Workshop 4: CFT and the Therapeutic Relationship

October 11, 2021

About the Course

This workshop will look at a number of models of the therapeutic relationship, but with a special focus Bordin’s (1979, 1999) outline of  bonds, goals and tasks. We will emphasise that the core of compassion in CFT is courageous wisdom to address suffering, and that the therapeutic relationship helps the therapist and client develop both courage and wisdom.

Considering the importance of social connectedness to psychotherapeutic outcome, we will also explore how attachment theory, with its focus on secure base and safe haven, can inform different aspects of the therapeutic relationship. We will explore the way the therapeutic relationship offers flows of social information and exchange, giving rise to transference and countertransference reciprocal dynamic interactions.

The therapeutic relationship can also be used to help investigate clients abilities for empathy and mentalization. Finally the workshop will explore the nature of therapeutic ruptures and the process by which the therapeutic relationship can, in the context of a secure base, be challenging and enable people to take risks and tolerate discomfort and change. We will also discuss the important of therapist's ability for distress tolerance and self-compassion.

Learning Outcomes:

Understand models of the therapeutic relationship

Explore the concept of courageous wisdom to address suffering in the context of the therapeutic relationship

Developing insights for the use of attachement theory in the therapeutic relationship

Facilitating the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship

Timings and Registration

The workshop will start at 9.30 and finish at 16.30. This workshop will be hosted via Zoom, and joining instructions will be sent to you in advance.

To book this workshop, please scroll down to the bottom of our main conference page, and select the workshop option.

Meet your instructor(s)

Prof Paul Gilbert OBE

Clinical Psychologist

Paul is the founder of Compassion Focused Therapy, and is the President of the Compassionate Mind Foundation, which he founded in 2006. He is an internationally renowned Professor of Clinical Psychology, who is particularly recognised for his expertise in the treatment of depression and shame. He has researched evolutionary approaches to psychopathology for over 35 years with a special focus on shame and the treatment of shame based difficulties, for which compassion focused therapy (CFT) was developed. He has written and edited 22 books, including the best selling The Compassionate Mind and Overcoming Depression, and his latest book Living Like Crazy. He was awarded an OBE for services to healthcare in March 2011.

Dr Hannah Gilbert


Dr Hannah Gilbert has a BA (Hons) in Anthropology, and a PhD in Sociology. Her doctoral research explored narratives of spiritual experience in the British spirit mediumship community, and she retains an active interest in the anthropology of spirituality. She spent three years as a psychiatric support worker during her undergraduate degree, and has recently returned to working in mental health having qualified with an MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy in 2018, and is now working for the Compassionate Mind Foundation. Hannah founded Compassionate Wellbeing in 2012, and in 2017 started a small publishing company called Annwyn House. She is currently writing a book about ghostlore and grief.