NOW ONLINE: Introduction to Theory and Practice of CFT (September 2020)

Online (Via Zoom)

Conference Details

Presented By: Tobyn Bell & Dr Ashleigh McLellan

Date/Time: 21st September 2020 at 9:00am until 23rd September 2020 at 4:30pm

Venue: Online

Location: TBC

Ticket Information
Online Registration

Event Description

Dates and times: Monday 21st: 9:30am - 5pm | Tuesday 22nd: 9.30am - 5pm | Wednesday 23rd: 9.30am - 4.30pm

This workshop will be 20 hours towards your CPD points. 


Compassion focused therapy is rooted in an evolutionary model of human psychology. Participants on the course will be introduced to the difficulties that the human brain encounters because of its evolutionary history and the way in which old motivation and emotional systems interact with newly evolved cognitive competencies and intelligences. For example, humans are the only species that self-monitor in a particular way and while this has advantages, it is also is a source for a lot of shame, anxiety and depression.

Participants will also be introduced to the three affect regulation systems linked to threat awareness and coping, reward and resource seeking, and contentment and soothing -- and how they form complex patterns within the mind. Participants will learn how early life experiences can shape the organisation of our emotions increasing our dispositions towards threat based emotions that underpin a lot of mental health difficulties.


Additional Information

In the introduction a particular focus will be on a trans-diagnostic problem that sits underneath many mental health problems which is shame and high levels of self-criticism. Shame and self-criticism can accentuate and maintain difficulties and can complicate and undermine therapeutic efforts. These individuals often come from abusive/bullying, neglectful and/or demanding/critical backgrounds, and have difficulties in regulating emotions through affiliative and soothing systems. Compassion Focused Therapy and Compassionate Mind Training were developed with, and for, people from such backgrounds to address chronic problems associated with shame and self-criticism.

This workshop will help participants bring an evolutionary framework to the conceptualisation of mental health problems and their alleviation. This workshop draws on new research on the nature of different types of positive affect (activating verses soothing). Using these insights with an evolutionary and attachment focus the workshop explores the components of self-compassion and how the application for self-compassion can facilitate and promote well-being. The fears, blocks and resistances to self-compassion will be explored. The workshop covers the following materials:

  • Introduction to the evolutionary model of human psychology and vulnerability to mental health difficulties
  • Understanding an evolutionary approach to affect regulation and affect dysregulation
  • The role of attachment and early secure base and safe haven for development and compassion cultivation
  • The nature of the two psychologies compassion with a 12 constituent elements and their link to the care- giving and receiving motivational systems
  • Compassion as flow: compassion to others, been open to compassion from others and self-compassion
  • Practices that stimulate compassionate mental states and build a sense of the compassionate self-identity
  • How to use compassionate mental states and the sense a grounded compassionate self to address problems such as self-criticism and shame
  • Therapy as creating different patterns in the mind conducive to well-being


Background Reading


Cozolino, L. (2007). The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment and the Developing Brain. New York: Norton

Dalai Lama. (1995). The Power of Compassion. India: HarperCollins.

Fredrickson, B,L., Cohn, M,A., Coffey, K,A,  Pek, J., & Finkel. S,A.  (2008). Open hearts build lives: positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness mediation, build consequential personal resources, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1045-62. You can download this via by clicking here.

Gerhardt, S. (2004). Why Love Matters. How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain. London: Bruner-Routledge.

Germer, C. (2009). The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions. New York: Guilford.

Gilbert, P. (2018) Living Like Crazy. Annwyn House

Gilbert, P. (ed) (2017) Compassion: Concepts, Research and Application. Routledge

Gilbert, P. (2010) Compassion Focused Therapy Distinctive Features Series. London: Routledge

Gilbert. P. (2009). The Compassionate Mind. Robinson

Gilbert P. (2007). Psychotherapy and Counselling for Depression (3rd edition): London. Sage.

Gilbert, P. (2000)  Social mentalities: Internal ‘social’ conflicts & the role of inner-warmth & compassion in cognitive therapy. In P.Gilbert & K.G. Bailey (Eds).  Genes on the Couch: Explorations in Evolutionary Psychotherapy.  London: Routledge.

Gilbert, P. & Irons, C. (2005).  Therapies for shame and self-attacking, using cognitive, behavioural, emotional imagery, and compassionate mind training.  In P.Gilbert (Ed) Compassion: Conceptualisations, Research and use in Psychotherapy.  London: Routledge.

Glasser, A. (2005). A Call to Compassion: Bringing Buddhist Practices of the Heart into the Soul of Psychotherapy. Berwick Maine: Nicolas-Hays.

Irons, C. & Beaumont, E. (2017) The Compassionate Mind Workbook. Robinson

Kolts, R. L. (2016) CFT Made Simple: A Clinician's Guide to Practising Compassion Focused Therapy. New Harbinger.

Leary, M.R., Tate, E.B., Adams, C.E.,  Allen, A.B. & Hancock, J. (2007). Self-Compassion and reactions to unpleasant self-relevant events: The implications of treating oneself kindly. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 887-904. There are optoins to access this article by clicking here.

Lee, D. (2005) The perfect nurturer: A model to develop a compassionate mind within the context of cognitive therapy. In P.Gilbert (Ed) Compassion: Conceptualisations, Research and use in Psychotherapy.  London:  Routledge

Mikulincer, M. & Shaver, P.R. (2007) Attachment in Adulthood: Structure, Dynamics, and Change. New York: Guilford

Welford, M. (2016) Compassion Focused Therapy for Dummies. John Wiley & Sons.


To see the full range of Compassion Focused Therapy and Compassionate Mind related books, please click here.


Workshop Leaders 


Tobyn Bell is a Compassion Focused Therapy psychotherapist and part of the training executive for the Compassionate Mind Foundation. He is the co-author of the book Compassion Focused Therapy from the Inside Out: A Self-Practice/SelfReflection Workbook for Therapists. Tobyn has published research on imagery and compassion and delivers national and international training on these subjects. He is currently completing a series of research studies on CFT chair-work. Tobyn is a cognitive-behavioural therapy trainer, supervisor and programme-lead at the Greater Manchester West CBT Training Centre (NHS, UK) and is a trained mindfulness teacher.

Dr Ashleigh McLellan is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with the Humber Trauma Stress Service, and also offers therapy and supervision in a private practice. She has trained and worked in the NHS since 2000, and specialises in working with people with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (cPTSD), which includes an expertise in military mental health, working with asylum seekers and refugees, and a range of dissociative disorders. Ashleigh has run many CFT groups for both patients and staff, and is involved in research projects at the University of Hull as a field supervisor with CFT in the organisation as her main area of interest. She sit on an NHS trust Health and Wellbeing Board with an aim of promoting organisational, system wide change. Ashleigh completed the PGC in Compassion Focused Therapy at the University of Derby in 2017, and is registered with HCPC and BPS as a Chartered Member. 


Booking workshops & events:

Our workshops and training are available to book through payment by credit/debit card on our website. If you are unable to pay by credit/debit card please contact us to request an invoice. 

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.

Terms and Conditions: 

Please contact us as soon as possible on for any cancellations. Refunds, less a 20% administration fee, will be made if cancellations are received in writing up to six weeks 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. All credit card refunds requested after 1st May 2020 will be made after deducting Stripe charges. 

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 try and inform of any changes and cancellations as soon as possible via email.  We cannot be held responsible for any resulting costs you may incur for travel, accommodation, any other related goods or service or other compensation.

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

For all face-to-face events, lunch provided at the event will be vegetarian and will include eggs, but no meat or fish. However, please advise us of any dietary requirements in the notes section whilst booking online and we will try to accommodate your request.