Compassion focused therapy (CFT) is a wonderful therapy created to help people struggling with self-criticism, shame and self-loathing. It can be very helpful in working with people suffering with depression, trauma and anxiety.
Our brains were not designed with our happiness in mind. They are the result of evolution. CFT considers that there are three systems which manage our emotional state and our attention levels, bodily feelings and thoughts. These three systems are drive, care giving and threat and they are all vital.
Some people live very hard lives and their childhoods were not good. If a person isn't given the conditions necessary for their care giving system to flourish they may find it much more difficult to cope with life than those who have been lucky enough to develop this system. Some people live far too much in the threat mindset and this takes it toll on the physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
Suffering is something that is focused on in Buddhism and CFT brings in much of the Buddhist philosophy, although of course this doesn't mean that a person needs to follow Buddhism or any other religion in order to use or benefit from CFT. The goal of CFT is to reduce this suffering by enabling the care system to develop and flourish. The beautiful qualities spoken of in CFT are non-judgement, warmth, strength, wisdom, kindness and moral courage.
The message delivered by CFT is this;
"The things that have happened to you in your life are not your fault, but it is your responsibility to alleviate your suffering"
"Compassion is about choosing to be the best version of you that you can be"
"You are living a life that wasn't of your choosing"
If you would like to learn more about how CFT could benefit you, please send me an email or give me a ring and I will be glad to advise.