Compassion Focused therapy

Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) is a therapeutic approach that focuses on promoting self-compassion and other-oriented compassion, especially in individuals struggling with self-criticism, shame, and past trauma. It combines elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and evolutionary psychology to teach clients self-compassion skills. CFT helps individuals regulate their mood, enhance self-acceptance, and create feelings of safety and comfort. It addresses self-esteem, shame, and self-criticism within a structured framework, fostering a more compassionate relationship with oneself and others.

Compassion Focused therapy


Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) was developed by British clinical psychologist Dr. Paul Gilbert in the late 20th century, emerging as a response to the limitations of traditional cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Gilbert's work drew from evolutionary psychology, social psychology, and neuroscience, and it aimed to address emotional and psychological issues associated with self-criticism, shame, and self-compassion. Rooted in the understanding of the brain's evolved emotional regulation systems, CFT emphasizes the cultivation of self-compassion and empathy. Over the years, it has garnered recognition and acceptance in the field of clinical psychology, becoming a widely used approach to treat various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders. Training programs and resources have been developed to disseminate CFT principles and techniques to mental health professionals, contributing to its continued growth and application in the field.

Focus theme / core-concept

Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) centers around core concepts like self-compassion and other-oriented compassion. CFT draws on cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based techniques, as well as evolutionary psychology, to foster emotional regulation and a more compassionate self-relationship. Key principles involve understanding the mind-body connection, emotional regulation systems, and the creation of safety and comfort. CFT offers structured guidance for addressing issues related to self-esteem and self-criticism, facilitating the development of nurturing and compassionate relationships with oneself and others. By emphasizing these principles, CFT helps individuals build resilience and enhance their overall well-being.


Enhanced Well-Being: Emphasizing self-compassion and emotional regulation in CFT results in an improved overall sense of well-being and a greater capacity to embrace happiness.

Greater Self-Awareness: CFT encourages individuals to become more in tune with their own thoughts, emotions, and experiences, enhancing their ability to identify and manage depressive symptoms more effectively in the future.

Increased Compassion for Others: By cultivating self-compassion, CFT naturally extends to increased compassion for others, fostering healthier relationships and reducing the likelihood of engaging in harmful behaviors towards oneself or others.

Healing from Trauma: Compassion-focused therapy offers a safe and empathetic environment for individuals to share and process their traumatic experiences, helping them overcome feelings of isolation and accelerate the healing process.

Coping with Cravings: CFT equips individuals with the tools to resist cravings related to addictions by instilling a greater sense of self-compassion and self-control, making them less likely to succumb to harmful behaviors.


1. Compassionate Response: CFT aims to encourage a compassionate response to one's own thoughts and feelings instead of self-criticism.

2. Increased Self-Compassion: The primary objective is to enhance self-compassion, fostering a kind and understanding relationship with oneself.

3. Awareness of Thoughts and Feelings: CFT helps individuals develop a greater awareness of their thoughts and feelings, both their own and those of others.

4. Understanding and Acceptance: This increased awareness enables people to become more understanding and accepting of themselves, which can contribute to a reduction in depressive symptoms.

5. Coping Strategies: CFT teaches individuals how to develop coping strategies, particularly for managing difficult emotions such as sadness and anger.


Appreciation-Based Exercises: These exercises are intended to encourage people to enjoy enjoyable activities, thereby promoting well-being and positivity."

Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques in CFT promote non-judgmental self-awareness by being present in the moment, enhancing emotional regulation.

Compassion-Focused Imagery: This technique involves creating soothing mental images to develop self-compassion and counter self-criticism and shame.

Relaxation Techniques: These techniques utilize practices like breathing exercises to reduce stress, manage tension, and enhance emotional well-being.

Addressing Self-Attack: This aspect of CFT involves exploring the origins of self-critical or shameful thoughts and why individuals may believe them. Through this process, individuals gain insight into negative thinking patterns, the emotions associated with them and learn how to challenge and transform them into more self-compassionate and constructive thoughts.