An Introduction to CFT

Explore how these pioneering approaches to psychotherapy can help you improve your wellbeing.

About this Event

The first wave of cognitive therapy focused heavily on behaviourist approaches to change, such as classical conditioning (Pavlov), and operant conditioning (Skinner).

The second wave came in the 1970s, with the arrival of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

CBT is based on the idea that thoughts lead to feelings, which lead to behaviours, and therefore the emphasis now switched to changing how we think.

We are now in the era of ‘third wave’ psychotherapy.

Interestingly, the focus of the third wave isn’t on changing thoughts or feelings themselves. Instead, these approaches aim to change our relationship to our thoughts and feelings, so we can enjoy greater wellbeing in day to day life.

Integrating techniques from CBT with concepts from neuroscience, mindfulness, evolutionary theory, and the science of compassion, third wave approaches have the potential to make a valuable contribution to the work of any psychotherapist, counsellor, psychologist or coach.

With practice, they can help us recognise how we become entangled in streams of worry, self-criticism and ruminative thinking, and break free from these patterns to improve our wellbeing and realise more of our potential.

During this online conference, you’ll explore the rapidly developing evidence base for Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and explore how these pioneering approaches can offer an effective solution to many of the mental health problems we face today.

The day will combine presentations with practical exercises, and will feature talks from three of the UK’s leading clinical psychologists. It is an introductory conference, and no prior experience or knowledge of any of the approaches is required.

For a full breakdown of the lectures, speakers (and their reading recommendations) emailed to your inbox, please click here.


  • Compassion Focused Therapy; how neuroscience, mindfulness, and evolutionary science have informed the development of CFT, why developing positive feelings associated with contentment, safeness and soothing can play a major role in managing distress and promoting wellbeing, and how compassion can be ‘put to work’ to alleviate suffering – Dr Chris Irons, PhD
  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy; the three foundations upon which DBT rests – zen, behaviourism and dialectics (and how these integrate), what dialectics are, the vital role they play in the therapeutic process, and how DBT can be applied to treat a wide range of mental health problems – Professor Michaela Swales, PhD
  • Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy; the science and theory that informs MBCT, why it is particularly helpful for treating recurrent depression and anxiety disorders, and how MBCT can be applied for greater self-acceptance; enabling you to face life’s difficulties with self-compassion instead of self criticism – Dr Cinzia Pezzolesi, PhD

You’ll learn how third wave approaches can help you improve your own wellbeing, but also how they can be applied to help others do the same.

For a full breakdown of the lectures, speakers (and their reading recommendations) emailed to your inbox, please click here.


Dec 20 2020


10:00 am - 12:00 pm
QR Code

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *