Compassion-Focused ACT – From Foundation to Mastery

Compassion-Focused ACT – From Foundation to Mastery

CE Hours available

Research from many disciplines shows that the presence, or absence, of compassion in your life affects your well-being at every level.

From heart rate variability and immune system functioning to levels of depression, anxiety, and social engagement, it has a notable impact on physical, mental, and emotional health.

As participants of this course will discover, compassion is more than simply kindness and is not a “soft” option when it comes to addressing significant challenges therapeutically. 

Compassion is a constellation of processes that help us confront suffering and take values-based action.

Cultivating it involves developing greater awareness, mindfulness, and a willingness to acknowledge and face pain — skills that are essential for overcoming obstacles and living with intention.

This makes a compassion-based approach a natural fit with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

While compassion-focused therapy (CFT) and ACT come from different scientific backgrounds, their overlap is striking.

Each element of the CFT model can be related to the ACT hexaflex processes. In fact, compassion is an integral part of psychological flexibility, and vice versa. 

You can hardly work on self-as-context or defusion without activating an observer sense of self that is nonjudgmental, and, therefore, more readily compassionate. 

Similarly, you can’t work on compassion without honing skills that are central to psychological flexibility, like perspective taking, mindfulness, and acceptance.

Knowing how to purposefully tap into both models and integrate the tools they offer is to the great benefit of therapists as well as the people they serve…

And in this workshop involving scientific rigor, interpersonal authenticity, and experiential practices, you’ll explore how to successfully integrate them to awaken compassionate flexibility for both you and your clients.

The innovative model you’ll learn, which combines the best of CFT, ACT, and other evidence-based therapies, is grounded in recent advances in psychological research and evolutionary contemplative psychology.

It provides a multifaceted approach to addressing the cognitive, neurobiological, and emotional obstacles that get us most stuck.

And it will support you in creating more robust therapeutic relationships and helping clients access a deeper sense of courage and wisdom in their lives outside of the therapy room.

About Compassion-Focused ACT

Join us for an enlightening 8-week journey into the heart of compassion-focused acceptance and commitment therapy, a groundbreaking integration of compassion-focused therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and Zen philosophical principles.

This workshop, led by internationally known experts and compassion-focused ACT originators, Dr. Dennis Tirch and Dr. Laura Silberstein-Tirch, is more than a learning experience:

It’s an opportunity to engage in profound personal and professional development.

Inside this training, you’ll learn an integrated contextual behavioral method that allows you to harness the power of both compassion and psychological flexibility to transform your clients’ lives.

Join this innovative live online course and learn how to:

  • Integrate CFT and ACT for an effective, process-based approach to targeting transdiagnostic challenges
  • Utilize the latest findings from affective neuroscience, evolution science, and the science of attachment to enhance your practice
  • Empower clients through guided discovery, the therapeutic relationship, specific compassion practices, and interventions designed to build psychological flexibility
  • Develop clients’ ability (and your own) to handle difficult emotions and thoughts, engage in meaningful actions, and build a fulfilling life
  • Join a rapidly growing community of clinicians trained in compassion-focused acceptance and commitment therapy

This workshop emphasizes experiential learning, personal practice, and self-reflection, ensuring that participants not only learn these methods theoretically but experience them in a deeply embodied way. You will have the opportunity to engage in advanced mindfulness, compassion, and acceptance-based practices throughout the course, and in your daily practice.

Whether you’re new to CFT or ACT or a seasoned practitioner, this workshop offers valuable insights and techniques and a process-based way of organizing your work with clients and supporting compassionate flexibility.

This training offers 16 CE hours if attended live. We can only provide CE to those who are present via Zoom for the live sessions. However, the sessions will be recorded and available to watch later. Registrants may access these recordings at any time for up to nine months after the live training ends.

Before registering, please review conflict of interest disclosures and complete CE information here.

Session 1 | May 13, 2024, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. EDT

  • Introduction to CFACT
  • Relevant fundamentals of ACT, CFT and CBT

Session 2 | May 20, 2024, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. EDT

  • The evolutionary model of compassion
  • Introduction to mindful compassion practice

Session 3 | June 3, 2024, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. EDT

  • The competencies of compassion and psychological flexibility processes
  • Compassion Imagery Fundamentals

Session 4 | June 10, 2024, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. EDT

  • The model of motives and emotions in CFACT
  • Working with the compassionate safe-space practice

Session 5 | June 17, 2024, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. EDT

  • Working with compassion in the therapy relationship
  • Moving through the compassion octave in session, Compassionate Self imagery

Session 6 | June 24, 2024, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. EDT

  • The compassion focused exposure and response enhancement sequence
  • Practicing compassion focused exposure

Session 7 | July 1, 2024, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. EDT

  • CFACT for complex trauma
  • Working with the compassionate self and the struggling self

Session 8 | July 8, 2024, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. EDT

  • Next steps in applying CFACT to transdiagnostic problems
  • Towards more advanced CFACT experiential practice for self-care

Participants will be able to:

  1. Review the core principles and theoretical underpinnings of Compassion Focused ACT, integrating elements from CFT, ACT, CBT, and Zen Buddhism.
  2. Identify and practice advanced mindfulness and compassion techniques for clinical interventions and therapeutic effectiveness.
  3. Examine a new model combining CFT, ACT, and evolutionary psychology grounded in contemporary psychological research.
  4. Describe exercises and practices that foster deep personal experience of the core practices of CFT and ACT.
  5. Describe ways you can enhance skills in promoting psychological flexibility in oneself and clients, using compassion-focused approaches.
  6. Discuss how to integrate compassion as a significant, active process in psychotherapy for addressing a variety of clinical issues.
  7. Describe how to apply process-focused approaches in therapy, targeting specific transdiagnostic processes.
  8. Review skills in using the therapeutic relationship and guided discovery to facilitate client realizations and growth.
  9. Identify specific practices from CFT to aid clients in confronting suffering, cultivating functional safeness, and achieving psychological flexibility.
  10. Describe how to build a broader repertoire of therapeutic interventions and strategies for targeting key processes in therapy.

Please review complete CE and conflict-of-interest disclosure information prior to registering. This live online course is sponsored by Praxis Continuing Education and Training and is approved for 16 CE Hours by the following listed below. There was no commercial support for this activity. None of the planners or presenters for this educational activity have relevant financial relationship(s) to disclose with ineligible companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

Praxis CET maintains responsibility for the program with the CE approvals outlined below:

Joint Accreditation: In support of improving patient care, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

IPCE: This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 16 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit for learning and change.

Nursing: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc designates this activity for a maximum of 16 ANCC contact hours.

Physicians: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc designates this live activity for a maximum of 16 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Psychologists: Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists are provided through the co-sponsorship of the American Psychological Association (APA) Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP). The APA CEP Office maintains responsibly for the content of the programs.

Social Workers: As a Jointly Accredited Organization, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. Social workers completing this course receive 16 clinical continuing education credits.

Drug and Alcohol Counselors: This course has been approved by Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 16 CE hours. NAADAC Provider #165310, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc, is responsible for all aspects of its programming.

National Counselors: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6759. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

NY Social Workers: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0467

NY Counselors: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0198.

NY Psychologists: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0002.

NOTE: Many state boards accept offerings accredited by national or other state organizations. If your state is not listed, please check with your professional licensing board to determine whether the accreditations listed are accepted.

Mental health professionals, helping professionals in allied disciplines and researchers from beginner to advanced levels of experience and proficiency.

Kirby JN, Tellegen CL, Steindl SR. A Meta-Analysis of Compassion-Based Interventions: Current State of Knowledge and Future Directions. Behav Ther. 2017 Nov;48(6):778-792. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2017.06.003. Epub 2017 Jun 21. PMID: 29029675.

Hill, Mary & Schaefer, L. & Spencer, Samuel & Masuda, Akihiko. (2020). Compassion-focused acceptance and commitment therapy for women with restrictive eating and problematic body-checking: A multiple baseline across participants study. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science. 16. 10.1016/j.jcbs.2020.04.006.

Koryani, Reza & Nejad, Soodabeh & Honarmand, Mahnaz & Majdinasab, Nastaran. (2022). Effectiveness of Compassion Focused Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on Psychological Flexibility and Psychological Distress in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis. Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology. 28. 222-235. 10.32598/ijpcp.28.2.3747.1.

We understand, sometimes things come up!

Praxis will offer a full refund to registrants of both live and live-online trainings who cancel their registration up to 14 days before the course or workshop start date, minus an administrative processing fee of $30 for a 2-day workshop or online course, and a $50 fee for a 4-day workshop. If cancelled within 14 days, no refund will be issued, however, a credit for the same amount will be applied toward another learning product, which expires within 1 year. Please email us at to cancel a registration.