The Underpinnings of Compassion-Focused Therapy

Immerse, absorb, embody, enjoy

The Underpinnings of Compassion-Focused Therapy

Workshop presenters – James Bennett-Levy & Tobyn Bell


Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) is an integrative psychotherapy model that focuses on the cultivation and application of compassion for both self and others. CFT integrates cognitive-behavioural therapy techniques with evolutionary, developmental and social psychology; affective neuroscience; and Buddhist psychology. The approach was originally developed for clients with high-levels of self-criticism and shame and has a growing evidence-base for a variety of clinical disorders and presentations. Practicing compassion has been shown to have powerful effects on physiological, psychological and social processes, specifically in the regulation of threat-focused emotional experiences and the development of a caring orientation to suffering.

This workshop will introduce the core principles and practices of CFT which include an evolutionary functional analysis of emotions, a formulation of threat-based experiences and protective behaviours, the use of compassionate imagery to stimulate soothing and affiliation, and the development of the ‘compassionate self’. Participants will be guided in experiential exercises with a focus on developing compassion for both themselves and their clients. The workshop will also provide participants with an opportunity to formulate and address self-criticism using CFT interventions.

The workshop is suitable for therapists from any theoretical background. The workshop will include interactive teaching, practical exercises, self-reflection and group discussions. No prior knowledge of CFT is required.

In this workshop participants will:

  • Learn what compassion is (and isn’t)
  • Be able to apply an evolutionary functional analysis to emotions
  • Be able to identify common fears, blocks and resistances to compassion
  • Have an experience of key CFT exercises to train the mind in compassion
  • Learn how to apply compassion to themselves and their clients, with a specific focus on self-criticism

Venue: The venue for the workshop is in the centre of Byron Bay:

Byron Bay Community and Cultural Centre
Level 1
69 Jonson St
Byron Bay NSW 2481

When? August 10, 9.30-5.00 – 2020

Price: $325 Early bird (by May 31); $375 after May 31

Packaged together with 2-day workshop (Aug 10-12): $845

5 Day Lighthouse Week Special (Aug 10-14): $1175* Early Bird; $1415 after May 31st

Workshop prices are inclusive of morning and afternoon tea. We have found workshop participants like to have lunch in Byron cafes, so lunch not included.

* If you can, we particularly suggest you consider the 5-day Lighthouse Week:

– It provides deeper immersion and learning of the practices
– We develop a strong sense of community
– And you get to enjoy Byron at a delightful time of year