Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

It is common for lots of us to struggle to feel or show compassion to ourselves, despite being able to show compassion to others. Compassion focused therapy (CFT) teaches people how to develop feelings of compassion, which in turn can help regulate mood and develop feelings of safety, self-acceptance, and comfort.

CFT was developed for mental-health issues linked to shame and self-criticism, and for work with those who often come from difficult (e.g., neglectful, or abusive) backgrounds. The focus is not the content of the client’s problems but the affect and attitude the client takes towards themselves in their suffering. The absence or presence of self-compassion has potential to amplify pain or soothe emotional pain, respectively.

CFT integrates concepts from evolutionary, social, developmental and Buddhist psychologies with modern neuroscience to show that feeling cared for, accepted, soothed, and having a sense of belonging, and affiliation with self and others, is fundamental to our physiological and psychological well-being. CFT uses techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and imagery, as well as more typical CBT techniques.

Shame and self-criticism are trans-diagnostic issues and the CFT approach understands that in the presence of these issues, individuals may find it difficult to generate feelings of contentment, warmth, or safeness in their own skin but also in relationship to others. CFT is a therapeutic approach to address this common hindrance to treatment and recovery.


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Dr Gabrielle Brady -Consultant Counselling Psychologist, Cognitive Analytic Therapist.

Clinics in London Euston, Mayfair and Online


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