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Compassion Focused Therapy for Voice-Hearing and Delusions in Psychosis

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June 10, 2021
June 11, 2021

Timings and Registration

This workshop will be 15 hours towards your CPD, and you will receive an certificate of attendance shortly after the workshop. For those who are unable to attend all of the live broadcast, this workshop will be recorded, and recordings will be available for up to one month after the live broadcast for you to watch in your own time. We will host this workshop via Zoom Meetings, and will send all relevant joining instructions a week before the workshop.

This workshop is priced at a flat rate of £195. For those in difficult financial circumstances, who may struggle to afford this price, please contact

All timings are according to British Summer Time (BST)

Day One: 09:00-16:30.

Day Two: 09:00-16:30.

Compassion Focused Therapy for Voice-Hearing and Delusions in Psychosis

About this course


Traditionally, the primary aim of psychosis services and treatments  has been to reduce or eliminate psychotic experiences such as voices and  delusions, e.g. with antipsychotic drugs. This has shaped our broader  cultural views of these phenomena; leading families, friends and societies to  regard these experiences as the bad, wrong, or undesirable symptoms of a  disordered brain. This results in stigmatisation of people who have these experiences and keeps society in a position of ignorance about their nature  and meaning, fear of their unpredictability, and uncertainty about how to  approach them. Because these states exist within society's conceptual framework of disorder, they are seen as incomprehensible, and therefore best  left to professionals to deal with. For the person diagnosed with psychosis,  not only is this isolating and shaming, but it often drives them into an internal battle with their experiences, e.g. attempting to fight, control, or suppress them.

Compassionate relating requires an  understanding of voices and delusions that goes against the tide of  culturally engrained attitudes; a shift away from traditional  ‘brain abnormality’ narratives, towards narratives about these experiences  as: i) understandable responses to difficult life experiences; and ii)  functional ‘strategies’,  rather than ‘symptoms’. This  workshop will focus on the application of CFT in supporting people with experiences of voice-hearing and delusions. Over the 2 days, workshop  participants will learn important skills in CFT psychoeducation and  formulation of voice hearing and delusions, and how these lay the foundations  for CFT interventions and the shift from fear-focused to compassion-focused  engagement.


The workshop will outline the CFT psychoeducation of how evolution has set humans  up with a tricky brain that has a natural threat bias that can incline  towards dissociating, problematic attention, and over-estimating threat, using ‘better safe than sorry’ algorithms. It will guide participants through  the CFT formulation of voice-hearing and delusions, which focuses on their (protective)  function for people, particularly in the context of interpersonal threat and trauma. Building  on these de-shaming foundations in psychoeducation and formulation, workshop  participants will learn how to support their clients in developing a ‘compassionate  self’ identity and how to switch into compassionate mind states that  organise multiple physiological processes differently to that of threat  states.

Participants  will learn techniques that support their clients in applying compassionate  competencies to achieve therapeutic change, with illustrative examples of  interventions such as parts work, voice-dialoguing, imagery, letter-writing,  and interventions that use role play, chair work embodiment and acting  techniques.


As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

1.        Describe the  Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) model and its relevance for people with  psychosis

2.        Help their clients  with psychosis to create internal cues of safeness (from the body) and  external cues of safeness (from the social world)

3.        Share  psychoeducation about evolved brains, with their built-in patterns, emotion  systems, and multiple selves

4.        Help clients  cultivate/deepen their compassionate self

5.        Help clients put  their compassion self to work in daily life

6.        Use techniques to  facilitate compassionate relating to self, to others, to voices, and to parts  that strongly hold beliefs


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This course is for

Those who have completed introductory trainings
Introductory trainings refer to courses of 2 or 3 days provided by the Compassionate Mind Foundation or if led by a recognised CFT trainer
Mental Healthcare Practitioners
Psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors, nurses, psychiatrists and other mental health professions


Recommended Reading

Ascone, L., Sundag, J., Schlier, B., & Lincoln, T. M. (2017). Feasibility and effects of a brief compassion‐focused imagery intervention in psychotic patients with paranoid ideation: A randomized experimental pilot study. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 24(2), 348-358.

Beaumont, E., & Hollins Martin, C. J. (2015). A narrative review exploring the effectiveness of Compassion-Focused Therapy. Counselling Psychology Review, 30(1), 21-32.

Braehler, C.; Gumley, A.; Harper, J. et al. (2013) Exploring change processes in compassion focused therapy in psychosis: Results of a feasibility randomized controlled trialBritish Journal of Clinical Psychology, 52(2), 199-214.

Braehler, C., Harper, J., & Gilbert, P. (2013). Compassion focused group therapy for recovery after psychosis. In C. Steel (ed) CBT for Schizophrenia: Evidence-Based Interventions and Future Directions, Wiley-Blackwell; 235-266.

Craig, C., Hiskey, S., & Spector, A. (2020). Compassion focused therapy: a systematic review of its effectiveness and acceptability in clinical populations. Expert review of neurotherapeutics, 20(4), 385-400.

Gumley, A., Braehler, C., & Macbeth, A. (2014). A meta‐analysis and theoretical critique of oxytocin and psychosis: Prospects for attachment and compassion in promoting recovery. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 53(1), 42-61.

Gumley, A., & Macbeth, A. (2014). A pilot study exploring compassion in narratives of individuals with psychosis: implications for an attachment-based understanding of recovery. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 17(8), 794-811.

Gumley, A.; Braehler, C.; Laithwaite, H. et al. (2010) A compassion focussed model of recovery after psychosis. International Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 3(2): 186-201.

Heriot-Maitland, C. (2020). Social influences on dissociative processes in psychosis (Doctoral dissertation, King's College London).

Heriot-Maitland, C., & Kennedy, A. (2019). Attachment themes in Compassion Focused Therapy for Psychosis. In Berry, K.; Bucci, S. & Danquah, A.N. (eds) Attachment Theory and Psychosis: Current Perspectives and Future Directions. Routledge; 178-191

Heriot-Maitland, C.; McCarthy-Jones, S.; Longden, E. & Gilbert, P. (2019) Compassion focused approaches to working with distressing voicesFrontiers in Psychology, 10, 152.

Heriot‐Maitland, C., Knight, M., & Peters, E. (2012). A qualitative comparison of psychotic‐like phenomena in clinical and non‐clinical populations. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 51(1), 37-53.

Mayhew, S. L. (2015). Compassion Focused therapy for people experiencing psychosis. In Meaden, A. & Fox, A. (eds) Innovations in Psychosocial Interventions for Psychosis: Working with the Hard to Reach, Hove & New York: Routledge; 91-110.

Waite, F., Knight, M. T., & Lee, D. (2015). Self‐compassion and self‐criticism in recovery in psychosis: An interpretative phenomenological analysis study. Journal of clinical psychology, 71(12), 1201-1217.

Wood, L., & Irons, C. (2016). Exploring the associations between social rank and external shame with experiences of psychosis. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 44(5), 527.



Meet your instructor(s)

Dr Charlie Heriot-Maitland

Dr Charlie Heriot-Maitland

Clinical Psychologist

Charlie is  a clinical psychologist, researcher, and trainer who integrates different  therapeutic approaches, in particular Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). He  provides psychological therapies for a CFT practice called Balanced Minds and also runs compassion training workshops  for practitioners and the general public. Charlie is a clinical psychologist,  researcher and trainer currently based at the University of Glasgow.  Charlie  completed his clinical psychology training at the University of Oxford, and  has delivered psychological therapies in a variety of NHS settings in London  and the South East. In his private practice, he provides psychological  assessments, formulations, and interventions that integrate different  therapeutic approaches, in particular CFT and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, but also drawing on other mindfulness-based and emotion-focused therapies.


Charlie's academic and research interests mainly lie in the application of CFT in psychosis, and he has recently been awarded a Fellowship by the Medical Research Council (MRC) to forward the scientific knowledge this area. He is currently researching the social context of anomalous experiences and the application of CFT for people experiencing distress in relation to psychosis. He was involved in the Compassion for Voices project, which created an animated film about the compassionate approach to relating with voices, which has been viewed over 200,000 times.


I might have to miss a session due to prior commitments. Can I catch up later?

Yes, this absolutley fine. The workshop will be recorded, and you'll be able to catch up on anything you've missed for up to a month after the live broadcast.

Will I get a certificate of attendance?

Yes, all delegates will received a certificate of attendance upon completion of the course.

When will I receive the login details?

We will send joining instructions, including the Zoom workshop link, one week before the start date.

What if I am unable to attend?

If you find you are unable to attend this course, please email our admin team via as soon as possible. You will be given the option to transfer to another course (within 12 months). Refunds are available if cancellation occurs no less than one month before the start of the course, although we will consider exceptional circumstances.

My employer will be paying for this course. Can you arrange for an invoice?

Yes, this is no problem at all. You can download the booking form at the bottom of the 'Prices' section.

Is this course suitable for someone who has no prior CFT training

As this course is aimed at an intermediate level, so participants will be expected to have a basic understanding of the CFT model, we would encourage you to attend one of our introductory trainings first.

Can I watch the recordings in my own time?

We understand that, due to time differences, it may not be possible for you to attend this training live with us. With that in mind, the workshop will be recorded, and you'll have access to the recordings for a month after the live broadcast to watch in your own time.


If you wish to book via invoice, please click here to download our workshop booking form.

Terms and conditions

All places booked for our event, must be paid for prior to attending the event unless pre-agreed with management. Please note that we cannot confirm your place until we have received payment.
Should you be unable to attend the event, please contact our admin team as soon as possible via Refunds, less the Eventbrite administration fee, will be made if cancellations are received in writing up to one month before the event. Any cancellations received after this time will not be eligible for a refund, although we will consider exceptional circumstances.  While refunds for failure to attend cannot be made, you can transfer your event fee to a future event that will take place within 12 months of your booking without an additional penalty.
Please note that information about the event and venue are subject to change and cancellation. Occasionally, an event may have to be cancelled or postponed.  We will endeavour to inform you of any changes and cancellations as soon as possible via email. We cannot take responsibility for any resulting costs you may incur for travel, accommodation, any other related goods or service or other compensation should an event cancellation occur.
For all face-to-face events, lunch provided at the event will be vegetarian and will include eggs, but no meat or fish (though vegan options will also be made available). However, please advise us of any dietary requirements in the notes section whilst booking online and we will do our best to accommodate your request.