CFT for relating to voices and emotional selves in psychosis
A one day workshop presented by Dr Charlie Heriot-Maitland. Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) aims to help people regulate threat processing by building internal feelings of safeness and affiliation, and by providing contexts, practices and insights that facilitate the development of compassion to self and others. The focus is on helping people feel safe in relation to their experiences and their social worlds. This one-day workshop will particularly benefit clinicians with experience of working with people with psychosis who wish to develop their skills in this area. This workshop will train participants in how to orientate their CBT interventions for people with psychosis towards the process of developing compassion, in line with CFT aims. The claim is that existing CBT for psychosis techniques may become more useful and effective when applied within a compassion-orientated framework, because the compassionate mind provides a secure base and grounding from which to approach difficult (and dissociated) emotions, memories, voices, etc. Also, the process of building capacity in the soothing/affiliative system may help to calm threat processing, thereby making the interventions more accessible and tolerable to clients with psychosis. Workshop participants will be introduced to the CFT model of compassion and how to apply this model with people experiencing distressing symptoms of psychosis. In particular, participants will learn how to help their clients build up capacity for safeness, soothing and affiliative emotion, and to cultivate a compassionate self – a self-identity with the required qualities and attributes to approach fears and to engage with supportive dialogue between voices and different emotional parts.