Please check back - future course dates will be posted in February 2024!
People with psychosis often live in a constant world of internal and external threat; whether it’s a voice they hear making explicit threats, a feeling they're being watched, a conspiracy, or whether it’s just the threat implicit in having their life influenced by outside forces.
What this means, at the physiological level, is that the entire brain-body system that has evolved to process and respond to threats is being constantly stimulated. And, of course, the more this system gets activated, the more sensitised it becomes.
As if this weren’t problematic enough, associated diagnoses like ‘schizophrenia’ carry severe social stigma, and many of those diagnosed will internalise this stigma to experience shame. What this brings is an additional layer of threat, linked to one's social position or social rank.
The emerging science and practice of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), with its roots in evolutionary psychology, attachment theory, and neuroscience, may offer a useful framework for approaching some of the challenges of helping people with psychosis, at each of the personal, professional, and organisational levels.
Compassion for Voices
a 5-minute animated film which outlines a compassion-focused approach for relating to voices. The film was made by Charlie at King’s College London in 2015, with input from Dr Eleanor Longden, who provided the narration.
The workshop will outline Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) psychoeducation and how evolution has set humans up with a tricky brain that has a natural threat bias that can incline towards dissociating, problematic attention, and over-estimating threat, using ‘better safe than sorry’ algorithms. It will guide participants through the CFT formulation of voice-hearing and delusions, which focuses on their (protective) function for people, particularly in the context of interpersonal threat and trauma.
Building on these de-shaming foundations in psychoeducation and formulation, workshop participants will learn how to support their clients in developing a ‘compassionate self’ identity and how to switch into compassionate mind states that organize multiple physiological processes differently to that of threat states.
Participants will learn techniques that support their clients in applying compassionate competencies to achieve therapeutic change, with illustrative examples of interventions such as parts work, voice-dialoguing, imagery, letter-writing, and interventions that use role-play, chair work embodiment, and acting techniques. This workshop will be useful for providers in CSC and practitioners working with people with psychosis. This training provides an orientation to the model as applied to working with individuals with early psychosis and longer-standing presentations of psychosis.
Early Bird: $275 (Available until June 1st)
Continuing Education Credit
*AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, ASWB continuing education credits, and Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists. See below for full accreditation information*
*Please note live attendance is required to receive CME credits
*Live attendance at all of the workshop dates is encouraged. However, the workshops will be recorded and available for 30 days if live attendance at all portions is not possible.
Prerequisite: Participants should have attended the Master Clinician Series “Compassion Focused Therapy for Psychosis” orientation or have viewed the orientation didactic prior to participation (video access will be provided upon registration).
In support of improving patient care, Stanford Medicine is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.
American Medication Association (AMA)
Stanford Medicine designates this Live activity for a maximum of 15.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
ASWB Approved Continuing Education Credit (ACE) – Social Work Credit
ASWB Approved Continuing Education Credit (ACE) – Social Work Credit
As a Jointly Accredited Organization, Stanford Medicine is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. Social workers completing this activity receive 15.50 continuing education credits.
American Psychological Association (APA)
Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists are provided through the co-sponsorship of the American Psychological Association (APA) Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP). The APA CEP Office maintains responsibility for the content of the programs.
- Braehler, C., Gumley, A., Harper, J., Wallace, S., Norrie, J., & Gilbert, P. (2013). Exploring change processes in compassion focused therapy in psychosis: results of a feasibility randomized controlled trial. Br J Clin Psychol, 52(2), 199-214. doi:10.1111/bjc.12009
- Cultural Institute at King’s (2015). Compassion for voices: A tale of courage and hope [online video].
- Gumley, A., Braehler, C., Laithwaite, H., MacBeth, A., & Gilbert, P. (2010). A Compassion Focused Model of Recovery after Psychosis. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 3(2), 186-201. doi:DOI 10.1521/ijct.2010.3.2.186
- Heriot-Maitland, C. & Longden, E. (2022), Relating to Voices using Compassion Focused Therapy: A Self-help Companion. London: Routledge
- Heriot-Maitland, C. (2022) Compassion focused therapy for voice-hearing and delusions in psychosis. In P. Gilbert & G. Simos (Eds.) Compassion Focused Therapy: Clinical Practice and Applications. London: Routledge
- Heriot-Maitland, C. & Levey, V. (2021). A case report of compassion-focused therapy for
- distressing voice-hearing experiences. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 77(8), 1821-1835
- Heriot-Maitland, C., McCarthy-Jones, S., Longden, E. & Gilbert, P. (2019). Compassion Focused Approaches to Working with Distressing Voices. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 152
Dr. Charlie Heriot-Maitland is a clinical psychologist, researcher and trainer at Balanced Minds (London and Edinburgh, UK). For the last five years, he has been researching the application of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) for people in UK NHS services who are experiencing distress in relation to psychosis (as an MRC Research Fellow at King’s College London and University of Glasgow, 2014-2019). He provides CFT therapy, supervision, consultation, and training. He has run over a hundred compassion training workshops nationally and internationally.