Introduction to Compassion Focused Therapy with Dr. Chris Irons
2 Day Workshop
Date: December 12 & 13 2019
Location: Radisson Blu Hotel, Dublin Airport
Registration: 9.30am - 10am
Start: 10.00 a.m.
Finish: 4.30 p.m.
Coffee/Tea, Refreshments and Lunch will be provided on both days.
(This workshop is for practitioners who are interested in starting to bring CFT into their work and for those who have been using CFT, but have not been able to attend training. It is also for those who would like to be able to attend advanced training in CFT, but have never be able to attend the initial CFT training.)
Compassion focused therapy is rooted in an evolutionary model of human psychology. Participants on the course will be introduced to the difficulties that the human brain encounters because of its evolutionary history and the way in which old motivation and emotional systems interact with newly evolved cognitive competencies and intelligences. For example, humans are the only species that self-monitor in a particular way and while this has advantages, it is also is a source for a lot of shame, anxiety and depression.
Participants will also be introduced to the three affect regulation systems linked to threat awareness and coping, reward and resource seeking, and contentment and soothing -- and how they form complex patterns within the mind.
Participants will learn how early life experiences can shape the organisation of our emotions increasing our dispositions towards threat based emotions that underpin a lot of mental health difficulties.
In the introduction a particular focus will be on a trans-diagnostic problem that sits underneath many mental health problems which is shame and high levels of self-criticism. Shame and self-criticism can accentuate and maintain difficulties and can complicate and undermine therapeutic efforts. These individuals often come from abusive/bullying, neglectful and/or demanding/critical backgrounds, and have difficulties in regulating emotions through affiliative and soothing systems. Compassion Focused Therapy and Compassionate Mind Training were developed with, and for, people from such backgrounds to address chronic problems associated with shame and self-criticism.
This workshop will help participants bring an evolutionary framework to the conceptualisation of mental health problems and their alleviation. This workshop draws on new research on the nature of different types of positive affect (activating verses soothing). Using these insights with an evolutionary and attachment focus the workshop explores the components of self-compassion and how the application for self-compassion can facilitate and promote well-being.
The fears, blocks and resistances to self-compassion will be explored. The workshop covers the following materials:
- Introduction to the evolutionary model of human psychology and vulnerability to mental health difficulties
- Understanding an evolutionary approach to affect regulation and affect dysregulation
- The role of attachment and early secure base and safe haven for development and compassion cultivation
- The nature of the two psychologies compassion with a 12 constituent elements and their link to the care- giving and receiving motivational systems
- Compassion as flow: compassion to others, been open to compassion from others and self-compassion
- Practices that stimulate compassionate mental states and build a sense of the compassionate self-identity
- How to using compassionate mental states and the sense a grounded compassionate self to address problems such as self-criticism and shame
- Therapy as creating different patterns in the mind conducive to well-being
About the Speaker
Dr Chris Irons is a clinical psychologist, researcher, writer and trainer specialising in Compassion Focused Therapy. He is co-director of Balanced Minds (www.balancedminds.com), a London based organisation providing compassion-focused psychological interventions for individuals and organisations.
He also works for the Compassionate Mind Foundation, and as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Derby.
For almost two decades, Chris has worked with Professor Paul Gilbert and other colleagues on research and clinical developments linked to CFT. He was involved in some of the initial research papers and book chapters on CFT (Gilbert & Irons, 2004, 2005), and has published many articles and book chapters on compassion, attachment, shame and self-criticism. He has authored a number of books, including ‘The Compassionate Mind Workbook’ (with Dr Elaine Beaumont) and ‘CFT from the Inside Out’ (with Russell Kolts, James Bennett-Levy and Tobyn Bell), and ‘The Compassionate Mind Approach for Difficult Emotions’
Chris regularly provides CFT teaching, training, workshops and retreats across the world.
Chris is an experienced clinician, having worked in the NHS and in independent practice for many years. He has recently been leading on the development of compassion based approaches for the general public to help people develop a more compassionate way of relating to themselves and others.
Cozolino, L. (2007). The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment and the Developing Brain. New York: Norton
Dalai Lama. (1995). The Power of Compassion. India: HarperCollins.
Fredrickson, B,L., Cohn, M,A., Coffey, K,A, Pek, J., & Finkel. S,A. (2008). Open hearts build lives: positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness mediation, build consequential personal resources, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1045-62. You can download this via academia.edu by clicking here.
Gerhardt, S. (2004). Why Love Matters. How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain. London: Bruner-Routledge.
Germer, C. (2009). The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions. New York: Guilford.
Gilbert, P. (2018) Living Like Crazy. Annwyn House
Gilbert, P. (ed) (2017) Compassion: Concepts, Research and Application. Routledge
Gilbert, P. (2010) Compassion Focused Therapy Distinctive Features Series. London: Routledge
Gilbert. P. (2009). The Compassionate Mind. Robinson
Gilbert P. (2007). Psychotherapy and Counselling for Depression (3rd edition): London. Sage.
Gilbert, P. (2000) Social mentalities: Internal ‘social’ conflicts & the role of inner-warmth & compassion in cognitive therapy. In P.Gilbert & K.G. Bailey (Eds). Genes on the Couch: Explorations in Evolutionary Psychotherapy. London: Routledge.
Gilbert, P. & Irons, C. (2005). Therapies for shame and self-attacking, using cognitive, behavioural, emotional imagery, and compassionate mind training. In P.Gilbert (Ed) Compassion: Conceptualisations, Research and use in Psychotherapy. London: Routledge.
Glasser, A. (2005). A Call to Compassion: Bringing Buddhist Practices of the Heart into the Soul of Psychotherapy. Berwick Maine: Nicolas-Hays.
Irons, C. & Beaumont, E. (2017) The Compassionate Mind Workbook. Robinson
Kolts, R. L. (2016) CFT Made Simple: A Clinician's Guide to Practising Compassion Focused Therapy. New Harbinger.
Leary, M.R., Tate, E.B., Adams, C.E., Allen, A.B. & Hancock, J. (2007). Self-Compassion and reactions to unpleasant self-relevant events: The implications of treating oneself kindly. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 887-904. There are optoins to access this article by clicking here.
Lee, D. (2005) The perfect nurturer: A model to develop a compassionate mind within the context of cognitive therapy. In P.Gilbert (Ed) Compassion: Conceptualisations, Research and use in Psychotherapy. London: Routledge
Mikulincer, M. & Shaver, P.R. (2007) Attachment in Adulthood: Structure, Dynamics, and Change. New York: Guilford
Welford, M. (2016) Compassion Focused Therapy for Dummies. John Wiley & Sons.
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