Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) focuses on assisting individuals who suffer from self-criticism and shame which can lead them into other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. CFT looks at using drive systems to direct clients toward goals and resources while experiencing feelings of anticipation and pleasure. It has been found that individuals with an over-stimulated drive system may engage in risky behaviors such as unsafe sexual practices and drug or alcohol abuse. CFT is a varied therapy which uses approaches from neuroscience to Buddhism.
How Does CFT Work?
CFT is based on the theory that various systems evolved through man’s history to assist his survival. These are threat, drive, and contentment systems. The theory considers how early man was keen to avoid threats whilst seeking resources of food or intimacy as well as enjoying being part of a social community. CFT believes these systems continue to be active and to drive our human emotions, actions, and perspectives. For example when threats are perceived a person may experience various feelings such as fear, anxiety or anger as well as exhibiting various behaviours including submission or a fight or flight response. Equally it is believed that man has develop various cognitive biases such as jumping to conclusions, stereotyping, or assuming it is always better to be safe.
Issues Treated with CFT
CFT can assist individuals who find it challenging to understand, feel, or express compassion. This therapy can be an impartial place for identifying any causes for their difficulties with compassion as well as exploring steps towards improving this. This type of therapy can effectively at assist individuals with handling any upsetting thoughts, behaviours or feelings. This can be especially crucial for dealing with an individual suffering from feelings of self-attack. Other concerns treated with CFT include: Anxiety, shame, self-criticism, depression, disordered eating, anger, self-injury and psychosis.