Compassion Focused Therapy
Training Pathway

Since it's inception in 2006, members of the Compassionate Mind Foundation have been developing trainings for Compassion Focused Therapy which are accessible, rigorous, and in sync with the latest research findings. Our training committee are all experienced practitioners and researchers, dedicated to the promotion of high quality trainings, with several years experience of teaching CFT. There are currently two main steps on our training pathway, which offer a sound overview to the CFT model. These are complimented by other trainings which demonstrate the application of CFT to particular areas or client groups.

Introduction to Theory and Practise of Compassion Focused Therapy

This introductory training is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the foundations of Compassion Focused Therapy.

What is covered?

Compassion Focused Therapy is rooted in an evolutionary model of human psychology. Participants on this course will be introduced to the difficulties that the human brain encounters as a result of its evolutionary history. We explore the way in which old motivation and emotional systems interact with newly evolved cognitive competencies and intelligences, causing difficulty and complexity in the mind.

This workshop enables participants to bring an evolutionary framework to the conceptualisation of mental health problems and their alleviation.

Participants will learn

How the human ability to self-monitor can be a source of shame, anxiety and depression, but also compassion to self and others

How the three-affect regulation system (threat awareness & coping, reward & resource seeking, and contentment & soothing) forms complex patterns within the mind

How early life experiences can shape the organisation of our emotions and sense of ourselves, and underpin mental health difficulties

Fears, blocks and resistances to compassion, and how to work with this in therapy

We will then explore the components of self-compassion and how its application can facilitate and promote wellbeing.

Participants complete the workshop with an understanding of compassion as flow: compassion to others, being open to compassion from others, and compassion towards oneself. The course is designed to encourage the use of practices that stimulate compassionate mental states and those that build a sense of the compassionate-self identity.

Advanced Clinical Skills

This training is designed to further your CFT skills, particularly in regard to your client work.

Who is this for?

Our Advanced training is aimed at those who have completed our Introductory training, and have had at least six months of using CFT with clients.

What is covered?

This workshop will provide participants with a deeper understanding of the nature of compassion

The tools to work compassion into the therapeutic relationship

The ability to use functional analysis to work with self-criticism and shame

Methods to explain and explore the interaction between threat-based emotions such as anger, anxiety and sadness

The skills to use chair work to engage in different aspects of the self

Ways of deepening the concepts of the compassionate self and compassionate image

Ways of working with the fear and resistance to compassion.

This workshop is experiential and practice-based, allowing for in-depth learning and immersion in the compassionate therapeutic relationship. Participants engage in therapist-client role-plays where they practice the specific skills required for particular interventions.

Compassion Focused Supervision

Since the early eighties, Professor Paul Gilbert and many colleagues have been involved in developing Compassion Focused Therapy's practice, theory, and research. CFT is a continuously developing approach to psychotherapy that has resulted in many therapists across many countries engaging in training in CFT. To date, many CFT workshops have been provided by Professor Gilbert and colleagues across many countries. Over recent years, we have also seen a rise in the development of longer training courses that aim to support trainees in developing a deeper understanding of the knowledge and practices of CFT indifferent countries, including the BPS Approved Diploma in Compassion Focused Therapy from the Compassionate Mind Foundation in the UK. The next stage of development is to support training in clinical supervision. This training pathway has been developed, and is over seen, by Dr Wendy Wood.

Who is this for?

Supervisor training is designed for therapists who are already experienced psychotherapists/counsellors and may already be providing clinical supervision, or are looking to develop as clinical supervisors. This training is for people who have completed an introductory training, and ideally, advanced clinical skills

In the past, supervision skills have been learned by being supervised or supervising. However, this is changing; the past 15 years has seen an increase in formal supervisor training and qualifications across different countries. We are excited to offer this formal training to support the development of compassion focused supervision.

Further information

Given the development of both training in CFT and the skills and theories of clinical supervision, it is an appropriate time to develop continuous professional development (CPD) programmes to support the clinical supervision of CFT. To facilitate this development, CMF is offering the following series of training courses. The courses are designed as a series of training workshops to facilitate supervisor training depending on supervisors' developmental stage. To book one or all of these workshops, please see our trainings page.

Workshop One

Fundamentals of Clinical Supervision in Compassion  Focused Therapy with Dr Wendy Wood

Monday 12th February 9.30 – 16:30 (UK  GMT) & Monday 11th March 9.30 – 13:00 (UK GMT)

Workshop Two

Clinical Supervision and Compassion Focused Therapy with Professor Paul Gilbert & Dr Wendy Wood

Tuesday 19th March, 9.30-16.30 (UK  GMT) & Tuesday 9th April, 9.30-13.00 (UK BST)

Workshop Three

Creative Supervision in Compassion Focused Therapy with Dr Kate Lucre

Friday 24th May 9.30 to 16.30 (UK BST) & Friday 28th June (UK BST)