Compassionate Mind Training (CMT):

Train the Trainer

What is Compassionate Mind Training (CMT)?

Compassionate Mind Training is an integral part of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). It involves psycho-education that helps us to understand our tricky brains and how difficult it can be to be ‘human’, whilst teaching a variety of mind and body skills that help us to be with these struggles in a helpful and supportive way. 

We can learn to direct our compassionate minds to others and to ourselves, with the intention to be helpful not harmful.

What is the 8-week CMT course?

In 2015, Dr Chris Irons and Dr Charlie Heriot-Maitland developed and ran the first 8 Week CMT course for the general public. The course built upon the pioneering work of Professor Paul Gilbert and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), and was designed to bring many of the ideas and practices of CMT to non-clinical populations.

This 8 Week CMT group has now been run across the world, including in the UK, Greece, Denmark, Spain, South America and Australia. It’s been run with a variety of populations, including:

How effective is the CMT course?

In 2020, Chris and Charlie published findings of the 8-week course based on 55 participants who completed pre- and post- course questionnaires. The research found that the course led to:

These changes were maintained at 3-month follow-up, and the results suggested that increases in self-compassion – and reductions in self-criticism – were important in participants’ improvement in well-being and psychological distress.

The abstract of the paper can be found here, and if you’d like a full copy of the article, contact chris@balancedminds.com

The CMT Facilitator Training course

The CMT Facilitator Training (‘train the trainer’) course will equip participants with the theoretical and practical skills to deliver the 8-week CMT course (Irons & Heriot-Maitland, 2020), which is based upon the pioneering work of Professor Paul Gilbert.

The training consists of four parts:, which includes elements of personal practice, theoretical and practical work, responding to common issues and feedback, and supervision of facilitating CMT sessions.

The only pre-requisite for participants enrolling on this course is that they must be a health or social care practitioner with experience of working with mental health and wellbeing.

The total fee for the course is £1500 (all four parts); however, if a participant has already attended an 8-week course (Part 1) or a CFT introductory training (Part 2) and can provide evidence of this at the time of enrolling, they will not be required to (re-)attend this part.

PART 1 – Personal practice

Fee: £250*

Date: Accessible anytime – content is pre-recorded

Time: 8 x 2 hours*

Content: Experiencing the CMT 8-week course as a participant.

Attendance can be either via one of the live courses that are run by Balanced Minds at various points / locations over the year, or via a pre-recorded version that can be accessed from home in your own time.

(*8 x 2 hours and £250 fee is for the pre-recorded version only. Live courses are 8 x 2.5 hours and between £300- £345, depending on location)

Part 2 – Introduction to CFT

Fee: £250

Date: get in to touch for next dates (info@balancedminds.com)

Time: Two days

Content: A two day introductory workshop facilitated by an experienced CFT trainers


This part provides participants with a solid foundation in the science and theory of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and it’s application for promoting wellbeing

PART 3 – The 8-week protocol

Fee: £625

Date:  29th November – 3rd December 2021 (online)

Time:  9.30am-4.30pm UK

Content: A 5-day workshop comprising a comprehensive walkthrough the 8- week protocol, including practical exercises, role plays, dealing with feedback, questions, and common issues.

Day 1: Overview & Week 1

Day 2: Weeks 2 & 3

Day 3: Weeks 4 & 5

Day 4: Weeks 6 & 7

Day 5: Week 8 & Wrap up

PART 4 – Supervision

Fee: £375

Date: To be confirmed upon completion of Part 3

Time: TBC upon completion of Part 3

Content: After completing Parts 1-3, supervision is providing in the form of ‘drop in’ 90-min online consultation groups, with 3-4 participants in each.

 The minimum requirement to complete Part 4 is participation in 8 supervision groups. 

 Group date options will be posted on the Balanced Minds website in December 2021, and there will be no time limit for completing all 8. 

About your trainers

Drs Chris Irons

Hi, i’m Chris. I’m a clinical psychologist specialising in Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Compassionate Mind Training (CMT).

I’ve got many years of experience in helping individuals, groups and organisations cultivate their compassionate minds – becoming more compassionate with themselves and others. I’ve published lots of research on the benefits of compassion, and have authored a number of compassion-related books, including the Compassionate Mind Workbook & Compassionate Mind Approach to Difficult Emotions.

Charlie Heriot-Maitland

Hi, I’m Charlie. I am a clinical psychologist specialising in Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Compassionate Mind Training (CMT).

I provide compassion-focused interventions for individuals, groups, and organisations. I have also run over a hundred various compassion training workshops both nationally and internationally.

Sign up to the training

CMT Facilitator Training can either be booked as a training package, or as individual training events.

To book a training package:

PARTS 1, 2, 3 & 4

The full training package (£1500)

PARTS 1, 3 & 4

For those who have already attended at least 2 days CFT intro training (£1250)

PARTS 3 & 4

For those who have already attended at least 2 days CFT intro training and an 8-week CMT course (£1000)

To book an individual training event:


Available to start anytime after 1st July 2021

Personal practice – A self-guided 8-week course (£250)


30th Sep – 1st Oct 2021

Introduction to CFT – A 2-day workshop (£250)


29th Nov – 3rd Dec 2021

The 8-week protocol – A 5-day workshop (£625)