Compassion Focused Therapy for Working with Shame

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November 19, 2024
November 19, 2024
Compassion Focused Therapy for Working with Shame

This workshop will be 7 hours towards your CPD, and you will receive a certificate of attendance shortly after the workshop via email. All accompanying material and slides will be sent to you via email before the workshop. Before the start of the workshop, when you sign in you will be placed in a waiting room and the CMF Team will add you shortly before it begins.

This workshop is priced at a flat rate of £115.00. For those in difficult financial circumstances, who may struggle to afford this price, please contact hello@compassionatemind.co.uk

‍All timings are according to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT): 09:30 - 16:30 both days

About this course

Shame is a powerful and universal human emotion, evolved to assist us to navigate our social relationships. However, shame can also be profoundly painful and have serious adverse effects on psychological functioning, mental health and social wellbeing. Shame memories have been found to become central to our sense of self-identity, and can have traumatic qualities that maintain and exacerbate threat system activation, especially in the social and relational aspects of our lives. Nevertheless, cultivating compassion, especially directing compassion to oneself and receiving compassion from others, have been found to buffer the negative impact of shame experiences. While shame and shame memories can be painful and difficult to approach, there is mounting evidence about the role that Compassion Focused Therapy can play in helping alleviate and prevent the suffering associated with shame. This workshop will provide a compassionate roadmap for working with shame and shame memories by developing, practicing and embodying the compassionate self, through a combination of knowledge sharing, discussion, and experiential exercises.

Key learning objectives

· Understand the concept of shame in light of the evolutionary biopsychosocial model

· Distinguish shame from guilt and humiliation

· Comprehend the impact of shame experiences/memories on psychological functioning, mental health and wellbeing

· Learn how to assess and explore shame and shame memories in clinical settings

· Learn how to use CFT imagery, embodiment and behavioral practices to cultivate the compassionate self and work with shame and shame memories

Online (via Zoom)

Recommended Reading

Books and Book Chapters

Gilbert, P. (2007). The evolution of shame as a marker for relationship security. In J. L. Tracy, R. W. Robins & J. P. Tangney (Eds.), The self-conscious emotions: Theory and research (pp. 283–309). New York, NY: Guilford.

Gilbert, P. (2009). The Compassionate Mind: A New Approach to Life’s Challenges. London: Constable & Robinson.

Gilbert, P., & Andrews, B. (Eds.). (1998). Shame: Interpersonal behavior, psychopathology, and culture. Oxford University Press.

Gilbert, P. (2022). Shame, humiliation, guilt, and social status: The distress and harms of social disconnection. In P. Gilbert & G. Simos (Eds.), Compassion focused therapy: Clinical practice and applications (pp. 122-163). Routledge.

Matos, M., Steindl, S., Gilbert, P. & Pinto-Gouveia, J. (2020). Shame Memories That Shape Who We Are. In P. Gilbert & J. Kirby (Eds) Making an Impact on Mental Health. The applications of psychological research (pp. 97-126). Routledge.

Matos, M., & Steindl, S. (2022). Shame in the Context of Grief. In D. Harris & A. Ho (Eds) Compassion-Based Approaches in Death, Dying, and Grief.  (pp. 157-166). Routledge.


Cunha, M., Matos, M., Faria, D., & Zagalo, S. (2012). Shame memories and psychopathology in adolescence: The mediator effect of shame. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 12(2), 203-218.

Ferreira, C., Matos, M., Pinto-Gouveia, J., & Duarte, C. (2014). Shame memories and eating psychopathology: The buffering effect of self-compassion. European Eating Disorders Review, 22(6), 487-494.

Gilbert, P., & Procter, S. (2006). Compassionate mind training for people with high shame and self-criticism: Overview and pilot study of a group therapy approach. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 13, 353–379.

Gilbert, P. (2014). The origins and nature of compassion focused therapy. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 53, 6–41.

Matos, M., Duarte, J., & Pinto-Gouveia, J. (2017). The origins of fears of compassion: Shame and lack of safeness memories, fears of compassion and psychopathology. The Journal of Psychology, 151, 804–819.

Matos, M., Pinto-Gouveia, J., & Duarte, C. (2015). Constructing a self protected against shame: The importance of warmth and safeness memories and feelings on the association between shame memories and depression. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 15 (3), 317-335.

Matos, M., & Pinto-Gouveia, J. (2014). Shamed by a parent or by others: The role of attachment in shame memories relation to depression. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 14 (2), 217-244.

Matos, M., Pinto-Gouveia, J., & Duarte, C. (2013). Internalizing early memories of shame and lack of safeness and warmth: The mediating role of shame on depression. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 41 (4), 479-493.

Matos, M., Pinto-Gouveia, J., & Costa, V. (2013). Understanding the importance of attachment in shame traumatic memory relation to depression: The impact of emotion regulation processes. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 20, 149–165.

Matos, M., Pinto-Gouveia, J., & Gilbert, P. (2013). The effect of shame and shame memories on paranoid ideation and social anxiety. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 20, 334-349.

Matos, M., Pinto-Gouveia, J., & Duarte, C. (2012). Above and beyond emotional valence: The unique contribution of the central and traumatic shame memories to psychopathology vulnerability. Memory, 20 (5), 461-477.

Matos, M., & Pinto-Gouveia, J. (2010). Shame as a traumatic memory. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 17(4), 299–312

Matos, M. & Steindl, S. (2020). “You are already all you need to be”: A case illustration of Compassion Focused Therapy for shame and perfectionism. Journal of Clinical Psychology [In Session issue on the Treatment of Perfectionism], 76 (11), 2079-2096.

Petrocchi, N., Ottaviani, C., Cheli, S., Matos, M., Baldi, B., Basran, J., & Gilbert, P. (2023). The impact of Compassion Focused Therapy on positive and negative mental health outcomes: Results of a series of meta-analyses. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice.

Pinto-Gouveia, J., & Matos, M. (2011). Can shame memories become a key to identity? The centrality of shame memories predicts psychopathology. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25(2), 281–290.

Pinto-Gouveia, J., Matos, M., Castilho, P., & Xavier, A. (2014). Differences between Depression and Paranoia: The role of emotional memories, shame and subordination. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 21, 49-61.

Steindl, S. R., Matos, M., & Creed, A. K. (2018). Early shame and safeness memories, and later depressive symptoms and safe affect: The mediating role of self-compassion. Current Psychology.

This course is for

Mental Healthcare Practitioners
Psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors, nurses, psychiatrists and other mental health professions
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
Clinical Supervisors

Meet your instructor(s)

Dr Marcela Matos

Dr Marcela Matos

Clinical Psychologist


Can I attend this course without having completed an Introductory workshop?

Yes, this course is suitable for those who are new to CFT, although some knowledge of the basics may be helpful.

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 all of 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're unable to attend for the entire duration, please email hello@compassionatemind.co.uk to let us know, as non-attendees will not receive a certificate unless we are informed of your circumstances.

I can't attend live, can I watch the recordings after the live broadcast instead?

Due to the interactive nature of this workshop, and that it will contain a lot of group work, we feel you'd be missing too much of it's value if you cannot participate live. So, we have requested that all delegates attend live.

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.

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

Yes, towards the bottom of the page under the 'prices' section you will find a link to download a booking form for this workshop. Please fill this in and email to Binita.Shah@compassionatemind.co.uk

What if I am unable to attend?

If you find you are unable to attend this course, please email our admin team via hello@compassionatemind.co.uk 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.

Will this workshop be recorded?

Yes, this workshop will be recorded on zoom. Once the workshop has finished all delegates will receive a follow-up email with the links to view these along with any extra resources. These will be available to view for around 3 months post-event. The recordings are edited, so will be made available roughly a week after the workshop has finished.


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 hello@compassionatemind.co.uk. 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.