Praxis: Tell us a bit about your journey to learning and eventually teaching Compassion-Focused Therapy.

DT: I’ve been involved with Buddhist meditation since my childhood, when an uncle and mentor had taught me about Zen practice, and compassion is truly the core teaching of all Buddhism. Throughout my young adulthood and education, I had been looking for ways to integrate Buddhism with personal development and psychological science. In fact, I originally pursued a PhD just to better understand the dharma from a scientific perspective.

By Gareth Holman, PhD

I know you are a good person. And like me, you might be losing clients, failing to get their buy-in, or making them feel unseen in critical moments.  

We all have blind spots. And we can succeed despite them. In fact, our most productive growth often comes from learning from these limitations—by beginning to see them clearly and work through them.

We can lose sight of how to be a good friend in our most important and intimate relationship. Robyn Walser and Darrah Westrup suggest you try treating your partner the same way you treat your good friends. 

People who have experienced trauma often keep themselves in the victim role, which often keeps them away from the things they really want in life. But what if there was a way to point this out to them without invalidating them?

Many of my clients believe that they need to be harshly self-critical if they’re going to better themselves: that if they bully or beat themselves up, they might whip themselves into shape and become more motivated to take charge of their lives. This is a common belief.

The compassionate mind provides a counterbalance to the threatened mind. Compassion-focused therapist, Dennis Tirch, explains what we can expect from the threatened and compassionate mind.


I want to give a peek at a world that I think could be important for when you are sitting beside someone that looked like I looked 33 years ago – stuck deep – and you are asking them to stop.

Kelly Wilson describes the interplay of the ACT processes as a kind of dance where the client leads. 

How is RO-DBT different from DBT?

Developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment that was originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) builds upon this work. This new therapy is a breakthrough, transdiagnostic approach (developed by Dr. Thomas Lynch) that helps clients with extremely difficult-to-treat overcontrol (OC) disorders such as anorexia nervosa, chronic depression, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD).

If you are already familiar with DBT, check out the main differences between Radically Open DBT and traditional DBT below.

Research shows that gender and sexual minorities experience more mental health problems than their heterosexual cis-gender (when assigned sex at birth matches gender identity) counterparts. Here are some best practices that I have found beneficial while working with clients within these communities and for myself as a sexual minority:


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