Compassion focused therapy (CFT) is a system of Psychotherapy that integrates techniques from cognitive behavioural therapy with concepts from evolutionary psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, Buddhist psychology, and neuroscience. The central therapeutic technique of CFT is compassionate mind training, which teaches the skills and attributes of compassion. Compassionate mind training helps transform problematic patterns of cognition and emotion related to anxiety, anger, shame, self-criticism, depersonalization, and hypomania.
Compassion focused therapy is especially appropriate for people who have high levels of shame and self-criticism and who have difficulty in feeling warmth toward, and being kind to, themselves or others. Such problems of shame and self-criticism are often rooted in a history of abuse, bullying, neglect, and/or lack of affection in the family. CFT can help such people learn to feel more safeness and warmth in their interactions with others and themselves.
There are an increasing number of empirical research papers that demonstrate the importance of compassion as a way of directing behaviour to deal with the threat and resolve a conflict.
ACT model demonstrates the interplay of three emotional regulation systems that we use to manage emotions. Distress is caused by an imbalance between these systems, which often is associated with under-development of soothing systems.