Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) Practioner Guide

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Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) Practioner Guide, Learn everything about Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and it’s application in counseling practice.

Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) aims to help promote mental and emotional healing by encouraging people in treatment to be compassionate toward themselves and other people. Compassion, both toward the self and toward others, is an emotional response believed by many to be an essential aspect of well-being. Its development may often have the benefit of improved mental and emotional health.

Trained mental health professionals may offer CFT in their practice to help and support individuals in treatment who wish to explore ways to relate to themselves and others with greater compassion.

According to CFT theory, the threat, drive, and contentment systems evolved throughout human history in order to facilitate survival. Early humans were eager to avoid or overcome threats, seek resources such as food or intimacy, and enjoy the benefits of being part of a social community. Proponents of CFT suggest these systems are still active and affect human emotions, actions, and beliefs today. If a threatening stimulus is received, for example, a person may experience different feelings (such as fear, anxiety, or anger), exhibit various behaviors (submission or a fight or flight response), and develop certain cognitive biases (jumping to conclusions, stereotyping, or assuming it is always better to be safe than sorry).

The drive system endeavours to direct individuals toward important goals and resources while fostering feelings of anticipation and pleasure. People with an over-stimulated drive system may engage in risky behaviors such as unsafe sexual practices or drug and alcohol abuse.

The contentment system is linked with feelings of happiness. These feelings are not associated with pleasure seeking, nor are they merely present due to an absence of threats. Rather, this state of positive calm is typically tied to an awareness of being socially connected, cared for, and safe. This soothing system acts as a regulator for both the threat and drive systems.

CFT can be helpful to people who find it challenging to understand, feel, or express compassion, as therapy can be a safe place in which to discover any reasons behind this difficulty and explore methods of positive change. This type of therapy can also be effective at helping people manage distressing thoughts, behaviors, and feelings of any kind but may be particularly helpful when dealing with feelings associated with self-attack. Other concerns treated with CFT include:

  • Anxiety
  • Shame
  • Self-criticism
  • Depression
  • Disordered eating
  • Anger
  • Self-injury
  • Psychosis

This course is created by Vyas Psychology Training Centre

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