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:

  • general population
  • health care staff
  • social care staff
  • parents
  • clinical groups (e.g. people with diagnosed mental health problems)

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:

  • significant increases in compassion, self-reassurance, social rank, positive emotions, and well-being
  • significant reductions in self-criticism, attachment anxiety, and psychological distress.

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.



Personal practice

(8 x 2 hours*)

Fee: £250*

Date: Self-guided, available to start anytime after 1st July 2021



Introduction to CFT

(2 days)

Fee: £250

Date & Time: 30th September & 1st October 2021 (online – 9.30am-4.30pm UK)


The 8-week protocol

(5 days)

Fee: £625

Date & Time: 29th November – 3rd December 2021 (online – 9.30am-4.30pm UK)



(8 x 1.5 hours)

Fee: £375

Date & Time: TBC following completion of Part 3  

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)

A 2-day introductory workshop facilitated by an experienced CFT trainer.

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

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

After completing Parts 1-3, supervision is provided 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 balancedminds.com website, and there will be no time limit for completing all 8.


About your trainers

Photo of Clinical Psychologist Dr Chris Irons
Dr Chris Irons

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

I’ve been lucky to be working with Paul Gilbert – and CFT – for the past 20 years, and have loved finding ways to develop Compassionate Mind Training so that more people are able to benefit from the ideas and practices linked to it.

I’m also the author of a number of CFT books, including the Compassionate Mind Workbook, The Compassionate Mind Approach to Difficult Emotions, and CFT from the Inside Out.

Photo of Clinical Psychologist Dr Charlie Heriot-Maitland
Dr Charlie Heriot Maitland

Hi, I’m Charlie. I am a clinical psychologist, researcher and trainer interested in the roles of safeness and compassion in mental health and wellbeing.

I provide therapy, supervision, and consultation for Balanced Minds, which is a UK organisation specialising in CFT.

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:

PART 1 – available to start anytime after 1st July 2021

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

PART 2 – 30th Sep – 1st Oct 2021

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

PART 3 – 29th Nov – 3rd Dec 2021

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

Further info

If you’d like further information about the training, or find out which parts of the training you might need to sign up for, please get in touch with Chris (chris@balancedminds.com) or Charlie (charlie@balancedminds.com)