Compassion Focused Therapy
Compassion Focused Therapy, has been developed by professor Paul Gilbert to help individuals with long standing problems of anxiety and depression who experience high levels of shame and self-criticism; these can be common characteristics of clients who come to therapy experiencing many emotional difficulties, including low mood and high levels of anxiety. CFT increases awareness and understanding of the automatic reactions we all experience that have evolved in humans over millions of years, and which the individual has also learned from early childhood. The key principles of CFT are to motivate the individual to care for their own wellbeing, to become aware of their own needs and distress, and to extend warmth and understanding towards themselves. The client is encouraged to employ these self-soothing actions as they engage in CBT techniques.
People might benefit from couples therapy for many different reasons. It may be that the relationship has broken down or that there is anxiety that it might. Sustaining a fulfilling and stable relationship is never easy. Pressures from work, money children, family tensions and ill health can all contribute to creating problems and these problems can lead to depression and other difficulties for one or both partners. Sometimes couples find it difficult to talk to each other and therapy with a couples therapist can help improve communication which is a key part of improving relationships.
Together, you will decide on new ways to relate to each other, gaining a greater understanding along the way of your own and your partner’s feelings. Your therapist will try to get a good picture of what you and your partner are finding difficult in your relationship and how this is affecting you both. Your therapist may suggest ways for your partner and you to improve your communication and this may involve some ‘homework.’
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention, to the internal (what’s going on in our minds) and external experiences occurring in each moment, such as bodily sensations, thoughts, and emotions.
The main concepts of mindfulness are; 1) observing and being aware, 2) describing and labelling and 3) participating. The 3 qualities related to how these activities are carried out are; 1) non-judgementally, with acceptance and allowing 2) in the present moment and 3) effectively.
Through formal practice and activities, mindfulness can reintroduce conscious awareness into living, allowing one to step back from stressful situations rather than engaging with them. The deliberate focus of attention can have beneficial consequences when applied to particular situations to override unwanted automatic responses to other mental processes such as cognitions and emotions. Thus, an increase in conscious awareness and acceptance skills through mindfulness practices may help to increase willingness to remain in contact with negatively evaluated internal events. Hence, mindfulness may help with positive psychological well-being and an increased ability to work towards goals and values.
Mindfulness is integrated into the treatments we offer as appropriate.