Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is linked with other behavioural approaches, and was created for people with mental health and psychological disorders. It is most beneficial for clients who are struggling with shame and guilt (Gilbert, 2009), but also for people who suffer from Anxiety, Shame, Self-criticism, Depression, Eating disorders, Anger, Suicide, and Self-injury
Like in MBCT, the CFT has roots in Buddhist Philosophy and Social Psychology. Conversely, attachment theory and evolutionary psychology support this treatment as well (Gilbert, 2014). CFT was developed by Paul Gilbert in the 21st century and is very well linked with other psychotherapies rather than belonging to one modality.
Where the CFT is Focused:
This therapy is focused on three main evolved functions of emotions;
1) An alertness to threats, and to subsequently activate defensive coping strategies.
2) To provide information on the resources and rewards available and to then activate engagement-seeking strategies.
3) To think about safe places that allow rest and non-action in the form of contentment and openness (Gilbert, 2014).
A person who practises CFT will be able to cultivate a compassionate inner and outer self. They will also be adopting the skills to be more compassionate towards themselves and others and will develop the skills of tolerance and non-judgmental attitudes. (Gilbert, 2009)
Imagery is a technique which is used in CFT and may help more than mindfulness, especially in the treatment of anxiety or depression. Some evidence shows the effectiveness of CFT in psychosis or schizophrenia.
Therapy can be difficult for individuals who can find compassion treatment difficult and challenging to accept because of their core beliefs, however this evidence-based treatment is worth consideration in the broader mental health area (Braehler, Gumley, & Harper, 2011).
If her past were your past, her pain, your pain, her level of consciousness, your level of consciousness, you would think and act exactly as she does. With this realisation comes forgiveness, compassion and peace.
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