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Compassion Focussed Therapy

Here you'll find all the worksheets and information you'll need to accompany your Compassion Focussed Therapy treatment with italk.

What is Compassion Focused Therapy?

Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) looks at human nature, to help us to understand the way feelings of shame, self-loathing and self-criticism can naturally come about in response to pain in our lives. It helps us to develop our compassion system to reduce those feelings and be the best version of ourselves that we can be.

Human Nature

In our treatment sessions, we learned how different parts of the brain are concerned with different motivations and interests and they have different abilities.

The CFT model says that these different parts of the brain give us three ‘systems’ for managing our feelings and reactions.

  • The Threat System comes from the oldest part of the brain and gives us our most basic survival instincts. It helps us to spot danger and survive it.
  • The Drive System comes from the part of the brain concerned with community. It is concerned with our place in society and gives us the motivation to achieve our goals.
  • The Care-Giving System comes from the newest part of the brain and helps us to care for others and ourselves. It enables us to empathise with others, and soothe our own worries.

When we’re born, it’s only the Threat System that is ready for action. The Drive and Care-Giving Systems grow through our upbringing and life experiences. This means they depend on us having opportunities to build up those parts of our brain.

Through no fault of our own, some of us don’t get as many opportunities to grow our Care-Giving System in childhood. This can mean we grow up without as many tools for coping with life’s ups and downs, and naturally find things harder.   

Through Compassion Focused Therapy you will be supported to build up your Care-Giving System, to increase your range of tools and feel equipped to move forward in your life.


Our therapists have made these recordings for you to practice your Compassion Focussed Therapy exercises at home. Click the links to listen online, or download the audio files below.

Recite - Accessibility and Language Options