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

by Russell Kolts, Tobyn Bell, James Bennett-Levy and Chris Irons Guilford Publications
Pub Date:
Hbk 332 pages
AU$149.00 NZ$155.65
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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Engaging and authoritative, this unique workbook enables therapists and students to build technical savvy in contemporary CBT interventions while deepening their self-awareness and therapeutic relationship skills. Self-practice/self-reflection (SP/SR), an evidence-based training strategy, is presented in 12 carefully sequenced modules. Therapists are guided to enhance their skills by identifying, formulating, and addressing a professional or personal problem using CBT, and reflecting on the experience. The book's large-size format makes it easy to use the 34 reproducible worksheets and forms. Purchasers also get access to a Web page 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 CBT courses.



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

“I applaud the authors for this excellent book. CBT offers highly effective tools for change, but convincing clients to use them is not always easy. There is no doubt that personal practice with the techniques will enhance the therapist's ability to motivate clients. Therapists will be better able to respond to queries convincingly and preempt any problems in implementation. Importantly, SP/SR is likely to increase practitioners' empathy and respect for clients, thus enhancing the therapeutic alliance and improving outcomes.”


—Analise O'Donovan, PhD, School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University, Australia


“As a reader, you are in good hands. The authors not only have used these methods themselves, they have guided hundreds of therapists through the process. The exercises, worksheets, and instructive text are all road-tested and designed to help you have the best experience possible using CBT for self-practice. The self-reflection exercises integrated into this book help you maximize your learning….Along the way, your efforts are likely to kindle new depths of meaning and new ways of being to help you become a better therapist and a happier person.”


—from the Foreword by Christine A. Padesky, PhD, Center for Cognitive Therapy, Huntington Beach, California


“This terrific book places direct personal experience of CBT right at the heart of the training process. SP/SR has been an enduring passion for Bennett-Levy and his international team of authors for more than 15 years, and this steady commitment shines through in the book’s integration of clearly explained theory, evidence, and lucidly designed and written practical modules. Encouraging us to apply CBT concepts and methods to ourselves, the book highlights our common humanity—because we and our patients have the same imperfect human minds, and we too can liberate ourselves from unhelpful old patterns in just the same way. A radical and refreshing approach!”


—Melanie Fennell, PhD, Oxford Mindfulness Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, United Kingdom


“This workbook skillfully and compassionately walks mental health trainees and experienced practitioners alike through the steps of applying the evidence-based practices of CBT to themselves for professional and personal growth. Using well-crafted written and experiential exercises, Bennett-Levy et al. help the reader to recognize self-limiting 'old ways of being' and to develop and maintain 'new ways of being.' The result is an increase in empathy for clients who struggle with the therapeutic process (which is arduous!) and an enhanced congruency between what therapists offer their clients and how they live their own lives. The book will be of great benefit in graduate training, in group supervision, as a professional development project, or as part of a CBT retreat with colleagues.”


—Cory F. Newman, PhD, ABPP, Director, Center for Cognitive Therapy, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania


“The authors have done CBT a great service. Good teachers know their subject inside out; therapists who use CBT tools to understand their own vulnerabilities and strengths—and change long-standing habits of thinking and behavior—will be better at teaching these tools to clients. Clients sense this authenticity. The authors show how to imbue CBT with compassion, humanity, and the humility that comes from direct experience of how hard change can be.”


—Willem Kuyken, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, United Kingdom


“This book builds on what we already know about working with clients: learning through experience is far more valuable than being told something or reading about it. Of course, this principle applies just as much to the therapist. The book will likely be helpful to clinicians at all career stages who wish to improve their ability to help others or who are working with challenging clients.”


—Adam S. Radomsky, PhD, Department of Psychology, Concordia University, Canada


“For years, we have been practicing and teaching CBT from the outside in: theoretical underpinnings, procedures, protocols, and techniques. At long last, we have a book that enhances CBT practice through a systematic process of self-practice and self-reflection. The authors have done an exceptional job of fostering an experiential journey through which understanding of the therapist's self and of patients can be developed via an emphasis on process, strengths, and culture. This book should be read by all CBT practitioners and trainers.”


—Chee-Wing Wong, PsychD, Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

James Bennett-Levy, PhD, is Associate Professor in Mental Health at the University Center for Rural Health, University of Sydney, Australia. He has pioneered self-experiential CBT training since his first self-practice/self-reflection (SP/SR) paper in 2001, and has made a significant contribution to the therapist training literature with over 25 CBT training publications. In particular, his 2006 Declarative-Procedural-Reflective model of therapist skill development is widely used and cited. Dr. Bennett-Levy is coauthor or coeditor of several books on CBT practice, including, most recently, the Oxford Guide to Imagery in Cognitive Therapy.


Richard Thwaites, DClinPsy, is a consultant clinical psychologist and CBT therapist who serves as Clinical Director for a large National Health Service psychological therapies service in the United Kingdom. In addition to delivering therapy, he provides clinical leadership, supervision, training, and consultancy in CBT, including the implementation of SP/SR programs. His research interests include the role of the therapeutic relationship in CBT and the use of reflective practice in the process of skill development.


Beverly Haarhoff, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand, where she was instrumental in setting up the first Postgraduate Diploma in CBT in the southern hemisphere. For the past 14 years she has trained and supervised both CBT and clinical psychology trainees. Her research has focused primarily on SP/SR as mechanisms to support and improve therapist skill acquisition in CBT therapists at all levels of development. Dr. Haarhoff has a private clinical practice and regularly presents CBT training workshops.


Helen Perry, MA, is Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney and a clinical psychologist in private practice. She played a key role in creating the CBT Diploma Program at Massey University and is an active CBT trainer and supervisor. She served as Project Manager for a research study focusing on online CBT training and coauthored two papers in this area. Ms. Perry has worked across the lifespan in a wide range of clinical settings. Her special interests are in complex/comorbid depression and anxiety, and trauma- and stress-related disorders.