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Prof. Paul Gilbert
Prof. Paul Gilbert
Prof. Paul Gilbert

Integrating Compassion Focused Therapy into Clinical Practice

Prof. Paul Gilbert

Friday Nov 01, 2024

Pacific Time:

10:00am - 1:30pm

Eastern Time:

1:00pm - 4:30pm

Can’t attend the live streamed version of this workshop? All of our workshops are also available as pre-recorded on-demand videos that you can watch when you want. All are available 10 working days after the live date presentation for up to one year. 


On November 1st, 2024, Prof. Paul Gilbert will deliver a half-day workshop on integrating compassion focused therapy into clinical practice.

Workshop Outline

The concept, benefits and recommendations for the cultivation of compassion have been recognized in the contemplative traditions for thousands of years. In the last 30 years or so, the study of compassion has revealed it to have major physiological and psychological effects influencing well-being, addressing mental health difficulties, and promoting prosocial behavior (Gilbert, 2020). It is an integrative, multidisciplinary, process-based therapy that utilizes insights and wisdoms from many of the main schools of psychotherapy with a recent meta-analysis demonstrating that it is effective at improving clinical symptoms and compassion-based outcomes (Millard, Wan, Smith & Wittkowski, 2023).  CFT was developed with and for people with mental health difficulties, particularly those who had not responded to other therapies, who had problems with self-criticism, shame, and trauma, often came from difficult backgrounds and were fearful and/or distrustful of compassion from others and/or for self. While many CBT therapies focus on helping people deal with threats fairly directly and often helpfully, this is mostly by working with the threat system itself either through exposure or cognitive change. CFT, however, seeks to work with basic motivational systems and, in particular, how to create inner capacities for feeling supported, and hence able to activate “safeness processing” and to develop mutually supportive, prosocial, and caring relationships, and to live ethically.

This half-day workshop will begin with an exploration of the evolution of care and the specific functions of care on psychosocial development (which is to provide a secure base and safe haven which in turn sets up an internal regulation of threat by the cultivation of a safeness system or process). It will focus predominantly on how these insights can be used to guide and support psychotherapy and be integrated into practice for clinicians who predominantly work within a cognitive-behavioural framework. The workshop will outline the various interventions and processes of training for developing compassionate mind states and competencies (Gilbert and Simos, 2020). It will provide an overview of the range of practices and interventions such as breathing practices that stimulate the vagus, a range of different visualizations and meditations, exploration of compassionate reasoning, and compassionate behaviour, some of which are guided by understanding the physiological underpinnings of caring compassion. Particularly, important is for clients to begin to understand how to create an inner sense of a secure base and safe haven that counteracts (among other things) shame and self-criticism which they can turn into when distressed and also utilize as a source of encouragement and guidance. These are related to the compassionate self, mind and the compassionate image.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will:

  • Learn the basic conceptual framework of CFT in terms of basic motives, emotional regulation systems cognitive competencies and behaviours

  • Gain insight into the nature of compassion focus therapy and its relationship to CBT

  • Be able to apply CFT principles to mental health difficulties

  • Be exposed to practises for the development of a compassionate mind and self-identity

  • Understand the distinction between compassion focused therapy and compassionate mind training

  • Learn basic compassionate mind training exercises

About the Presenter

Paul Gilbert, FBPsS, PhD, OBE is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby and honorary visiting Prof at the University of Queensland. He was Consultant Clinical Psychologist for over 40 years the UK National Health Service. He has researched evolutionary approaches to psychopathology with a special focus on mood, shame and self-criticism in various mental health difficulties for which Compassion Focused Therapy was developed, with increasing evidence of effectiveness. He was made a Fellow of the British Psychological Society in 1993, president of the BABCP 2002-2004, and was a member of the first British Governments’ NICE guidelines for depression. He has written/edited 24 books and over 300 papers and book chapters. In 2006 he established the Compassionate Mind Foundation as an international charity with the mission statement To promote wellbeing through the scientific understanding and application of compassion. In 2011 he was awarded an OBE by the Queen in recognition of his services to mental health.

Training Modalities

  • PowerPoint presentations

  • Video presentations

  • Case discussions

  • Personal practises

Who should attend

This workshop is suitable for all mental health professionals with an interest in compassion-focused therapy. 

Continuing Education (CE) Credits

Bespoke Mental Health Canada is approved by the Canadian Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. Bespoke Mental Health Canada maintains responsibility for the program. 

After viewing this workshop live on November 1st, 2024, participants have the option to complete an evaluation form in order to be eligible to receive a certificate confirming the number of credits awarded. This certificate will be sent via email. 

Participants who view this workshop as a pre-recorded event will need to complete an additional workshop knowledge quiz in order to be eligible to receive CE credits.

Participants who complete this workshop are eligible to receive 3 CE credits.


Professionals: $100 CAD +tax

Students*: $80 CAD +tax

* Proof of student status may be required in order to qualify for a student rate.

Key References

Gilbert, P & Simos, G. (2022 eds). Compassion Focused Therapy: Clinical practice and applications (chap 6). London. Routledge. (includes chapters on specific difficulties and a systematic review of evidence)

Gilbert, P. (2019). Psychotherapy for the 21st century: An integrative, evolutionary, contextual, biopsychosocial approach. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice. 92, 164-189. DOI: 10.1111/papt.12226

Gilbert, P. (2020). Compassion: From its evolution to a psychotherapy. Frontiers in psychology 11, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.58616 (open access)

Millard, L. A., Wan, M. W., Smith, D. M., & Wittkowski, A. (2023). The effectiveness of compassion focused therapy with clinical populations: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders.

More information coming soon.

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