Compassionate Focused Therapy for Eating disorders by Dr. Ken Goss

For the first time Dr. Ken Goss is coming to Sweden to present how to use Compassionate Focused Therapy Therapy for eating disorders. CFT is a newer approach to help patients with anorexia og bulimia to recover from an eating disorder. It is easily integrated in in- and out patients therapy for eating disorders as well as group and individual therapy

This workshop is designed to introduce the principles, philosophy and techniques of Compassion Focused Therapy CFT, how these can be modified and applied to help people recover from an eating disorder. It introduces a specific approach to eating disorder formulation and treatment (Compassion Focused Therapy for Eating Disorders – CFT-E) and evidence that supports its incorporation into mainstream eating disorder treatment.

The workshop consists of didactic teaching, role plays and the practise of key CFT techniques.  It is aimed at health professionals who are working, or want to work, therapeutically with people with an eating disorder. All professionals are welcome.

What is Compassionate Focused Therapy?

CFT is developed by Professor Paul Gilbert. It is a scientific model that draws on many branches of psychology (e.g., developmental social and evolutionary) and neuroscience science. It has a specific formulation model that notes that internal and external experiences can activate our “threat” system. We find various ways to manage these painful emotions and thoughts as best we can. Sometimes this can lead to unintended consequences that can exacerbate our problems and make it even more difficult to manage life’s challenges.

Key to CFT is the idea that we have evolved with a brain and emotional systems that can very difficult to manage, and that much of the way we respond to the world is not our fault, but our (often automatic) responses to threat. However understanding these responses can help us to take responsibility for the ways we respond to threat, and find new, more adaptive, ways of coping.

CFT is designed to help clinicians develop therapeutic relationships that are most likely to be helpful for people who experience high levels of shame and self-criticism, or who find compassion and receiving care from others (including their therapist) difficult to manage. It is an integrative approach, utilising the wisdom of both Western and Eastern approaches to helping people change. CFT argues that we can be taught to train our minds (Compassionate Mind Training) to help us to experience compassion, develop various aspects of compassion for ourselves and others, improve our abilities to self-sooth and affiliate with others, and to foster the courage and wisdom we need to cope with difficult life events, memories or emotions.

Dr. Ken Goss

CFT-E offers a structured approach to helping clients gain control of their chaotic eating patterns and to address the behavioural and cognitive processes that underlie them.

  1. Developing a regular eating routine.
  2. Eating sufficient calories to meet the body’s demands for energy. Low weight clients need to restore weight to a biologically healthy BMI (least 20). Normal or overweight clients may need to gradually get used to eating less than they usually would if they binge or comfort eat).
  3. Learning to be in touch with, and respond to, the body’s need for food.

Psychological Change in CFT-E

  1. Developing compassionate feelings and motivations for people with an eating disorder, including themselves.
  2. Experiencing, tolerating, and acting upon the provision of compassionate support from others (including their therapist and group members- if in group therapy).
  3. Compassionate Mind Training (CMT), focusing on activating the soothing system via imagery and related practical exercises, and using their Compassionate Mind to help them address the challenges of recovery.
  4. Improving their ability to use their wider social network to access support.

The CFT-E Treatment Program

In order to deliver the program successfully, clinicians are required to understand the basic philosophy of the CFT-E, have experience and skills in psycho-educational teaching, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Compassionate Mind Training and ideally in group work, as we have found that this can be a very effective treatment modality. In addition clinicians also need to have a good understanding of eating disorders, particularly the complex interactions between biological and psychological maintenance processes and the problems that can arise over the course of eating disorder treatment.

Treatment Phases 

The CFT-E treatment group program is divided into four distinct phases, with each phase being followed by an individual review before progression to the next phase.  These phases are:

  1. Psycho-Education and Motivational Enhancement
  2. Developing Self-Compassion Skills
  3. Recovery
  4. Maintenance

Dr Ken Goss, (D. Clin. Psy), is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Head of Coventry Eating Disorders Service in the UK. Ken has over 20 years’ experience of working with people with eating difficulties. He has published a number of academic papers and book chapters on the role of shame and compassion in eating disorders. He leads an on-going research programme exploring these issues and their relationship with therapeutic practice and outcomes. Ken is currently working with Birmingham University (UK) and he is conducting a random control trial on CFT on eating disorders in Norway.

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Deadline for sign up: 25.09.17

Price: 4800,- SEK (Swedish organizations do not pay tax)

Place: Scandic Kungens Kurva,
Ekgårdsvägen 2, 141 75 Kungens Kurva, Sweden

Time: 23 & 24 november 2017 (9-16)
More information will be available as the course deadline approaches.