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Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)


When you make a mistake or perform poorly for once, it can be quite hard to remain loving and respectful to yourself. Compassion-focused therapy helps you increase compassion. So you will remain kind to yourself even when things don’t go your way.

In short

  • CFT is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on increasing compassion;
  • CFT reduces self-criticism and shame, increases self-compassion and it develops a positive, inner dialogue;
  • CFT helps people who struggle with feelings of shame, self-criticism and mental health problems;
  • CFT is reimbursed when the underlying symptoms belong to a DSM-5-defined mental disorder.


What is compassion-focused therapy?

Compassion-focused therapy is a form of therapy aimed at increasing compassion consciously. Compassion for yourself and for others. Having compassion means being understanding. It means that you look at yourself or others just as lovingly in the moment when something goes wrong, as when nothing is wrong.


The idea behind CFT is that many of your emotional problems come from self-critical thoughts and behaviors. By developing compassion and kindness toward yourself and others, you can improve your emotion regulation system.


What is the goal of CFT?

The main goal of CFT is to consciously increase compassion for yourself. This is particularly effective in dealing with painful emotions, shame, guilt and self-criticism. It is useful for reducing anxiety, depression and improving your emotion regulation.


How does CFT work?

In CFT, you train the caring and calming system. This is one of the three emotion regulation systems in your brain. You also have a
danger/protection system and a hunting system. These systems each have their own function.


The worry and calm system is focused on recovery and evoking emotions such as satisfaction, gratitude, calmness and connection. When you develop this system properly, there is more balance between the three systems that regulate your emotions.


You can train your brain. You do this, for example, during a CFT session by visualizing a safe place. By fully imagining this safe place, you stimulate your caring and calming system.


Is CFT right for me?

Compassion Focused Therapy was originally developed for people experiencing complex emotional problems. Today, CFT is also used successfully with people without a specific diagnosis to increase their emotional health and resilience. At iPractice, it is often chosen as an addition to another treatment method. For example, in combination with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). CFT is useful in a variety of situations because it is adapted to your needs and circumstances.


Compassion Focused Therapy is used for:



Through CFT, you learn to be more understanding of yourself and your emotions so you are more loving toward yourself. It helps you to have compassionate relationships with others and with emotion regulation.


What does CFT look like?

During CFT treatment, your psychologist explains how your emotion regulation system works. It’s nice to have insight into that. The psychologist examines with you how your self-criticism gets in the way of your daily life. After this piece of theory, the treatment follows. You will be given tools to be kinder to yourself, more loving and compassionate. This includes meditation and imagination techniques.
A CFT treatment at iPractice consists of 8 sessions, combined with the online treatment.


More information about CFT

Do you want to know more about Compassion Focused Therapy and discover if this treatment is right for you?

publish-icon Published - 12 Feb 2024
Corinne has a lot of experience with treatments such as, CFT, CBT, ACT, EMDR and client- and body-centered therapeutic interventions. She treats anxiety, trauma, mood, negative self-image and autonomy issues. To intentionally stimulate your compassion, she enjoys working together to discover what works best for you.
GZ-Psychologist Corinne Langedijk

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