Compassion-focused therapy: Preface and introduction for special section.
I am delighted to welcome you to this short, special edition on compassion-focused therapy (CFT). One of the core principles of CFT is that it is rooted in clinical science rather than any particular approach to therapy. If we use psychological science to better understand the way the brain evolved, functions, and can create mental health problems, we can begin to target and develop therapeutic interventions based on that science. Indeed, clinical psychology is at a point where it can begin to be less focused on allegiance to particular schools of therapy and root itself in basic science. We can distinguish the science of process from the science of intervention because they have not developed in tandem. There is considerable evidence now that a whole range of interventions that involve: developing an appropriate and supportive therapeutic relationship, creating opportunities for guided discovery and behavioural experiments, gradual exposure for avoided situations and emotions, practising imagery, learning behavioural and emotional regulation skills – to name a few – play a central role in the personal change and recovery journey. However, CFT suggests that how individuals engage in these processes can play a big role in their willingness to engage with them and how effective they are.