Compassion-Focused Therapy

February 1, 2018

Compassion-Focused Therapy

Compassion is a very important emotion for all people to experience in order to help those who are suffering. We need to be able to recognize suffering and to lend a helping hand. Compassion-focused therapy promotes mental and emotional healing by encouraging compassion in themselves and others.

Compassion is a very important quality to have as a human being. It can help open your heart and make you realize that you are not alone in any problems you are experiencing. Compassion can also improve your health by strengthening your immune system, lowering your stress and depression, and can help you understand yourself and others in times of crisis and to better help people.

Clinical psychologist Paul Gilbert came up with Compassion-focused therapy in the early 21st century where his goal was to find balance in the systems of understanding threat and self-protection, drive and excitement, and contentment and social safeness. If feeling threatened, you could be experiencing feelings of anxiety, fear, or anger, show behaviors like fight or flight response, and cognitive biases like jumping to conclusions. The drive system is to direct patients towards their goals and resources while feeling anticipation and pleasure. The contentment system will make patients aware of being socially connected, cared for, and feeling safe.

Compassion-focused therapy can be for those who are having trouble understanding, feeling or expression compassion towards themselves and others. It is the best therapy for them to manage distressing thoughts, behaviors, and feelings- especially when you have negative thoughts about yourself. All of this can be accomplished through compassionate mind training to develop compassion motivation, sympathy, sensitivity, and distress tolerance in a nonjudgmental and non condemning way.

There are appreciation exercises to help you emphasize what you enjoy the most like making a list of likes and savoring enjoyable moments. Compassion-focused imagery exercises are when guided memories and fantasies are used to stimulate the mind and physiological systems. Mindfulness exercises help pay attention to the current moment in a nonjudgmental way. If a patient is constantly attacking themselves, the therapist can try to figure out the origins of those thoughts and why they agree or submit to those thoughts. The therapist will even ask questions to explore why the patient is blocking compassionate emotions. It is best to get help if a patient lacks compassion or they will not be able to relate to other people and can damage relationships.

Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin was founded in 1988 as a residential rehabilitation hospital treating people suffering from drug and alcohol purposes. Smarmore Castle believes in helping patients lead a life of abstinence through 12 Step programs, detox and medical treatment, psychotherapy, and complementary therapies. For more information, please call 041-986-5080. For those who live out of the country, the international number is 00353-41-986-5080.

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