Compassion-focused therapy looks at evolution theory and how this affects the way we think. Essentially, us humans have two parts to our brains. The primitive or ‘old’ part helps us survive. It ensures we have food, shelter, are loved and are safe. This part is also responsible for the fight, flight or freeze stress response and tends to be where problems like anxiety, and even sadness stem from.
The modern or ‘new’ part of the brain has come about during the evolution process. This part allows us to have a sense of self and lets us imagine and visualise. We can come up with ideas and choose how we want to live.
The thing is, the new and old parts can often conflict or get confused. The basic and instinctual drivers of the old part can take over and create protective emotions (like anxiety) Being able to comment on the content of our own minds can be sometimes be a design flaw in an otherwise amazing brain.
By acknowledging this and taking a look at how our brains have evolved to work it makes it a lot easier to understand why we can sometimes feel this way. It’s not our fault it’s just the way our tricky brains work.
Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) helps those who struggle with the shame and self-criticism that can result from early experiences of abuse or neglect. It teaches clients to cultivate skills in compassion and self-compassion, which can help regulate mood and lead to feelings of safety, self-acceptance, and comfort. It also helps us to let go of the self-blame we can often attach to negative thoughts.
Who can it help?
Compassion-focused therapy is particularly helpful for those who have the following:
Deep feelings of shame or guilt, a history of bullying, a history or physical or emotional abuse, an unrelenting inner critic, difficulties trusting, difficulties (or an inability) to feel kind towards themselves
It can therefore be helpful for those with the following mental health challenges:
Anxiety (including panic attacks) depression, self-esteem issues, eating disorders, self-criticism, anger and self-harm
If you think this is something that could help you please contact me to arrange a free 30 minute appointment.