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Compassion Focused Therapy for Psychosis

  • Abbotsford Convent 1 Saint Heliers Street Abbotsford, VIC, 3067 Australia (map)

Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) was developed for people who have significant difficulty experiencing compassion for themselves and from other people often due to shame and high self-criticism. CFT is founded in evolutionary psychology, neuroscience and attachment theory. Compassion-based interventions are showing considerable promise in alleviating distress and promoting good mental health. In particular, evidence suggests that compassion-based interventions can down-regulate the threats associated with psychotic symptoms, anxiety, depression and improve emotional regulation and symptom distress.

This 2-day workshop is designed for mental health practitioners who are interested in learning about the CFT model of compassion, how to apply this model to support clients with psychosis related difficulties, and the developing evidence base for this approach. It is suitable for practitioners with or without prior training in CFT. This workshop represents a special opportunity for Australian mental health practitioners to gain a strong foundation in CFT for psychosis from two international leaders in this field, Dr Eleanor Longden and Dr Charles Heriot-Maitland. 


Workshop Objectives:

Over the two days participants will learn:

1.  how to help clients establish a bodily experience of safeness through direct CFT practice such as soothing rhythm breathing, mindfulness and imagery exercises.

 2.  how to support their clients to develop a ‘compassionate self’, which is a self-identity that organises the mind and provides a secure base (or grounding) from which to do the therapeutic work.

 3.  how to encourage their clients to use these compassionate qualities and skills to manage internal conflicts. This achieved through techniques such as voice dialoguing, imagery, chair work, and letter writing.

 4.  about the current nature and level of evidence for the CFT approach and how this evidence-base may be developed.



Eleanor Longden
Eleanor is a research psychologist with lived experience of psychosis who has lectured internationally on recovery-orientated approaches to complex mental health problems, including TED and WHO events. She works at the Psychosis Research Unit in Manchester, and coordinates the research committee of Intervoice.

Charlie Heriot-Maitland
Charlie is a clinical psychologist, research and trainer at King’s College London. He is researching the social context of anomalous experiences and the application of CFT for people experiencing distress in relation to psychosis. He provides psychological therapies in National Health Service psychosis services, and in private practice and runs compassion training workshops.



Early Bird $650

HHC $550

Standard Fee $695

Last Minute $730