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Compassion Focused Therapy Workshops

  • Victoria Park Function Venue 309 Herston Road Herston, QLD, 4006 Australia (map)

With Professor Paul Gilbert and Dr James Kirby

To Register:


These workshops provide a great opportunity to learn from the founder Prof Paul Gilbert, who has travelled from the UK to provide this training opportunity in Brisbane with Dr James Kirby. CFT is an innovative therapy which has become increasingly popular amongst a range of health professionals.  CFT 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, including with depression, anxiety, as well as complex trauma, PTSD, and psychosis. Practicing compassion has been shown to have powerful effects on physiological, psychological and social processes.

1. Introduction to CFT (3-day: 23-25 Jan 2019)

(Early bird before 15 Dec $895; Full price $950)

2. Compassionate Mind Training - A Personal Practice (3-day: 20-22 Feb 2019)

(Early bird before 15 Jan $895; Full price $950)

3. CFT and the Therapeutic Relationship (1-day: 15 March 2019)

(Early bird before 15 Feb $250; Full price $295)

4. CFT and Working with Complex Cases (2-day: 4-5 April 2019)

(Early bird before 25 Feb $500; Full price $590)

 STUDENTS: 30% Discount off ticket prices

MULTIPLE EVENT BOOKINGS: 10% Discount off total price

For Discount Codes, contact event organiser or email: 

*Fees include GST



18 CPD hours of professional development for health practitioners

Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) brings an evolutionary framework to the conceptualisation of mental health problems and their alleviation. Practicing compassion has been shown to have powerful effects on the mind, body, and social processes. This introductory course is designed to encourage the use of practices that stimulate compassionate mental states and those that build a sense of the compassionate self-identity.

Workshop Objectives:

1. Gain an understanding of how evolutionary functional analysis advances our understanding of mental health difficulties and in particular the importance of the evolution of attachment, caring and affiliation as part of the human affect motivation and regulation systems

2. Gain an understanding of the 3 system affect regulation model (threat, drive and affiliative-soothing), which informs compassion-focused interventions

3. Be exposed to key compassion-focused skills including the use of the breath and body postures, the practice of compassion focused imagery, the use of compassionate mind training to build the “compassionate self”, employing the “compassionate self” to engage with areas of personal difficulty ,and building supportive social relationships.

4. Gain an understanding of how CFT may be applied to clients with different problems in which there is a non-affiliative relationship with self and/or others (e.g. eating disorders, personality disorders, anxiety, depression, shame, psychosis etc).


18 CPD hours of professional development for health practitioners

NOTE: This workshop is suitable for ANYONE (not limited to health professionals)

 This workshop will help to facilitate participants with cultivating their potential for a compassionate mind with personal practice. It will give people direct experience of mindfulness and compassion practices drawn from a synthesis of Western therapeutic and Buddhist approaches. Integrating mindfulness into the practice of compassion, we will find a step-by-step approach to cultivating the inner compassionate self.

By creating a stable base through mindfulness practices of soothing breathing and grounding, we will build on this by establishing a warm and receptive inner environment through working with voice tone, facial expressions, and wise acceptance of our changing emotions. We also work with our bodies to show how certain systems, such as the vagal parasympathetic system, can be linked to and cultivated by compassion practice.

Through conscious identification with qualities of strength, wisdom and commitment we learn to embody the compassionate self. From this place we are then in a position to relate compassionately to the parts of ourselves that struggle, and to broaden our compassion to other people in our lives. In this way we will experience the healing qualities that come from a stable and compassionate mind and develop new and transformative ways of being with our self and other people.


6 CPD hours of professional development for health practitioners

Considerable research suggests that the therapeutic relationship is one of the biggest sources of change. This workshop will look how CFT conceptualises the therapeutic relationship, how it is informed by attachment theory and research and how it changes over time. Special attention will be given to how the therapist themselves uses compassion-focused techniques to support themselves in therapeutic work. The workshop will touch on issues of transference and countertransference and the importance of the therapist addressing their own potential issues of shame, self-criticism, and their dark sides.

 4. CFT AND WORKING WITH COMPLEX CASES (2-day: 4-5 April 2019)

12 CPD hours of professional development for health practitioners

NOTE: This workshop is most suitable for health practitioners trained in and practicing CFT

There are many sources of difficulty that can produce complexity in psychotherapy. These range from difficulties such as psychosis and bipolar disorders through to complex trauma-based difficulties. One of the sources for complexity are fears, blocks and resistances to compassion motivation and affect. This workshop will look at some of the origins of fears blocks and resistances in relationship to experiential avoidance, passive aggression, and unprocessed attachment emotions such as anger and grief. In addition we will explore the impact of complexity on the mind of the therapist.




Paul Gilbert, PhD, FBPsS, OBE is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby and is a Visiting Professor at The University of Queensland, Australia. He was an NHS Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Derbyshire Health Care Foundation Trust until his retirement in 2016. He has researched evolutionary approaches to psychopathology for over 40 years with a special focus on shame and the treatment of shame-based difficulties - for which compassion focused therapy was developed. He was made a Fellow of the British Psychological Society in 1993. In 2003 Paul was president of the BABCP and a member of the first British Governments’ NICE guidelines for depression. He has written/edited 22 books and over 300 publications. In 2006 he established the Compassionate Mind Foundation, a charity with the mission statement “to promote wellbeing through the scientific understanding and application of compassion” ( He was awarded an OBE in March 2011.


James is a Clinical Psychologist and Lecturer at School of Psychology at the University of Queensland. He is also the Co-Director of the Compassionate Mind Research Group at the University of Queensland. He has broad research interests in compassion, however, specifically he examines compassion focused therapy and evaluates compassionate mind training interventions. James also holds a Visiting Fellowship at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles and chapters. He also continues his work as a clinical psychologist in private practice.


Earlier Event: November 23
Mindful Futures Network - 2018 Conference
Later Event: February 11
Mindful Self-Compassion in Brisbane