Dr Paul Gilbert, Ph.D. | Dr James Kirby, Ph.D.

Compassion Focused Therapy

13-15 February 2019 | Sydney


Workshop overview

This workshop will enable participants to bring an evolutionary framework to the conceptualisation of mental health problems and their alleviation. Participants will learn about how the human ability to have objective self-awareness and self-monitor can be a source of shame, anxiety and depression; how the three-affect regulation system (threat awareness and coping, reward and resource seeking, and contentment and soothing) forms complex patterns within the mind; and how early life experiences can shape the organisation of our emotions and underpin mental health difficulties. We will then explore the two basic psychologies of compassion (engagement and action); the various competencies that support them such as distress tolerance empathy and cultivating compassionate intention for self and others; and how these competencies are used to address mental health difficulties, particularly shame and self-criticism, and to recognise and explore ways of dealing with our fears, blocks and resistances to compassion. Participants will complete the workshop with an understanding of compassion as flow, compassion to others, being open to compassion from others, and compassion towards oneself. The course is designed to encourage the use of practices that stimulate compassionate mental states and those that build a sense of the compassionate self-identity.

Dr Paul Gilbert, Ph.D.

Paul Gilbert, PhD, FBPsS, OBE is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby and is a Visiting Professor at The University of Queensland, Australia.  He was an NHS Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Derbyshire Health Care Foundation Trust until his retirement in 2016. He has researched evolutionary approaches to psychopathology for over 40 years with a special focus on shame and the treatment of shame-based difficulties – for which compassion focused therapy was developed. He was made a Fellow of the British Psychological Society in 1993. In 2003 Paul was president of the BABCP and a member of the first British Governments’ NICE guidelines for depression. He has written/edited 22 books and over 300 publications. In 2006 he established the Compassionate Mind Foundation, a charity with the mission statement “to promote wellbeing through the scientific understanding and application of compassion” ( He was awarded an OBE in March 2011.

Dr James Kirby, Ph.D.

James is a Clinical Psychologist and Lecturer at School of Psychology at the University of Queensland. He is also the Co-Director of the Compassionate Mind Research Group at the University of Queensland. He has broad research interests in compassion, however, specifically he examines compassion focused therapy and evaluates compassionate mind training interventions. James also holds a Visiting Fellowship at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles and chapters. He also continues his work as a clinical psychologist in private practice. Paul Gilbert, Founder of Compassion Focused Therapy, and James work collaboratively together on research projects, publish papers and deliver training workshops together.

Over the three days, participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of how evolutionary functional analysis advances our understanding of mental health difficulties and in particular the importance of the evolution of attachment, caring and affiliation as part of the human affect motivation and regulation systems
  • Gain an understanding of the 3 system affect regulation model (threat, drive and affiliative-soothing), which informs compassion-focused interventions
  • Be exposed to key compassion-focused skills including the use of the breath and body postures, the practice of compassion focused imagery, the use of compassionate mind training to build the “compassionate self”, employing the “compassionate self” to engage with areas of personal difficulty ,and building supportive social relationships.
  • 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).

Psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors, psychiatrists, social workers, and any other professionals interested in a compassion focused approach to the clinical treatment of mental health issues.

StandardEnds 12 February 2019
$745 full | $645 concession | $715 groups 5+

The workshop fee includes entrance to the workshop over the three days, a certificate of attendance, and a printed copy of the PowerPoint slides or handout.

All individual registrations are online and payment is by credit card. Please click on the ‘Register now’ button above. A confirmation email will be sent to you automatically.

Groups of five and more who want the group discount and will pay on one credit card will need to download the group registration form and email it to STARTTS. Groups cannot pay online.

NSW Teacher’s Federation Conference Centre
37 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills
Sydney NSW Australia

The workshop will be held in the recently renovated auditorium of the NSW Teacher’s Federation Conference Centre in trendy Surry Hills, Sydney (just next to the Sydney CBD and close to Central Station). Each participant will have a comfortable padded armchair will full view of the stage.

Central Station is the closest. It is only a couple of blocks walking.

Please check Sydney Transport for the best bus routes.

The closest parking station is Secure Goulburn Street.

9.30am-5pm | Registrations open at 9am

Break morning: 10.45-11.15am
Break lunch: 12.45-1.45pm
Break afternoon: 3.15-3.45pm

A certificate for the full 3 days will be emailed after the event to attendees who signed the attendance sheet on all 3 days. A certificate for one or two day attendance will be emailed after the event to attendees who only attended and signed on to one or two days.

CPD hours = 16.5

This workshop adheres to the continuing professional development standards of most professional bodies. Please check the CPD policy of your professional body.

CPD formal endorsements


Payment of the registration fee is online by credit card and a receipt/confirmation will be automatically emailed to you. Please bring your receipt to the seminar for proof of registration in case it is needed. An administration fee of $50 applies to all cancellations made more than one month before the event. Registration once paid cannot be cancelled one month or less before the event, regardless of personal circumstances. Registration can be transferred to another delegate only if STARTTS is informed of the name change. One and two day registrations are not available. The concession price is for full-time students and pensioners only and a photocopy or pdf of a valid concession card must be forwarded to the STARTTS training team upon registration. Online registration is not available for the group price (please fill out the form). Group price is for groups of 5 or more people; must be paid together in one payment; the details of each person in the group must be filled out on the registration form. Invoicing is only available for some government departments upon request to the STARTTS training team. Registrations will not be confirmed until full payment is received, and full payment must be finalised before the deadline to receive the early bird price and before the start of the event to be allowed to attend. The closing dates for registrations are final and non-negotiable. The STARTTS Training Team can be contacted at or (02) 9646 6700.

Phone: (02) 9646 6700  Ask for the Training Administration Officer