Compassion Focused Therapy Techniques in Action – Imagery, Psychotherapy and Life Transformation

CE Hours available ( How do I get my CE? )
Dennis Tirch, PhD Founder of the Center for Compassion Focused Therapy, CFT trainer, and author
Laura Silberstein-Tirch, PsyD Director of the Center for Compassion Focused Therapy, CFT trainer, and ACT expert

About This Course

Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) can offer us cutting-edge mindfulness, self-compassion and psychotherapy techniques. Workshops or online trainings can introduce us to the concepts and the basics of application, but where do we go next to build strength and competence with these methods? How do we take training in mindfulness and compassion further, for our clients and ourselves? This online course is designed to be an experiential journey through Compassionate Mind Training (CMT), the mindfulness and imagery practices found in CFT. Participants will walk through a virtual CMT group process, learning CFT from the inside out, by working with their own processes and struggle. Each week, these imagery and meditative techniques will be linked to specific psychotherapy interventions, so that what you learn from within can be simply applied with clients.

For thousands of years, wisdom traditions have used mindfulness, acceptance and compassion based training as a platform to transform the mind. Developed by Dr. Paul Gilbert, CFT puts that process in your hands, drawing on rigorous behavioral psychology, neuroscience and evolutionary theory.

This 8-week course can serve as a deeply experiential introduction to CFT, and it also serves as Part II of a redesigned and reimagined 16-week immersive, online learning experience in CFT. Participants who joined us in the Summer and Fall of 2020 will build on that introduction through a more personal, intensive and experiential period of training.

Over the course of eight, two-hour, interactive, webinar-style sessions, you will explore how cultivating mindfulness and compassion can result in powerful change in your life, as well as how to masterfully deploy these techniques in the psychotherapy consultation room. Participants will engage in readings, experiential self-practice, and a personal journey into compassionate mind training, that is a new frontier in engaged psychotherapy training in compassion.

Grounded in CFT's evolutionary theory, participants will explore a range of topics including:

  1. How to guide clients through systematic Compassionate Mind Training
  2. How therapists and clients can bridge application of compassion-focused techniques into behavior change and personal development
  3. How to build on compassion and mindfulness training practices to deliver evidence-based psychotherapy
  4. How to use CMT in individual CFT and group interventions
  5. Using CFT can be adapted for treating depression, anxiety and emotion regulation problems, integrating mindful compassion practices with other modes and techniques
  6. How to effectively and confidently administer CFT interventions on their own terms
This training is specifically designed to help Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and other behavior therapy practitioners deepen their understanding and practice of compassion focused treatment of anxiety and mood disorders.

Through small group work and a series of experiential exercises you will thoroughly learn how to apply CMT and CFT based strategies to build a life of meaning, purpose and vitality for you and your clients. And, you will get to have your questions and concerns addressed by leading trainers in compassion focused therapy, including the form's originator, Dr. Paul Gilbert, who will be joining us as a special guest for one of the sessions in this training.

This 8-week course is Part II of a redesigned and reimagined 16-week immersive, online learning experience in CFT.


Session 1 | October 19, 2020, 1 PM—3 PM EDT
Mindfulness and Compassion Training: Models and Opportunities – CMT, CFT and Real Life
Session 2 | October 26, 2020, 1 PM—3 PM EDT
Preparing the Body and Respecting the Practice: The fundamentals of mindfulness, embodiment of compassion, and CMT Imagery
Session 3 | November 2, 2020, 1 PM—3 PM EST
Deploying CMT Imagery and The Foundations of The CFT Model
Session 4 | November 9, 2020, 1 PM—3 PM EST
Working with Grounding, Stabilization, Intimate Mindfulness and Safe Space Imagery
Session 5 | November 16, 2020, 1 PM—3 PM EST
Working with The Compassionate Ideal in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life
Session 6 | November 30, 2020, 1 PM—3 PM EST
Working with The Compassionate Self in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life
Session 7 | December 7, 2020, 1 PM—3 PM EST
Bringing your Compassionate Self into Contact with your Struggles
Session 8 | December 14, 2020, 1 PM—3 PM EST
Translating Compassionate Imagery Practice into Persistent Behavior Change and Lifestyle Transformation

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:
  1. Relate the foundational evolutionary model of compassion, mindfulness and emotion used in CFT to specific CMT imagery and CFT techniques.
  2. Describe and apply the CFT “Three Circle Model” in embodied compassionate imagery and psychotherapy techniques.
  3. Discuss and utilize the core imagery practices in psychotherapy and in personal practice.
  4. Utilize mindfulness training and embodied self-compassion to create a context of safeness in the therapy room and everyday life.
  5. Discuss ways to teach and implement the Compassionate Ideal (CI) imagery practice.
  6. Review how to implement the Compassionate Self (CS) imagery practice.
  7. Discuss ways of using the CI and CS practices to deal with emotion regulation, depression symptoms, and anxiety symptoms.
  8. Identify and deploy a range of specific techniques that are focused on cultivating the competencies of compassion in the therapy and in their everyday life.
  9. Discuss ways to train and implement compassionate mind training.
  10. Describe the range of CMT imagery practices.
  11. Describe how to use CMT experiential methods in individual or group contexts.
  12. Identify ways to use CMT and CFT methods to facilitate behavior change and values-based action.

Continuing Education

Please review complete CE and conflict-of-interest disclosure information prior to registering. This course is jointly sponsored by Praxis CET and Institute for Better Health (IBH) and is approved for 16 CE Hours by the following:

  • APA – Psychologists
  • NBCC – National Counselors
  • NAADAC – Drug & Alcohol Counselors
  • NY State – Counselors and Social Workers
  • Other State Level Counselors, MFTs, and Social Workers
  • WESPSB – Educators
  • ACCME – Physicians
  • ANCC – Nurses


No books, courses or journal articles are required prerequisites for this course, but the list of recommended readings below will help to enhance your experience.


For mental health professionals, beginners through intermediate and on to advanced practitioners. The course will be appropriate for clinicians of any background, and professionals with CFT, ACT and CBT training may find the concepts more familiar and readily user-friendly. Graduate students, coaches and teachers might also benefit from this training.

Recommended Reading

Gilbert, P. (2009). The Compassionate Mind. London: Oakland: New Harbinger

Gilbert, P. & Choden (2013). Mindful compassion. Oakland: New Harbinger

Tirch, D., Schoendorff, B. & Silberstein, L. (2014). The ACT Practitioners’ Guide
to The Science of Compassion
. Oakland: New Harbinger


Kolts, R., Bell, T., Bennett-Levy, J., & Irons, C. (2018). CFT from The Inside Out. New York: Guilford Press.

Kirby, J., Steindl, S. & Tellegen, C. (2017). A Meta-Analysis of Compassion-Based Interventions: Current State of Knowledge and Future Directions. Behavior Therapy. 48-6. 778-792.

Braehler, C., Harper, I., & Gilbert, P. (2012). Compassion focused group therapy for recovery after psychosis. In C. Steel (Ed.), CBT for schizophrenia: Evidence-based interventions and future directions (pp. 235–266). Chichester, West Sussex, UK: John Wiley and Sons.

Lutz, A., Brefczynski-Lewis, J., Johnstone, T., & Davidson, R.J. (2008). Regulation of the neural circuitry of emotion by compassion meditation: Effects of meditative expertise. PLoS ONE, e1897. DOI:10.1373/journal.pone.0001897.

Refund and Cancellation Policy

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.