Meet our trainers

Dennis Tirch


Dennis TirchDennis is one of the world leaders in contemporary approaches to psychotherapy. Over the last six years, he has written 5 ground-breaking books on ACT, compassion-focused therapy, mindfulness, CBT, Emotional Regulation and Buddhist Psychology. At a practical level, Dennis has woven different strands of psychotherapy into a rich tapestry of ways to create personal and professional change.

His co-authored books are: Buddhist Psychology and CBT (2015), The ACT Practitioner’s Guide to the Science of Compassion (2014); Compassionate Mind Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (2012), Mindfulness in Clinical Practice (2011), and Emotional Regulation in Psychotherapy (2010). Dennis is currently co-writing Experiencing ACT from the Inside Out: A Self-Practice/Self-Reflection Workbook for Therapists.

Participants at Dennis’ 2015 Australian workshops were inspired by Dennis’ generosity of spirit and creativity. We’re delighted he accepted the invitation to return in 2017.

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James Bennett-Levy


James Bennett-LevyThere are various strings to James’ bow. He has co-authored 4 leading CBT textbooks, including the classic Oxford Guide to Behavioural Experiments in Cognitive Therapy (2004) and the Oxford Guide to Imagery in Cognitive Therapy (2011).

He is Guilford Press’ series editor for their Self-practice/self-reflection (SP/SR) series, which includes his latest book, Experiencing CBT from the Inside Out: A Self-Practice/Self-Reflection Workbook for Therapists (2015), and a forthcoming book, Experiencing Compassion-focused Therapy from the Inside Out.

And James is also one of the world’s leading researchers on therapist training with 35 training publications; in particularly his evidence-based self-experiential approach to therapist training (SP/SR) has led to invited workshops in 21 countries. His twin enthusiasms for contemporary approaches to CBT and compassion-focused training are represented by his 2017 workshops, in which therapists have the opportunity to ‘really get it from the inside out’.

View a list of James’ publications.


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Tina Gibson


TinaTina Gibson is one of the leading Mindful Self-Compassion and Mindfulness teachers in Australia. As the founder of Adelaide Mindfulness, Tina runs regular MSC intensives and 8-week programs, as well as a Mindful Schools project.

From previous roles as a paramedic, clinical educator, primary health care worker, rehabilitation counsellor and kinesiologist, she brings a wealth of experience in working with diverse populations. Tina is known for living, breathing, and embodying Mindful Self-Compassion, and inspiring others to do so.

James taught with her for the first time in September 2016, and has invited her to bring her skills and wisdom to Byron for the 2017 Mindful Self-Compassion intensive.


Professor Paul Gilbert (UK)


Paul GilbertThere are not too many founders of major psychotherapies on this planet. Paul Gilbert is one of them. Compassion-focused Therapy started to emerge in the early 2000s with the 2005 book: Compassion: Conceptualisations, Research and Use in Psychotherapy.

Since then, compassion-focused therapy has blossomed into a fully-fledged psychotherapy, founded in evolutionary psychology, neuroscience and attachment theory, which has created its own niche as well sending ripples into ACT, CBT, DBT and other behaviourally-orientated approaches. Paul’s scholarship has resulted in over 20 books, hundreds of papers, and world-wide acclaim.

Recent books include: The Compassionate Mind (2009), Compassion-Focused Therapy: Distinctive Features (2010), and Mindful Compassion (2013). As a teacher his groundbreaking work is punctuated by a wicked sense of humour, and an extraordinary modesty for one who has achieved so much. Depending on the level of your previous exposure to CFT, catch Paul in Melbourne, Byron, or Brisbane – or all three. You will not regret it.

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James Kirby


James Kirby is a clinical psychologist and Lecturer in Psychology at The University of Queensland. James is an emerging early career researcher who focuses his practice and research in Compassion-Focused Therapy. Specifically, James’ research focuses on evaluating the impact of compassion-based approaches for therapy, as well as examining factors that both inhibit and facilitate compassion.

James received a Fellowship in 2016 to work at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University, USA. He has also spent time as a Visiting Scholar at The Centre for Compassion Research and Training at The University of Derby where Professor Paul Gilbert is located. James supervisors Honours, Masters and PhD students on projects examining compassion.

To find out more about James and see his various publications you can view his profile at The University of Queensland.