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.
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-judgmentally, 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 cognition’s 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 Ioffer as appropriate.