• Natalie Bishara

Compassion Focused Therapy

Self-compassion is often a term that can be floated around within society, but what does self-compassion practically mean?

Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is a form of therapy that was developed in order to help people who are struggling with core mental health problems associated with shame, self-blame, and self-attack. CFT focuses on the concept of compassion being a "sensitivity to the suffering of one’s self and others (and the causes of that suffering) with a deep commitment to relieve it, prevent it from returning, and promote wellbeing" (Dale-Hewitt & Irons, 2015). So, to break it down into two parts, one must be able to recognise and detect suffering in order to respond to it appropriately, and part two, compassion requires an intention where one is required to be motivated to relieve the suffering. CFT focuses on individual threats, drives, and soothing-affiliative, with the notion describing difficulties in terms of these three systems and their functions.

A steppingstone that can lead to self-compassion is using the acronym RAIN. Recognising what is happening, Allow life to be just as it is, Investigate with gentle and empathetic attention and Nurturing with a loving presence. The following is an example on how self-compassion and RAIN could be applied to someone who might be experiencing grief. “I Recognise the anguish and suffering but approach it with the courage to notice how my mind and body are experiencing it. I breathe into the moment, relinquishing the struggle and Allowing the physical expressions of tears to flow in their own rhythm. I listen with understanding wisdom, gently Investigating with compassionate curiosity as my expression of grief defines what I need and value. I respond to my experience by allowing myself space and self-warmth, Nurturing with appreciation what I have gained but grieving what I have lost."

This demonstrates how RAIN brings together the history of compassion that one's mind and body have previously learnt.

To find out more on how you could benefit from having more self-compassion, give us a call on 8091 7867 or drop us an email at admin@mindbodypractice.com.au and our Admin Team can help book you in to see one of our psychologists.