Harm to the (Ugly) Self
Chair: Dr Ken Goss


Conference Dinner & Dance

Wednesday, 9th October
Harmfulness to Others




Personal Practice
with Dr Kate Lucre



Professor Paul Gilbert OBE & Dr Jon Taylor

KEYNOTE: Dr Kerensa Hocken
Compassion as an Antidote for Human Harmfulness: Why Compassion is Necessary in the Justice System
Chair: Dr Jon Taylor




SYMPOSIUM: Compassion Focused Therapy in Forensic Settings
Kate Marsh The Trickier Tricky Brain: Adopting a Compassion Focused Approach to Working with Forensic Patients with Brain Injury
Dr Diana Ribeiro da Silva Working with Youth in Secure Settings
Gillian Sutcliffe and Jillian Burgess Shifting the Narrative: Understanding Offending by Women as a Form of Survival and Working Towards Alleviating Harm Towards Self and Others
Chair: TBC





I : You : WE : THEM
Chair: Matt Hawkins

KEYNOTE: Dr Jasvinder Sanghera CBE
Surviving Shaming Communities
Chair: Professor Paul Gilbert OBE







Psychologically Informed Planned Environments: Integrating Compassion into a Relational Service Design

KEYNOTE: Dr Jon Taylor
Simon's Story


Professor Paul Gilbert OBE, Dr Kerensa Hocken & Dr Jon Taylor

Open Mic Conference Social

Thursday, 10th October
Forgiveness & Reconciliation




Practice Session

with Professor Paul Gilbert OBE



KEYNOTE: Dr Julian Abel
Compassionate Communities: A Powerful Healing
Chair: Matt Hawkins

KEYNOTE: Jennifer Nadel
The Journey from Hatred to Compassion
Chair: Marina Cantacuzino CBE




SYMPOSIUM: Relational Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Marina Cantacuzino CBE How can Forgiveness can Reduce the Negative Effects of Harm on the Human Psyche
Professor Paul Gilbert OBE Self Forgiveness
Dr Runa Dawood Fostering Openness and Growth after Socio-Political Harm
Chair: Jennifer Nadel





Conference ADRESS: Dr Darcy Harris
Harmful Intentions and Complicated Grief


Forgiveness in Action: Restorative Justice
Chair: Dr Kerensa Hocken




KEYNOTE (via livestream): Professor Everett Worthington
Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Peace


Poster Presentation Prizes & Closing Address
Professor Paul Gilbert OBE

Conference Symposia

Venue and Conference Dinner

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 and other activities, please click here.

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

Conference Dinner
& Social

8th October - Conference Dinner
'1920s Psychology Themed Murder Mystery: Who Killed Freddy Freud' followed by live music from Matt Le Mare's In Service to the Dance Floor (£50pp)
Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham B1 1BB

9th October - Open Mic Social
Actress and Bishop, 36 Ludgate Hill, Birmingham B3 1EH

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 2024.

To apply, please complete and forward the application form below to:

The deadline for applications is :
2nd September 2024 for face to face attendance
30th September 2024 for livestream attendance

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

Application Form


Early Bird Rates are available until the 31st July 2024. Those who wish to pay via invoice, or to pay via different method, please download and complete the booking form underneath the Eventbrite Tab.

Community Members are entitled to discounted rates for both our face-to-face and online conference and workshops. We offer discounts for those from emerging countries (please see the prices for 'emerging'). As there is no standard list of emerging countries, we have based this list on those provided by similar conferences.

Face to Face

booking form


booking form

If you would like to buy books by our conference presenters (or have a browse of their amazing work), you can do so via our Bookshop.org Affiliate Book Store. Bookshop.org is an online bookshop that financially support local, independent bookshops. Please note, as we are an affiliate, we will get a small percentage for each book sold, but this comes at no additional cost to you.

Poster Presentations

Each poster chosen for display will be allocated a poster board. The poster boards are portrait and take an A0 size poster. Posters will be pinned onto boards, either portrait or landscape. Unfortunately, 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 request that you should make yourself available to discuss the materials and answer questions for at least 15 minutes of the break and 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 2024

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

We will confirm the final details of the event, 7-10 days before the start date.

Please contact us as soon as possible on finance@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 (28th August 2024) 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.  

For face-to-face attendees: We cannot be held responsible for any resulting costs you may incur for travel, accommodation, any other related goods or service or other compensation in the event of any changes or cancellation. 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 the venue will try to accommodate your request. For full details see our terms and conditions.

For more information :

Contact us