1st Edition

Compassion Focused Therapy Clinical Practice and Applications

Edited By Paul Gilbert, Gregoris Simos Copyright 2022
    654 Pages 56 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    654 Pages 56 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Compassion Focused Therapy: Clinical Practice and Applications offers evidence-based guidance and extensive insight into the science behind compassion focused therapy.


    The first section of the book explores the evolution and physiological infrastructures of caring, and how compassion arises when humans use their complex cognitive competencies to address suffering deliberately and intentionally. With this framework and basis, the next sections of the book explore CFT applied to groups, specific interventions such as chair work, the importance of applying the principles of the therapy to oneself, the CFT therapeutic relationship, and a chapter offering a systematic review of the evidence for CFT. The third section offers a series of multi-authored chapters on interventions for a range of different mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and many others. 


    Being the first major clinical book on compassion focused therapy, with leading international researchers and clinicians addressing central problems, this landmark publication will appeal to psychotherapists from a variety of schools as well as being a vital resource for compassion focused therapists.

    Section I Compassion focused therapy: An evolved biopsychosocial approach; 1. Setting the scene: Psychotherapy at a crossroads and a compassionate way forward, Paul Gilbert; 2. Compassion focused therapy as an evolution informed, biopsychosocial science of the mind: History and challenge, Paul Gilbert; 3. The evolved functions of caring connections as a basis for compassion, Paul Gilbert; 4. Shame, humiliation, social status and the pain of social disconnection, Paul Gilbert; 5. Internal shame and self-disconnection: From hostile self-criticism to compassionate self-correction and guidance, Paul Gilbert; 6. Formulation and fears, blocks and resistances, Paul Gilbert; Section II CFT practices and settings; 7. CFT Introducing and developing compassion functions and competencies, Paul Gilbert; 8. Compassionate Mind Training: Key Themes, Paul Gilbert; 9 Meeting the challenges of a multi mind and the role of grieving, Paul Gilbert; 10. Compassion focused therapy and the body: how physiological underpinnings of prosociality inform clinical practice, Nicola Petrocchi, Maria Di Bello, Simone Cheli and Cristina Ottaviani; 11. Psychedelics, connectedness and compassion, Enzo Tagliazucchi, Lorena Llobenes and Natali Gumiy; 12. Self-practice/self-reflection (SP/SR) training for compassion focused therapists, Tobyn Bell, James Bennett-Levy and Tara Hickey; 13. The therapeutic relationship in Compassion Focused Therapy, Hannah Gilbert; 14. A Group Mindfulness and Compassion Focused Therapy Programme, Francis Gheysen, Marine Paucsik and Pascal Delamillieure; 15. Compassion focused therapy in Groups, Derek Griner, Mark E. Beecher, Gary M. Burlingame, David M. Erekson and Kara Cattani; 16. Compassion Focused Group Psychotherapy for people who could attract a diagnosis of personality disorder, Kate Lucre; Section III Specific applications; 17. Compassion Focused Therapy chairwork, Tobyn Bell; 18. Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) for emotion regulation difficulties, Chris Irons; 19. Compassion Focused Therapy for the treatment of anxiety, Dennis Tirch; 20. True Strength: Using Compassion Focused Therapy in the treatment of problematic anger, Russell L. Kolts; 21. Compassion Focused Therapy in forensic settings, Diana Ribeiro da Silva and Daniel Rijo; 22. The Roles of shame, self-criticism and compassion focused therapy in eating disorders and disordered eating, Ken Goss and Allison Kelly; 23. Compassion Focused Therapy as an evolutionary and biopsychosocial understanding of depression and its Management, Gregoris Simos; 24. Compassion Focused Therapy for voice-hearing and delusions in psychosis, Charles Heriot-Maitland; 25. Using Compassion Focused Therapy to work with complex PTSD, Deborah Lee; 26. A Compassionate Focused Therapy approach to supporting parents and children, James N. Kirby; 27. Overview of outcome research on Compassion Focused Therapy: A scoping review, Jaskaran Basran, Joanne Raven and Ptarmigan Plowright


    Paul Gilbert OBE qualified in clinical psychology in 1980 and is professor of clinical psychology at the University of Derby and has had a number of visiting international professorships. From his extensive clinical and research work he developed compassion focused therapy for people with complex mental health problems.


    Gregoris Simos, MD, is a Professor of Psychopathology, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece. He is an internationally respected psychiatrist and a recognized authority in the field of contemporary psychotherapies (CBT, CFT). He is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Beck Institute for CBT.

    'The framework of compassionate relating to self and others is now driving innovative practices with many clinical problems. There is a wealth of theoretical and practical ideas here that cannot fail to inspire clinicians who use or are interested in compassion focused therapy.'

    Chris Brewin, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology, University College London

    'This book is an extraordinary achievement, one that anyone interested in a biopsychosocial model, and compassion focused therapy should read. It serves up an incredible array and depth of theory, linked to the latest science, topped up with wonderful helpings of clinical examples of many presentations, each underlining the importance and potential of this approach. This is a book to savour, and return to and is highly recommended'

    Graham Music, The Tavistock clinic author of Nurturing Natures: Attachment and Children’s Emotional, Sociocultural and Brain Development, Second Edition (Routledge)

    'This book is a gem, with powerful tools for trauma, shame, depression, and anxiety - and applications for a wide range of settings. The writing is clear and useful, and the science is solid, with frequent flashes of transformational insight. It is a masterwork, a mature and comprehensive summary of what is currently the very best integration of evolutionary neuroscience, clinical effectiveness, and far-reaching kindness.'

    Rick Hanson, Ph.D., author of Neurodharma: New Science, Ancient Wisdom, and Seven Practices of the Highest Happiness

    'The extraordinary efflorescence and maturation of Compassion Focused Therapy over the past two decades is brilliantly documented in this comprehensive volume. The initial chapters provide a wide-ranging, deeply illuminating review of the evolution-informed, biopsychosocial model that undergirds CFT, while the subsequent chapters describe the application of CFT to numerous clinical and non-clinical problems. The combination of novel theoretical insights and myriad therapeutic strategies and tactics that are tightly integrated with the theory promises a revolution in the fragmented world of psychotherapy and, more broadly, wellness interventions. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in theory, research, or treatment that addresses human suffering and psychopathology.'

    David Zuroff, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Montreal

    'This inspiring and authoritative volume establishes Compassion Focused Therapy as one of the major therapeutic advances of the our time. Psychological therapists, of all traditions, from beginner to expert will be enriched by the theoretical and practice insights of this approach. One of the top ten psychotherapy books – a must have.'

    Professor Peter Fonagy OBE, FMedSci, FBA, FAcSS, University College London

    'Few books in clinical psychology begin with an understanding of human nature. This exceptional book by Paul Gilbert, Greg Simos and an international group of scholars in the field of compassion focused therapy covers almost every imaginable perspective on the role of compassion and helps us understand the human side of being a human being. Beginning with Paul Gilbert’s extraordinary contribution and understanding of the evolution of compassion, the chapters  move on by exploring the science, the application, and the meaning of compassion. It is hard to imagine life without compassion, but sadly many people live such desolate lives. Every clinician should read this book not only for the science but for the humanity it represents.'

    Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D., Director, American Institute for Cognitive Therapy author of Emotional Schema Therapy

    'This excellent and comprehensive volume contains a biopsychosocial model, informed by evolutionary theory. It is an important resource, systematically exploring compassion from many vantage points. It has certainly motivated me to put an increased focus on incorporating principles of compassion-focused therapy into my cognitive behavior therapy practice. I highly recommend this book!'

    Judith S. Beck, PhD, President, Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy; Clinical Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania; Author of Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond