Acting into Compassion: Using acting skills in CFT to cultivate the compassionate mind

5th and 6th July

Venue: Old Diorama Arts Centre, Euston, London, UK

This workshop includes


CFT & Acting Skills

In this innovative 2-day experiential workshop, facilitated by Korina Ioannou (Clinical Psychologist) and Gareth Kennerley (professional actor and director), we introduce various acting techniques to help participants develop and embody different ‘versions of themselves’, with an emphasis on creating and enacting a ‘compassionate self’, in line with Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT).

Participants will be immersed into learning, from the inside-out, how the body and mind can work together to develop and foster certain motivations and emotional experiences.

We will guide you through a series of physical and vocal warm up exercises to prepare the body, release tension, and find a point of neutrality.

We will explore how different emotion systems might translate into a language of physicality and learn and practise the building blocks of character creation, through observation and embodiment. This will give us a platform of understanding and enacting different versions of ourselves, including a compassionate one.

The workshop will involve guided visualisations, emotional memory exercises, physical embodiment, role-play, and self-discovery. We will practise and ‘play’ individually, in small groups and as a big group.

Who is the workshop for?

The workshop is aimed at individuals who, as part of their professional roles, have an interest in using the body to explore, cultivate and develop specific emotional experiences, behaviours, and ‘characters’, including the discovery of a compassionate version of oneself.

It is desirable that participants are familiar with Compassion Focused Therapy, either through professional training and/or personal experience of the model.

As this is an experiential workshop, involving exploratory work and improvisation, we expect that you will be able to bring an open-mind and a readiness to experiment with different ‘parts’ of you, in a safe and respectful environment. A willingness to ‘play’ and have fun is an absolute requirement!

About the workshop facilitators

Gareth Kennerley

Compassion Focused Therapy

Gareth is a professional actor, acting coach, performance trainer and director, working a creative portfolio career for 20 years. He trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and is an award nominated performer in theatre, working in such prestigious venues as The National Theatre, The Donmar, The Almeida and several West End Theatres in various acclaimed productions. He has also appeared in TV, Film and short Film projects as well as lending his voice to radio series.

As a trainer, coach and director he has worked with students of all ages teaching acting, audition technique, verse, presentation skills, voice work and directing upwards of 20 productions – often through his own company, Scaffold State. He is a friendly, innovative and visionary teacher drawing on a wide range of methodologies and his personal lived experience of working with the best creatives in the performance industry.

His focus is often concerned in particular with the freedom of expression, spontaneity, honesty, physicality, clarity of communication and imaginative engagement of his students. He is thrilled to be working on this project, and sees a real potential in the mutual learning process that will take place as a result of his involvement with CFT.

Korina Ioannou is a Clinical Psychologist who, for many years, has used CFT with clients presenting with a variety of severe and enduring mental health problems. She’s had many years of experience in the NHS, and has been co-director of Balanced Minds, an organisation providing compassion focused therapy, supervision and training to the general public. Korina is passionate about developing body-based approaches (drawn from physical practices and the creative arts) to foster growth in her professional work, and personal life.

She has worked with Gareth for many years, and has benefited personally and professionally from his guidance as an acting teacher. Together, they have been interested in more in-depth links between acting techniques and the development of the ‘compassionate self’.

Dr Korina Ioannou

Dr Korina Ioannou

Terms and Conditions

If, for any reason, after registering you decide not to attend, we will offer you a full refund (minus payment processing fee) or the option of a credit note to use for a future workshop, provided that you inform us by May 30th 2024.

In order to be able to run the workshop, we need to secure a minimum number of delegates, and if this is not met, we will postpone it for a future date. 

We will be able to confirm by June 3rd, 2024 and in case that the workshop gets postponed we will be able to offer you a full refund (minus payment processing fee) or the option of a credit note towards a future workshop. Unfortunately, we will not be able to cover the repayment of any travel or accommodation costs in the event that the workshop does not take place.

Frequently Asked Questions

Any clinician, coach, teacher or professional who is interested in creative ways of develop the compassionate self, and further their skills in Compassion Focused Therapy

We’ll start at 9.30am and finish at 5pm. 

Yes, all participants will receive a certificate of attendance to log CPD hours

No! This is a course for anyone, regardless of whether your have any experience of acting or not. The course will focus on how acting skills can be a powerful way to develop qualities of compassion

We will provide hot beverages throughout the two days. Lunch is not provided. Delegates will have several choices in nearby cafes and restaurants.

Contact Dr Korina Ioannou if you have any questions about the workshop –