Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

Compassion focused therapy is an increasingly popular psychotherapy method designed to help individuals struggling with self-criticism and shame.  

What is compassion focused therapy?

Compassion focused therapy (CFT) is used to help teens and young adults navigate self-criticism, which may be the result of abuse or neglect earlier in life. It incorporates mind-body awareness to help the client learn both compassion for others and for themselves. CFT can be used to treat conditions like anxiety, mood disorders, anger, hoarding, eating disorders, personality disorders, and psychosis. Compassion focused therapy techniques may be used in both individual and group settings.


The goal of CFT is to create a sense of compassion within the client. Therapists explain how emotions are regulated in the brain to help shift the focus from feeling threatened to instead learning how to self-soothe in moments of stress. From there, the client works on mindfulness and awareness in order to learn self-compassion and compassion for those around them. The process involves guided visualizations and other techniques to break the routine of self-criticism.

Therapist comforting teen in therapy

What conditions is CFT used for?

Compassion focused therapy has been shown to be effective for a number of diagnosed conditions and disorders.

CFT can help teens and young adults who are experiencing:

  • Shame
  • Self-criticism
  • Trauma
  • Self harm

CFT can also be an effective treatment for the following disorders:

  • Personality difficulties
  • Psychosis
  • Eating disorders
  • Hoarding
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Mixed diagnoses
Disorders Treated by



How does CFT work?

CFT works to retrain the brain to reduce or eliminate the constant feeling of threat. CFT can help with:

  • Learning self-compassion
  • Increasing feelings of safety
  • Developing greater empathy for others

Compassion focused therapists use a variety of techniques to overcome self-criticism and the disorders that come along with them. Common methodologies includes:

  • Role-playing
  • Visualizations
  • Meditation

What can CFT help with?

Teens and young adults who experience trauma early in life, such as abuse, neglect, or bullying, may develop negative thoughts and misperceptions of themselves. Virtual CFT is an even better option because you get access to experienced professions. CFT methodologies experienced online are just as successful in lessening these emotions in the client and replacing them with the ability to have compassion for themselves, rather than criticism. Ultimately, CFT aims to help individuals soothe themselves and accept soothing from others so they don't feel like they're in a constant state of attack.

Therapist offering compassion to a client that is dealing with trauma
Disorders Treated by



Benefits of CFT

Compassion focused therapy offers a host of benefits, including:

  • Reduced impact of diagnosed mental health disorders
  • Reduce symptoms associated with anxiety or depression
  • Increased mindfulness
  • Decreased obsessive inner reflection

Other types of therapy at Charlie Health

In addition to compassion focused therapy, Charlie Health utilizes a comprehensive suite of modalities for our teen and young adult clients. Our virtual IOP program is completely customized based on the individual's needs. Our weekly online program includes individual and family therapy, as well as personalized supported groups.

Disorders Treated by


Disorders Treated by


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