Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)
CFT is an integrative therapy developed by Professor Paul Gilbert (Clinical Psychologist). It can be short or long term and is based on our understanding of the evolutionary functions of emotions, motives and self identity.
The human brain is quite ‘tricky’ and is full of complex emotions and conflicts because of the way it has evolved. For example, we may struggle to resist impulses and behaviours that we know are unhealthy and we can fear situations that pose no real threat, affecting our ability to live our lives in the ways that we would like. CFT suggests that we have three emotional systems: Soothe, Drive and Threat. We can often find ourselves stuck within our Threat system, experiencing high levels of fear, anxiety, anger and shame impacting our lives and wellbeing in all sorts of ways.
CFT aims to help you to make sense of how these emotions have developed and how they make total sense through the understanding of how our brains work and the social factors that form who we are, and through this understanding and the cultivation of compassion, develop increased emotional self-regulation. CFT will help you to develop a compassionate relationship with yourself and others, and within that, build responsibility and courage to overcome the difficulties you are experiencing. As well as helping you to understand your emotions and difficulties, it provides practical tools and strategies to empower you to overcome challenges.
CFT is helpful for a wide range of difficulties but it is particularly useful for those experiencing shame, low self-esteem, social difficulties, depression, anxiety and anger.