Compassion Focused Therapy Group
Due to COVID-19 this group is currently being ran on a virtual platform.
Compassion-Focussed Therapy has been shown to be particularly helpful as an approach for individuals with high levels of shame and self-criticism, often as a result of past trauma including physical illness and/or difficult relationships.
For more information about the approach, please refer to: https://compassionatemind.co.uk/
You can be referred into the group by anyone who works in the Health Psychology Service in Cumbria.
General information about the group
The group runs for eight weekly sessions, each lasting 2 ½ hours. We currently alternate the group between Carlisle, Wigton and Cockermouth. The group involves learning new ways of managing difficult thoughts and feelings, and developing compassion in three ways: to ourselves, to others and from others.
There is a mixture of teaching, group discussion, self-reflection and interactive exercises and there is a requirement that you take an active part in the group sessions. There will be no direct content on managing physical symptoms, but we hope that what you learn in the group will help you to manage these in a different way. The main topics covered are:
- Learning about how our minds work, how they can get caught up in difficult loops, and why they are difficult to manage.
- Exploring what compassion means, what it involves, and how you might develop skills in it.
- Learning and practicing different exercises to help you to develop your ‘compassionate mind.’
- Looking at, and working with, fears, blocks and difficulties in developing compassion.
- Learning how bringing compassion to your difficulties may help make these easier to deal with.
Recordings of practices that patients are encouraged to try during the group can be found by clicking here.
Quotes from people who have been to the compassion-focused therapy group:
"This was an excellent course, with a lovely group. The group has changed my feelings about a lot of things and I felt comfortable to speak out. I feel I had a breakthrough halfway through the sessions re self-compassion. It has been extremely helpful to me and something I will always remember – thank you to all involved, you have helped to lift a big weight I have carried around for a long time."
"Really helpful – I feel calmer and more optimistic that I can deal with things better in myself. I now remember that I have the resources within myself and what’s happened in the past isn’t my fault it’s just life."
"I enjoyed meeting people who are suffering the same way – I wasn’t alone."
"Teachers very engaging and explain things again if needed – lovely compassionate people"
"I no longer (or try not to!) ‘beat myself up’ or criticise myself for feelings I experience. I have learned to be more of a compassionate person, to myself and others and intend to continue this. I finally accept myself."
"It helped me to come to terms with the past and realise that everything is not my fault"
"I now accept myself for me. It has been very helpful and insightful and I intend to continue learning about compassion and what it means in every day to day life towards myself and others."