Compassion Focused
Therapy (CFT)

Compassion Focused Therapy
Compassion focused therapy is aimed at helping people improve their view of self and others by increasing their feelings of loving kindness. With improvement in loving kindness toward the self and others, depression and negative emotions decrease over time. Lindsey Capelli, LPC, NCC, SAC is trained to provide compassion focused therapy for men and women with depression and other mental health conditions.

What is compassion focused therapy?
Compassion focused therapy is a type of psychotherapy developed by Paul Gilbert who emphasizes using “compassionate mind training to help people develop and work with experiences of inner warmth, safeness and soothing, via compassion and self-compassion.” It is most helpful for people who struggle with shame and self-criticism. These emotions can stem from abuse, neglect, or bullying.

Compassion focused therapy is rooted in the basic understanding of emotion regulation systems: the threat and self-protection system, drive and excitement system, and contentment and social safeness system. Treatment helps highlight the association between these systems and how they influence human thought and behavior.

What techniques will I learn from compassion focused therapy? The primary goal of compassion focused therapy is to help individuals foster different aspects of compassion for themselves and others. During a session, you may be guided through different exercises to help foster this compassion. Some of these exercises include:

  • Appreciation exercises. This activity focuses on things that the individual enjoys. You may make a list of likes and take time to savor the moment when something enjoyable is noticed.
  • Mindfulness. This involves paying attention to the present moment in a non-judgmental manner.
  • Compassion focused imagery. These exercises use guided memories and fantasies to first stimulate the mind and then the physiological system. The goal is to produce an image that stimulates the soothing system.
  • What issues are treated with compassion focused therapy?
    Compassion focused therapy is beneficial for anyone trying to manage distressing thoughts, feelings, or behaviors, but particularly when the feelings are associated with self-criticism. People with certain mental health conditions can benefit from compassion focused therapy including those with:

  • Shame and guilt
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Self-criticism
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Self-injury
  • Anger
  • Psychosis
  • If you’re suffering from negative self-talk or other kinds of self-destructive behavior, call Living Well Counseling Center in Tinton Falls, New Jersey to see if compassion focused therapy is right for you. You can also send us a message on the contact page of our website.