Introduction to Compassion Focused Therapy – ONLINE

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Two  Day Workshop – Online

UPDATE **Please note – this workshop has now been moved online and will be available to attend on 13 & 14 August 2020 for a live, interactive experience or as a recording to be viewed at a later date.**

(This training is for practitioners who are interested in starting to bring CFT into their work and for those who have been using CFT, but have not been able to attend training. It is also for those who would like to be able to attend advanced training in CFT, but have never be able to attend the initial CFT training.)

Compassion focused therapy is rooted in an evolutionary model of human psychology. Participants on the course will be introduced to the difficulties that the human brain encounters because of its evolutionary history and the way in which old motivation and emotional systems interact with newly evolved cognitive competencies and intelligences. For example, humans are the only species that self-monitor in a particular way and while this has advantages, it is also is a source for a lot of shame, anxiety and depression.

Participants will also be introduced to the three affect regulation systems linked to threat awareness and coping, reward and resource seeking, and contentment and soothing — and how they form complex patterns within the mind.

Participants will learn how early life experiences can shape the organisation of our emotions increasing our dispositions towards threat based emotions that underpin a lot of mental health difficulties.

In the introduction a particular focus will be on a trans-diagnostic problem that sits underneath many mental health problems which is shame and high levels of self-criticism. Shame and self-criticism can accentuate and maintain difficulties and can complicate and undermine therapeutic efforts. These individuals often come from abusive/bullying, neglectful and/or demanding/critical backgrounds, and have difficulties in regulating emotions through affiliative and soothing systems. Compassion Focused Therapy and Compassionate Mind Training were developed with, and for, people from such backgrounds to address chronic problems associated with shame and self-criticism.

This workshop will help participants bring an evolutionary framework to the conceptualisation of mental health problems and their alleviation. This workshop draws on new research on the nature of different types of positive affect (activating verses soothing). Using these insights with an evolutionary and attachment focus the workshop explores the components of self-compassion and how the application for self-compassion can facilitate and promote well-being.

The fears, blocks and resistances to self-compassion will be explored. The workshop covers the following materials:

Introduction to the evolutionary model of human psychology and vulnerability to mental health difficulties

Understanding an evolutionary approach to affect regulation and affect dysregulation

The role of attachment and early secure base and safe haven for development and compassion cultivation

The nature of the two psychologies compassion with a 12 constituent elements and their link to the care- giving and receiving motivational systems

Compassion as flow: compassion to others, been open to compassion from others and self-compassion

Practices that stimulate compassionate mental states and build a sense of the compassionate self-identity

How to using compassionate mental states and the sense a grounded compassionate self to address problems such as self-criticism and shame

Therapy as creating different patterns in the mind conducive to well-being

About the Speakers

Dr. Katie Baird

Dr. Katie Baird is a practising compassion focused therapist, and the founder of the Irish Centre for Compassion Focused Therapy (ICCFT). Katie is a counselling psychologist with over 20 years experience working with young people and adults.

Katie trained in the U.S. and has worked in mental health care and academic settings in Ireland for 19 years. Katie is a Chartered Psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) and a member of the Division of Psychologists Specialising in Psychotheapy. She is also a full member of the American Psychological Association (APA). Katie holds an undergraduate degree in psychology, a master’s degree in professional counselling, and a doctorate degree in counselling psychology. She has been fortunate to attend training in CFT with Professor Paul Gilbert, Dr. Chris Irons, Kate Lucre, Dr. Charlie Heriot-Maitland, Dr. Deborah Lee, and Dr. Korina Ioannou.

Katie has co-authored peer-reviewed articles on the outcomes of CFT, on the relationships among the dimensions of attachment and coping strategies, and on vicarious trauma.

Dr. Rachel Egan

Dr Rachel Egan is a Senior Clinical Psychologist at St. Patrick’s University Hospital, Dublin Ireland. Rachel has over 12 years’ experience working in Adult Mental Health and Forensic settings.

She has specialised in group therapy for over a decade, including developing and implementing a group therapy programme for convicted sex offenders and as clinical lead of the Group Radical Openness programme in Saint Patrick’s Hospital. Rachel is a Chartered Psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland and a Member of the British Psychological Society. She has played a key role in developing Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) in St. Patrick’s Hospital, implementing their distinctive group approach.

She is also a member of the CFT research team. Rachel has a passion for CFT and has attended training with Paul Gilbert, Chris Irons, Kate Lucre, Deborah Lee, Russell Kolts, Charlie Heriot-Maitland and Tobyn Bell.

Background Reading

Cozolino, L. (2007). The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment and the Developing Brain. New York: Norton

Dalai Lama. (1995). The Power of Compassion. India: HarperCollins.

Fredrickson, B,L., Cohn, M,A., Coffey, K,A, Pek, J., & Finkel. S,A. (2008). Open hearts build lives: positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness mediation, build consequential personal resources, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1045-62. You can download this via by clicking here.

Gerhardt, S. (2004). Why Love Matters. How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain. London: Bruner-Routledge.

Germer, C. (2009). The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions. New York: Guilford.

Gilbert, P. (2018) Living Like Crazy. Annwyn House

Gilbert, P. (ed) (2017) Compassion: Concepts, Research and Application. Routledge

Gilbert, P. (2010) Compassion Focused Therapy Distinctive Features Series. London: Routledge

Gilbert. P. (2009). The Compassionate Mind. Robinson

Gilbert P. (2007). Psychotherapy and Counselling for Depression(3rd edition): London. Sage.

Gilbert, P. (2000) Social mentalities: Internal ‘social’ conflicts & the role of inner-warmth & compassion in cognitive therapy. In P.Gilbert & K.G. Bailey (Eds). Genes on the Couch: Explorations in Evolutionary Psychotherapy. London: Routledge.

Gilbert, P. & Irons, C. (2005). Therapies for shame and self-attacking, using cognitive, behavioural, emotional imagery, and compassionate mind training. In P.Gilbert (Ed) Compassion: Conceptualisations, Research and use in Psychotherapy. London: Routledge.

Glasser, A. (2005). A Call to Compassion: Bringing Buddhist Practices of the Heart into the Soul of Psychotherapy. Berwick Maine: Nicolas-Hays.

Irons, C. & Beaumont, E. (2017) The Compassionate Mind Workbook. Robinson

Kolts, R. L. (2016) CFT Made Simple: A Clinician’s Guide to Practising Compassion Focused Therapy. New Harbinger.

Leary, M.R., Tate, E.B., Adams, C.E., Allen, A.B. & Hancock, J. (2007). Self-Compassion and reactions to unpleasant self-relevant events: The implications of treating oneself kindly. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 887-904. There are optoins to access this article by clicking here.

Lee, D. (2005) The perfect nurturer: A model to develop a compassionate mind within the context of cognitive therapy. In P.Gilbert (Ed) Compassion: Conceptualisations, Research and use in Psychotherapy. London: Routledge

Mikulincer, M. & Shaver, P.R. (2007) Attachment in Adulthood: Structure, Dynamics, and Change. New York: Guilford

Welford, M. (2016) Compassion Focused Therapy for Dummies. John Wiley & Sons.

Booking workshops & events:

Our workshops and training are available to book through payment by credit/debit card on our website. If you are unable to pay by credit/debit card please contact us to request an invoice.

Terms and Conditions:

 There will be a £50 cancellation fee up to 14 days before the workshop, £100 cancellation fee within 14 days of the workshop date. No refunds can be given to cancellations made less than 72 hours prior to the workshop date. We regret refunds for failure to attend cannot be made, but you can transfer your event fee to a future event within 12 months.

Registration and Invoicing

To register for this event and/or request an invoice please email

Please note that information about the event and venue are subject to change and cancellation.

Occasionally, an event may have to be cancelled or postponed. We will inform of you of any changes and cancellations as soon as possible via email.

Unfortunately, we cannot be held responsible for any resulting costs you may incur for travel, accommodation, any other related goods or service or other compensation.

We will confirm the final details of the event via email 7-10 days prior to the event date.

Welcome & Registration - Tea/Coffee and Refreshments
09:30am - 10:00am
  • Dr . Katie Baird
  • Dr Rachel Egan
Session 1
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Counselling Psychologist & Trainer
Clinical Psychologist & Trainer
Morning Break - Tea/Coffee and Light Refreshments
11:30 AM - 11:50 AM
  • Dr . Katie Baird
  • Dr Rachel Egan
Session 2
11.50 AM - 1.30 PM
Counselling Psychologist & Trainer
Clinical Psychologist & Trainer
1.30 PM - 2.15 PM
  • Dr . Katie Baird
  • Dr Rachel Egan
Session 3
2.15 PM - 3.15 PM
Counselling Psychologist & Trainer
Clinical Psychologist & Trainer
Afternoon Break - Tea/Coffee and Light Refreshments
3.15 PM - 3.30 PM
  • Dr . Katie Baird
  • Dr Rachel Egan
Session 4
3.30 PM - 4.30PM
Counselling Psychologist & Trainer
Clinical Psychologist & Trainer
Dr Rachel Egan

Dr Rachel Egan

Clinical Psychologist & Trainer
Dr . Katie Baird

Dr . Katie Baird

Counselling Psychologist & Trainer

    Event Detail

    August 13, 2020 9:30 am
    August 14, 2020 4:30 pm


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