Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that draws upon our evolved capacity for compassion and self-compassion to facilitate the alleviation of human suffering. CFT is especially useful for people experiencing low self-esteem, low self-worth, shame and who may have a harsh inner critic.

Depression and CFT – FAQ

Frequently asked questions about depression and shame.

What is Compassion Focused Therapy

Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is an evidence-based therapy (studies show that it is effective in improving the psychological well-being of people experiencing depression, anxiety, PTSD, psychosis and other forms of psychological distress. CFT draws upon our evolved capacity for compassion and self-compassion to help alleviate. CFT is especially useful for people experiencing low self-esteem, low self-worth, shame and who may have a harsh inner critic.

 

Treatment resistant Depression – how can Compassion Focused Therapy help?

Nearly half of depressed people who receive medication and/or therapy, do not make a full recovery. These people seem to have particular difficulty accepting compassion from others, and also difficulty showing compassion to themselves. This fear of compassion  seems to be linked to increased depression, anxiety and stress. Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), which is an evidence based therapy for treatment of depression, seems particularly helpful in reducing the fear of accepting compassion for oneself and others.

Self criticism and depression – how can CFT help?

Self-criticism can lead to and maintain depression. Compassion Focused Therapy helps people be more open and responsive to care and support from others. Reduced fear of compassion from others is associated with reduced symptoms of depression.

Shame and depression – how can CFT help?

Humans have evolved to experience the emotion of shame as a warning signal. Shame is a warning that others may perceive him/her negatively and therefore at increased risk of ejection, exclusion, being passed by, harmed or even persecuted. Shame is experienced as a social threat  Our brain based threat system activates the automatic response to fight, flight or freeze. All of us have memories of feeling shamed.  People who can recall feeling loved and cared for as a child tend to experience less depression as adults, despite the presence of shame memories. Compassion Focused Therapy targets shame by helping individuals shift from a treat based response to activation of the affiliation system including a sense of soothing and safeness.

 

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