Introduction to compassion focussed therapy (CFT) for perinatal distress
Anxiety and depression are common experiences in the perinatal period. These can often be accompanied by high levels of shame and self-criticism which can lead to feelings of disconnection at a time when support is often crucial. For some clients, trying to think or behave differently does little to help them feel safe, reassured or content. CFT seeks to build inner capacities for self-soothing and self-acceptance as well as building safe connections with others.
The objective of this workshop is to provide an introduction to using CFT for perinatal distress and to increase knowledge and skills in formulating and delivering CFT interventions for parents experiencing depression and anxiety in the perinatal period. Moreover, there will be an emphasis on working with shame and self-criticism with this population. The workshop will include practical experience of some of the compassionate mind training exercises. All participants completing the workshop will receive a certificate of attendance.
- Understanding of CFT theory in the context of perinatal distress
- Application of the three circle model of emotions to perinatal distress
- Understanding of evolution as well as past experiences in the context of childbearing and new parenthood.
- Assessment and formulation of perinatal distress using a CFT framework
- Using soothing breathing rhythm and compassionate imagery practices with perinatal clients
- Using the multiple selves exercise and working with shame and the inner critic
The workshop is aimed at mental health practitioners who are working with parents experiencing postnatal depression, anxiety, and bonding difficulties. The workshop will briefly cover the fundamental principles of Compassion Focused Therapy. To benefit the most from this workshop practitioners should have an introductory level understanding of CFT.
Dr Christine Langhoff is a clinical psychologist, director of Circle Psychology Partners and a member of the DCP Faculty of Perinatal Psychology. She has advanced level training in CFT. She sees clients in her private practice in Dulwich and provides CFT, ACT and CBT supervision to clinical and counselling psychologists.