The Lighthouse Week

byron lighthouse


At the leading edge of CBT

Minimum requirement:
Practising competent CBT therapist.  Assumes sound knowledge of CBT formulations and technical skills.

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northern rivers

Compassion-Focused Therapy for Anxiety, Shame and Self-Criticism:  A 3 day Foundation Skills program

July 1-3, 2013

Workshop full - reserve list applications only

with the Founder of Compassion-Focused Therapy, Professor Paul Gilbert (UK) and Dr. Dennis Tirch (USA)

Dennis Tirch

Paul Gilbert
Dennis Tirch

How many of our clients are deeply self-critical, unforgiving of themselves, and lacking in self-compassion?

The last decade has seen considerable research showing that cultivating compassion has a major impact on emotional states, social relationships and even physical processes. Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) was developed with and for people who have significant difficulty experiencing compassion for themselves and from other people.

This 3 day workshop represents a unique opportunity for Australian mental health professionals to gain a strong foundation in CFT from its founder, Professor Paul Gilbert and another leader in the field, USA colleague, Dr. Dennis Tirch.

The workshop will introduce participants to the basic ideas and interventions used in CFT. CFT draws on evolutionary psychology, cognitive neuroscience, experimental psychology, and Buddhist psychology to offer a sophisticated model for working with clients who have high levels of shame and self-criticism.

The model suggests that these clients often come from backgrounds where there were low levels affiliation and affection. In the process, the development of brain-based attachment and emotional regulation systems has often been compromised.

CFT uses evolutionary functional analysis to understand clients’ motivations, emotions and emotion regulation processes. Once clients understand the rationale for CFT, they are trained to use compassion-focused skills. Practicing these skills helps them to develop new ways for emotional regulation and a new sense of self (the compassionate self) that is conducive to their well-being.

Workshop Objectives:

Over the three days, participants will:

  1. Gain an understanding of how evolutionary functional analysis advances understanding of psychopathology and in particular the importance of the evolution of attachment, caring affiliation as part of human effort regulation systems
  2. Gain an understanding of the 3 system affect regulation model (threat, drive and affiliative-soothing), which informs compassion-focused interventions
  3. Acquire and practice key compassion-focused skills including the use of the breath and body postures, the practice of compassion focused imagery, the use of compassioante mind training to build the “compassionate self”, employing the  “compassionate self” to engage with areas of personal difficulty,,and building supportive social relationships.
  4. Gain an understanding of how CFT may be applied to clients with different problems in which there is a non-affiliative relationship with self and/or others (e.g. eating disorders, personality disorders, anxiety, depression, shame, psychosis etc).


Key references

Gilbert, P. (ed.) (2005).  Compassion:  Conceptualisation, Research and Use in

Psychotherapy.  Routledge.  London.

Gilbert P. (2009). The Compassionate Mind. A New Approach to the Challenges of Life: London: Constable & Robinson.

Gilbert, P. (2010). Compassion Focused Therapy. Distinctive Features London: Routledge.

Gilbert, P. (2010) (ed). Compassion Focused Therapy: Special Issue. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy Vol. 3.

Leahy, R., Tirch, D. & Napolitano, L. (2011). Emotional Regulation in Psychotherapy. New York: Guilford.

Sears, R., Tirch, D. & Denton, R. (2011). Mindfulness in Clinical Practice. Sarasota, FL: Professional Resources Exchange

Tirch, D. (2012). The Compassionate Mind guide to Overcoming Anxiety. London: Constable Robinson.


Workshop costs

There are early bird prices which are available till about 6 weeks before the workshops. But we suggest you don’t leave it to the last minute – our 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 workshops have been full for some weeks before. For early bird prices, please note that application forms must have arrived at UCRH (fax/email accepted) by these dates.

Please note: our workshop prices include morning and afternoon teas (always very good!) - but do not include lunch for two reasons:

  1. To keep prices down. We hope you’ll agree that the prices are pretty good compared with what most people are charging.
  2. Because our experience is that its good for people to get out of the building and into Byron Bay at lunchtime; a walk on the beach, a café lunch, whatever

Early bird price: $780; Full price $950

Workshop location

All workshops will be held in Byron Bay in the NSW Northern Rivers region. Byron Bay is a world renowned tourist mecca and will provide a magnificent backdrop for our workshop program.

Southern Cross University
Byron Bay Community and Cultural Centre
Level 1
69 Jonson St
Byron Bay NSW 2481

Workshop times

July 1-3, 2013

Registration & tea/coffee will be from 8.30am. The workshops will start at 9.00. There will be morning and afternoon tea breaks, and a lunchbreak around 12.30. Workshops finish at 4.30.

Getting to Byron Bay and accommodation

For information on travelling to Byron and accommodation please click here.

*There will also a be a special one day workshop in Lismore for mental health professionals on July 5th.

Practising Compassion in The Workplace: How to Manage Work Related Stress by Cultivating Your Compassionate Mind

This will be a great opportunity to revise and reinforce learning from the 3 day workshop. Price is normally $150 early bird, but for 3 day workshop attendees, it is offered at very reduced cost ($90)

Click here for details.

Workshop application

You can register for week long programs at discounted prices. Head to our Workshop Application page where you can download and fax/post us your application.


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