Introduction to Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

Introduction to Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)


10 Hours | 10 CEs (CEUs)

Program Description

This self-paced training on Introduction to Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is presented by Dr. Yotam Heineberg.

It is well-known that shame and self-criticism can be difficult problems to treat in a range of psychological problems and may even prevent people from seeking help. Compassion Focused Therapy was developed by professor Paul Gilbert. CFT was specifically developed with and for individuals with these difficulties, in part by helping them develop a compassionate orientation to themselves and others by elaborating on cognitive behavioral strategies. CFT is an evolutionary and neuroscience-based approach to psychotherapy that articulates how the evolution of attachment and affiliative emotion regulates threat-processing and the emergence of our self-identities. CFT integrates evidence-based therapies with the basic insight that our emotions serve an evolutionary function, and that recognizing this can help de-shame and de-pathologize painful symptomatic experiences, towards greater engagement in therapy. CFT has a growing empirical evidence to support its efficacy in a broad range of complex cases, including trauma and rigid personality structures. The course will cover the basic concepts of CFT and various experiential practices with demonstrations of emotion focused, cognitive behavioral and imagery practices. This course will assist professionals in improving their clinical understanding of the best methods for treating shame and self-criticism.

The fee for this training program is $250 and includes all materials and readings.

Intended Audience

This course is targeted towards psychotherapists, marriage and family therapists, mental health clinicians, mental health therapists, clinical psychologists, and those mental health professionals that treat people with eating disorders, depression, mood disorders and psychological disorders. Mental health professionals that work in criminal justice, security, health care, social service, education, and human resources settings can also benefit from this workshop. This course is for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Describe perspectives from the evolutionary model that underpins CFT
  • Describe the three types of affect regulation systems (threat, drive and soothing)
  • Describe the importance of embodiment and mindful attention in working with bottom up processing such as body sensations and visual imagery
  • Describe the Fears of Compassion scale framework as applied to assessment, psychoeducational, experiential and behavioral treatment goals
  • Describe attuned sensitivity to the three directions of compassion (giving, receiving and practicing self-compassion) and the relationship with stress, depression, and anxiety
  • Describe perspective from the multiple self framework how to orient clients towards the cultivation of their compassionate self
  • Describe mindfulness and compassion based contemplative practices
  • Describe the distinction between shame- and threat-based self attacking cognitions and soothing-based compassionate thinking

About Dr. Yotam Heineberg

Dr. Yotam Heineberg is a licensed clinical psychologist and a clinical faculty member at Palo Alto university’s Gronowski Center, where he offers supervision, clinical and didactic psychotherapy training in Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), and other compassion focused approaches to healing and growth. Dr. Heineberg is also a Research Fellow at Stanford University with the Center for Compassion and Altruism, Research and Education (CCARE), where he develops various compassion programs to support personal and collective resilience, as well as compassion for self and others. He also designs and delivers compassion-based burnout reduction programs that support nurses, clinicians, leaders and patients in large hospital settings.

Dr. Heineberg completed his doctorate at the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. consortium at Palo Alto University, and his post-doctoral training at Stanford University’s CCARE, during that time he trained with Professor Paul Gilbert, who developed the CFT model in the UK. He lives in San Francisco, runs a private practice and offers workshops nationally and internationally.

Basic Concepts

  • Evidence-based therapies
  • De-shame cases
  • De-pathologize cases
  • Empirical evidence


  • Emotion Focused
  • Cognitive Behavioral
  • Imagery

Continuing Education Credit

This Distance Learning Course is a Home Study Training Program. To earn CEs you are required to complete all course materials, quizzes, and the evaluation. No partial credit is available. A score of 70% is required to proceed; you will be able to re-take any quiz on which you score less than 70%. Participants will earn 10 CE hours upon completion of these requirements. Each participant will be able to download and print the CE certificate upon completion of the final evaluation.

Board Approvals: APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC. Click here for state and other regional board approvals.

Your satisfaction with our programs, products and services is important to us; however, because these are immediately made available to you upon registration and payment, we do not issue refunds. Should you find that a particular program, product or service is not the right fit for you, we will assist you in crediting your registration towards another one of our offerings that might better suit you.

We specialize in training groups — from a handful to hundreds — and are happy to contact you to discuss your group training needs.

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