Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

How CFT Works

Compassion focused therapy draws from components of cognitive behavioural therapy. CFT is a technique to help promote compassion for both yourself and others around you. Through the use of training and guided activities, you will learn to develop skills related to being non judgemental of yourself and help gain motivation, empathy and tolerance for distress.


In this therapy you are likely to learn a combination of techniques including:

  • Appreciation exercises, Activities emphasizing the things an individual enjoys. This may include listing things you enjoy or taking time to truly appreciate a moment where you experience a feeling of joy or happiness
  • Mindfulness, The ability to pay attention to and focus solely on the current moment in a non-judgmental manner.
  • Compassion-focused imagery exercises, Using guided memories or fantasies to produce an image that stimulates the soothing part of the mind and body.

What CFT Helps With

CFT supports people who may struggle with feelings of shame and self-criticism. Often these can be the driving force of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. CFT is a very adaptable treatment and due to this it can be used to support those also living with:


  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Eating disorders – such as anorexia and bulimia
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

CFT sessions

Compassion focused therapy will usually be conducted weekly over 6-12 sessions. This treatment can be provided both individually and within a group setting depending on the individuals preference. Each session will typically last from 45-60 minutes and will be clarified in your initial assessment with your clinician.