Introduction to Compassion Focused Therapy – Dublin (Ireland)
Compassion focused therapy is rooted in an evolutionary model of human psychology. Participants on the course will be introduced to the difficulties that the human brain encounters because of its evolutionary history and the way in which old motivation and emotional systems interact with newly evolved cognitive competencies and intelligences. For example, humans are the only species that self-monitor in a particular way and while this has advantages, it is also is a source for a lot of shame, anxiety and depression.
Participants will also be introduced to the three affect regulation systems linked to threat awareness and coping, reward and resource seeking, and contentment and soothing — and how they form complex patterns within the mind.
Participants will learn how early life experiences can shape the organisation of our emotions increasing our dispositions towards threat based emotions that underpin a lot of mental health difficulties.
In the introduction a particular focus will be on a trans-diagnostic problem that sits underneath many mental health problems which is shame and high levels of self-criticism. Shame and self-criticism can accentuate and maintain difficulties and can complicate and undermine therapeutic efforts. These individuals often come from abusive/bullying, neglectful and/or demanding/critical backgrounds, and have difficulties in regulating emotions through affiliative and soothing systems. Compassion Focused Therapy and Compassionate Mind Training were developed with, and for, people from such backgrounds to address chronic problems associated with shame and self-criticism.
This workshop will help participants bring an evolutionary framework to the conceptualisation of mental health problems and their alleviation. This workshop draws on new research on the nature of different types of positive affect (activating verses soothing). Using these insights with an evolutionary and attachment focus the workshop explores the components of self-compassion and how the application for self-compassion can facilitate and promote well-being.
The fears, blocks and resistances to self-compassion will be explored. The workshop covers the following materials:
Introduction to the evolutionary model of human psychology and vulnerability to mental health difficulties
Understanding an evolutionary approach to affect regulation and affect dysregulation
The role of attachment and early secure base and safe haven for development and compassion cultivation
The nature of the two psychologies compassion with a 12 constituent elements and their link to the care- giving and receiving motivational systems
Compassion as flow: compassion to others, been open to compassion from others and self-compassion
Practices that stimulate compassionate mental states and build a sense of the compassionate self-identity
How to using compassionate mental states and the sense a grounded compassionate self to address problems such as self-criticism and shame
Therapy as creating different patterns in the mind conducive to well-being