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Experiencing Compassion-Focused Therapy from the Inside Out: A Self-Practice/Self-Reflection Workbook for Therapists

by Russell L Kolts, Tobyn Bell, James Bennett-Levy and Chris Irons Guilford Publications
Pub Date:
Pbk 332 pages
AU$72.00 NZ$73.91
Product Status: In Stock Now
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For therapists wishing to build their skills in compassion-focused therapy (CFT), this powerful workbook presents a unique evidence-based training approach. Self-Practice/Self-Reflection (SP/SR) enables therapists to apply CFT techniques to themselves and reflect on the experience as they work through 34 brief, carefully crafted modules. The authors are master trainers who elucidate the multiple layers of CFT, which integrates cognitive-behavioral therapy, evolutionary science, mindfulness, and other approaches. Three extended therapist examples serve as companions throughout the SP/SR journey. In a large-size format for easy photocopying, the volume includes 12 reproducible worksheets. Purchasers get access to a webpage where they can download and print the reproducible materials.


Audience: Therapists of all levels of experience, including clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, counselors, and psychiatric nurses.


Course Use: May serve as a text in graduate-level courses on compassion-focused therapy.

Setting the Scene for CFT SP/SR
Chapter 1. Introducing Experiencing Compassion-Focused Therapy from the Inside Out
Chapter 2. A Brief Roadmap to CFT
Chapter 3. Why Do SP/SR?
Chapter 4. Getting the Most from SP/SR
Chapter 5. A Trio of Companions
I. Developing Compassionate Understanding
Module 1. Initial Assessment and Identifying a Challenge
Module 2. Three Systems of Emotion
Module 3. Soothing Rhythm Breathing
Module 4. Understanding the Tricky Brain
Module 5. Exploring Old Brain–New Brain Loops
Module 6. Mindful Breathing
Module 7. Shaped by Our Experiences
Module 8. Compassionate Functional Analysis
Module 9. Safe-Place Imagery
Module 10. Exploring Attachment Style
Module 11. Exploring Fears of Compassion
Module 12. Threat-Focused Formulation in CFT: Historical Influences and Key Fears
Module 13. Threat-Focused Formulation in CFT: Safety Strategies and Unintended Consequences
Module 14. The Mindful Check-In
Module 15. Unpacking Compassion
Module 16. Mindfulness of Self-Criticism Diary
Module 17. Midprogram Assessment
II. Cultivating Compassionate Ways of Being
Module 18. Different Versions of the Self: The Threat-Based Self
Module 19. Cultivating the Compassionate Self
Module 20. The Compassionate Self in Action
Module 21. Deepening the Compassionate Self
Module 22. Behavioral Experiments in CFT
III. Developing the Flows of Compassion
Module 23. Compassion from Self to Others: Skill Building Using Memory
Module 24. Compassion from Self to Others: Skill Building Using Imagery
Module 25. Compassion from Self to Others: Compassionate Behavior
Module 26. Compassion from Others to Self: Skill Building Using Memory
Module 27. Compassion from Others to Self: Opening to Kindness from Others
Module 28. Compassion Flowing to the Self: Compassionate Letter Writing
IV. Engaging Compassionately with Our Multiple Selves
Module 29. Getting to Know Our Multiple Selves
Module 30. Writing from the Multiple Selves
Module 31. Attachment and the Professional Self
Module 32. The Internal Compassionate Supervisor
Module 33. Using Your Internal Compassionate Supervisor to Work with a Difficulty
V. Reflecting on Your CFT SP/SR Journey
Module 34. Maintaining and Enhancing Compassionate Growth

CFT is a bold new approach to psychotherapy based on our innate capacity to transform emotional suffering—our own and others'—by cultivating care and kindness. This workbook introduces clinicians to CFT and provides a first-person experiential framework for transferring that knowledge into clinical practice. A special strength of this book is its versatility; it invites clinicians to explore up to 34 different aspects of CFT that are most personally relevant. Highly recommended for novice and seasoned therapists who want to experience and share the life-changing potential of CFT.”


—Christopher Germer, PhD, private practice, Arlington, Massachusetts



“CFT is becoming an essential technique in the armamentarium of the mental health clinician. This book allows clinicians to understand the power of CFT through applying the therapy to themselves, and by doing so, to improve both their own lives and their clinical effectiveness. The authors are to be commended for this superb, straightforward guide that allows the reader to truly experience CFT 'from the inside out.'”


—James R. Doty, MD, Founder and Director, Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, Stanford University



“A 'must read' for all therapists! This book does an amazing job of taking the complex, empirically based principles of CFT and weaving them into an easy-to-implement guide to personal practice. Any therapist who wants to help clients develop greater self-compassion should read this book first in order to see how it all works. You will learn how to be kinder and more supportive to yourself using the practices of CFT. The SP/SR approach not only will improve the quality of your professional practice, but also will help you become happier and more emotionally resilient along the way.”


—Kristin Neff, PhD, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Texas at Austin



“This book is an extraordinary achievement. It takes therapists to the heart and soul of CFT practice, inviting them to genuinely embody and experience compassion for both self and others. The workbook is intellectually vigorous and packed with a rich array of research and practices. This is a volume that will enrich the knowledge of novice and seasoned practitioners alike, and must be the go-to resource for anyone wanting to develop a deep understanding of CFT.”


—Graham Music, PhD, Tavistock Centre, London, United Kingdom
Russell L. Kolts, PhD is Professor of Psychology at Eastern Washington University. An internationally recognized trainer in compassion-focused therapy (CFT), Dr. Kolts has pioneered the use of CFT in the treatment of problematic anger. He has authored or coauthored numerous scholarly articles and books for both professionals and general readers, including Buddhist Psychology and CBT: A Practitioner’s Guide. Dr. Kolts has given a TEDx talk entitled "Anger, Compassion, and What it Means to be Strong," and is founding director of the Inland Northwest Compassionate Mind Center in Spokane, Washington.  


Tobyn Bell, MSc, is a practitioner of compassion-focused therapy (CFT) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) based in Greater Manchester, United Kingdom. He is a CFT trainer for the Compassionate Mind Foundation and a CBT trainer, supervisor, and program lead at the Greater Manchester CBT Training Centre (National Health Service), which is associated with Manchester University. Mr. Bell has published research on mental imagery and compassion and is a registered mental health nurse and trained mindfulness teacher.  


James Bennett-Levy is Professor of Mental Health and Psychological Well-Being at the University of Sydney, Australia. As a psychotherapy trainer, he has taught in 22 countries, and is one of the most published researchers in the field of therapist training. In particular, he has pioneered and written extensively about self-practice/self-reflection. Dr. Bennett-Levy is coauthor or coeditor of several widely cited books on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), including Experiencing CBT from the Inside Out. He is Editor of the Guilford series Self-Practice/Self-Reflection Guides for Psychotherapists.


Chris Irons, PhD, DClinPsych, is Co-Director of Balanced Minds, an organization that provides compassion-focused therapy (CFT) services, training, and resources in London, United Kingdom. He is a board member of the Compassionate Mind Foundation and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Derby. Since the early 2000s, Dr. Irons has worked with Paul Gilbert and other colleagues on research and clinical developments linked to CFT. He has published numerous articles, book chapters, and books on compassion, attachment, shame, and self-criticism, and regularly provides CFT teaching, training, workshops, and retreats around the world.