Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)
Us humans are naturally quite hard on ourselves. We push ourselves to be better, achieve more and get it right all the time. Then, when you fall short, you feel frustrated and guilty. You can’t understand why you got it wrong or what to do about it. It’s a common and a serious problem.
Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) works to reduce self-criticism and build up self-compassion. Why? Because self-compassion makes you stronger.
Self-Criticism is Self-Neglect
Many people are overly self-critical. We tend to treat other people more kindly than we do ourselves. The trouble is that we often don’t see it. We don’t see that we would rarely speak to others the way we speak to ourselves.
A lack of self-compassion is natural. We have evolved to be generous to others before our selves. Our cultures tell us not to be selfish and to put others first. Our minds tell us we don’t deserve self-compassion, that we haven’t worked hard enough or achieved enough. Our minds tell us being self-compassionate is soft and weak.
In reality, denying yourself sufficient care and understanding creates further harm. When you are just focused on keeping others happy and being perfect, then you suffer. Instinctively, we know this when it comes to other people. We easily recognise that giving praise and encouragement makes people feel good. You know that people appreciate it when you are patient rather than demanding. How, then, do you learn self-compassion?
In Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT), your therapist will teach you how to begin replacing unhelpful self-criticism with self-compassion. Kindness is important, but its much more than that. In fact, self-compassion begins with courage.
It may seem weird to say this, but self-criticism is protective in nature. It aims to keep vulnerability at arms-length. Self-compassion involves turning towards your fears, your shame and your hurt. And that takes courage.
Sounds like hard work…I don’t know if I’ve got it in me. How do I decide?
The time needs to be right. And it’s easy to find reasons why now is not a good time. Only you can decide of course. But, here are some questions to help you figure that out:
- Can you give it the time it needs? Do you have other priorities?
- What would happen if you don’t learn how to reduce self-criticism? What will your life look like in 3 months’ time if you do nothing?
- Can you put by 1 hour a week or a fortnight to see a therapist?
- Can you put by 10 minutes a day to practice some exercises?
- Whilst you need to have the time and desire to learn self-compassion, you don’t need to put your life on hold. You’ll need to see a therapist regularly and to make some small amounts of time each day for practice.
SELF-KINDNESS DOESN'T COME NATURALLY. WE MUST LEARN HOW TO DO IT.
BOOK IN TO SEE A CFT THERAPIST, COUNSELLOR OR PSYCHOLOGIST AND WE'LL SHOW YOU HOW TO LET GO OF SELF-CRITICISM AND HARSH JUDGEMENTS.