Compassion Focused CBT
Incorporates a compassion element alongside traditional Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Compassion focused therapy was primarily designed as way of treating self loathing and shame. It has neurobiological underpinnings and is based on three key messages.
- You are not at fault for the things that have happened in your life but it is your responsibility to alleviate your suffering.
- Compassion is about choosing the best version of you that you can be.
- You are living a life that was not of your choosing.
We are all born with the threat system intact as this is the first system to be developed. For many people with three well developed systems we can choose which one to operate from depending on the situation. However for some people who have had a difficult childhood we believe the care-giving system is less well developed and therefore gives less opportunity to deal effectively with stress. This model supports people to develop compassion and self compassion in order to alleviate suffering and increase effective coping skills.
|Threat System||Drive System||Care-giving System|
|Motivation||Survive||Achieve, win||Look-after, soothe|
|Attention||Threat-focused||Goals, advantage||Empathy to distress|
|Thoughts||About danger||Achieving||Caring, soothing|
|Emotions||Fear, anxiety||Positive, motivated||Safeness|
|Behavior||Fight or flight||Focused||Look-after, soothe|
CFT proposes that humans have three systems which manage their emotional states, each part has its own signature neurobiology, and comes with different motivations, thoughts, feelings and actions.