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Introduction To Compassion Focused Therapy

Introduction to
Compassion Focused Therapy
Presented by Yotam Heineberg, Psy.D.

Course Overview
It is well-known that shame and self-criticism can be difficult problems to treat in a range of psychological problems and may even prevent people from seeking help.  Compassion Focused Therapy was developed by professor Paul Gilbert.  CFT was specifically developed with and for individuals with these difficulties, in part by helping them develop a compassionate orientation to themselves and others by elaborating on cognitive behavioral strategies.  CFT is an evolutionary and neuroscience-based approach to psychotherapy that articulates how the evolution of attachment and affiliative emotion regulates threat-processing and the emergence of our self-identities.  CFT integrates evidence-based therapies with the basic insight that our emotions serve an evolutionary function, and that recognizing this can help de-shame and de-pathologize painful symptomatic experiences, towards greater engagement in therapy.  CFT has a growing empirical evidence to support its efficacy in a broad range of complex cases, including trauma and rigid personality structures.  The workshop will cover the basic concepts of CFT with PowerPoint presentations and experiential practices with the use of emotion focused, cognitive behavioral and imagery practices.

Date:  September 7, 2019, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location:  RAMS, Inc. 4355 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
Fee:  SFPA Members, no fee (2 CE approved)

Learning objectives
By the end of the workshop participants will have the ability to:

1) Use perspectives from the evolutionary model that underpins CFT towards psychoeducation, by offering clients insight into the three types of affect regulation systems (threat, drive and soothing), as well as insight insight into the complexities and conflicts within the threat system processing,


2) Use the Fears of Compassion scale, and framework towards assessment, psychoeducational, experiential and behavioral treatment goals.


3) Use perspective from the multiple self framework, and learn how to orient clients towards the cultivation of their compassionate self, through psychoeducation, as well as archytype based cognitive behavioral experiential excercises.


10:00 – 10:30:  Introduction to CFT basics, learning about the evolutionary model to "Tricky Brain", and the perpetual tension between our "old brain" and our "new brain" mitigated by threat processing.

10:30 – 11:00AM: Overview of the three system of emotion regulation, learning about threat, drive and soothing, as well as the benefits of transitioning from threat to soothing.


11:00 – 11:15AM: Recognizing physiological systems, the vagus nerve and its impact on sympathetic and para-sympathetic tone, learning to breathe towards activating our para-sympathetic nervous system, learning to extend care, understanding and compassion to ourselves from a psycho-physiological place of greater groundedness, stability and care.


11:15 – 11:30AM: The Fears of Compassion scale, followed by discussion and review of empirical support.
Working with the three directions of compassion, and fears of compassion and recognizing their importance via experiential contemplative exercise; “The Compassionate Other”.


11:30 – 12:00PM: The Multipe Selves framework. Learn about our different operating selves, with each activating different physiological and emotional systems, and practice archytype based cognitive behavioral excercises towards greater awareness of our different parts, and cultivation of our compassionate self through experienatial practice.  

Dr. Yotam Heineberg is a licensed clinical psychologist and a clinical faculty member at Palo Alto university's Gronowski Center, where he offers supervision, clinical and didactic psychotherapy training in Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), and other compassion focused approaches to healing and growth. 
Dr. Heineberg is also a Research Fellow at Stanford University with the Center for Compassion and Altruism, Research and Education (CCARE), where he develops various compassion programs to support personal and collective resilience, as well as compassion for self and others. He also designs and delivers compassion-based burnout reduction programs that support nurses, clinicians, leaders and patients in large hospital settings.


Dr. Heineberg completed his doctorate at the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. consortium at Palo Alto University, and his post-doctoral training at Stanford University’s CCARE, during that time he trained with Professor Paul Gilbert, who developed the CFT model in the UK. He lives in San Francisco, runs a private practice and offers workshops nationally and internationally.  


Gilbert, P., Clark, M., Hempel, S., Miles, J.N.V. & Irons, C. (2004) Criticising and reassuring oneself: An exploration of forms, styles and reasons in female students. British Journal of Clinical Psychology43, 31-50.


Gilbert, P. (2004). Depression: A biopsychosocial, integrative and evolutionary approach. In, M. Power (ed). Mood Disorders: A Handbook of Science and Practice (p. 99-142).  Chichester: J Wiley.


Gilbert, P. (2005). Social Mentalities: A biopsychosocial and evolutionary reflection on social relationships.  In. M. Baldwin (ed). Interpersonal Cognition. (p.299-333). New York: Guilford.


Gilbert, P., & Proctor, S. (2006). Compassionate mind training for people with high shame and self-criticism: Overview and pilot study of a group therapy approach. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 13, 353–379.


Gilbert, P. (2009). The Compassionate Mind. A New Approach to the Challenges of Life:. New York: New Harbinger.


Gilbert, P. (2009). Overcoming Depression: A Self-Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques. Third Edition New York Basic Books.


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


Gilbert, P., McEwan, K., Matos, M. & Rivis, A. (2010). Fear of compassion: Development of three self-report measures.Psychology and Psychotherapy.


Gilbert, P., McEwan, K., Gibbons, L., Chotai, S., Duarte, J. & Matos, M. (2012) Fears of compassion and happiness in relation to alexithymia, mindfulness and self-criticism. Psychology and Psychotherapy. 84, 239–255 DOI:10.1348/147608310X526511.

CPA is co-sponsoring with SFPA. The California Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CPA maintains responsibility for this program and its contents. 2 CE approved.

Saturday, September 7, 2019, 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM
RAMS, Inc.
4355 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA  94118
Annette Taylor, Administrator
408-757-7720 (p)
CE Workshops
Registration is closed
No Fee