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By Erin Heath, New Harbinger Publications Blog Editor

Bringing compassion into therapy is about helping effectively, not just about feeling helpful. In this way, science is core to compassion, and the CFT therapist is likely to draw upon any tools that have good science behind them. In fact, a core value of CFT therapists is not ignoring good science. So if you want to do CFT, you don’t have to give up any of the things you already do that work.

Editor’s Note: The following is a Q&A with Russell Kolts, PhD, author of CFT Made Simple: A Clinician’s Guide to Practicing Compassion-Focused Therapy.

Tell us a bit about your journey to learning and ultimately teaching compassion-focused therapy.

Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) is rooted in a scientific explanation of how our brains have become the way they are through the history of human evolution. From this foundational understanding, CFT focuses on the purposeful cultivation of compassion, the skills and strengths that flow from it, and how to use them to work effectively with human suffering.

When working with people with psychosis, a compassionate approach is critical, given the high rates of trauma history and the trauma that can be experienced as a result of psychosis symptoms. In some cases, the treatment of psychosis itself can even be traumatizing (for example, being brought into treatment involuntarily by the police).


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