Paul Gilbert OBE
Evolution, Attachment and Compassion Focused Therapy
Cognitive behaviour therapists have always recognised that many of our dispositions for certain kind of goals and motives (to avoid harm, to connect with others, develop attachment relations with the young and partners) along with our emotions and ways of thinking, are rooted in evolved mechanisms (Beck 1983; Beck et al., 1985, Marks 1987). This workshop will outline how the evolution of attachment and other prosocial motives and behaviours created brain processes that are central to the regulation of emotion, and prosocial versus antisocial behaviour. The workshop will give a brief overview of CFT and how attachment concepts including proximity maintenance, secure base and safe haven underpin the development of a compassionate mind. We will also explore the way these three elements support clients' capacity for differentiating different emotions tolerating and integrating different emotions. We will discuss some of the central practices of CFT, which are designed to stimulate these internal physiological systems and create a compassionate mind. Developing a compassionate mind and that self-identity then becomes a central therapeutic aim that is used to address difficulties such as self-criticism, shame, and trauma.
Who should attend:
Ideally participants will have some working knowledge of CFT
Leaning Objectives - participants will gain inside into
How evolution concepts can be applied to therapeutic process
The nature of attachment theory
The three major dimensions of attachment theory: proximity maintenance, secure base and safe haven and how these underpin the development of a compassionate mind
How to use these processes to help clients to differentiate between difficult emotions, particularly the big three of anger, fear and sadness
Using internal attachment process to facilitate empathic engagement tolerance and transformation of difficult emotions
About Professor Paul Gilbert OBE
Paul Gilbert, FBPsS, PhD, OBE is Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the Centre for Compassion Research and Training at the University of Derby. Until his retirement from the NHS in 2016 he was Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Derbyshire Health Care Foundation Trust. He has been a practising clinical psychologist for over 40 years. He was a member of the British Governments’ first NICE guidelines for depression under the chairmanship of Sir David Goldberg (2002-2004). In 2003 Paul was elected president of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy.
Over the last 20 years Paul has been dedicated to developing the evolution informed psychotherapy called Compassion Focused Therapy for which there is now growing evidence of efficacy from studies around the world. He is currently completing the training manual for this therapy. He has supervised many clinical psychology trainees and professionals and contributed to many clinical training programs. He has run numerous training workshops around the world.
Paul has held visiting professorships at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) and University of Coimbra (Portugal). He is currently (from 2018) an Honorary visiting Professorship at the University of Queensland, Australia.
He conducted his PhD during the 1970s on depression at the University of Edinburgh on cognitive factors in depression. His first book entitled Depression: From Psychology to Brain State (1984) highlighted the importance of integrating social and physiological processes into the understanding and alleviation of mental health and social problems. He has maintained that cross disciplinary, integrative focus in his research ever since.
Publications and books
Paul has written/edited 23 books and over 300 papers and book chapters on evolutionary and contextual approaches to psychopathology and process focused interventions. Recently (2019) he edited a special edition of the journal Psychology and Psychotherapy on the need for integrative psychotherapies for the 21st century. He has researched and published in a range of areas such as mood disorders, psychosis, problems of emotional regulation, shame and self-criticism and more recently compassionate mind training in schools.
His latest book Living Like Crazy (2018) explores how our current (post agricultural) lifestyles are very different from the sharing and caring ones of our hunter gatherer early sapiens groups. While modern society offers comforts and relief from suffering particularly by medicine it’s social contexts, competitiveness tribalism can accentuate human (and animal) suffering. He highlights the fact that compassion must not be naïve about humanity but needs to come to terms with its dark side, because humans can be one of the nastiest and most vicious species that have ever existed. Some of this is outlined in the recent talk called compassion for the dark side https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xSOHOfG2yE
The Compassionate Mind Foundation
In 2006 Paul established the Compassionate Mind Foundation as an international charity with the mission statement To promote wellbeing through the scientific understanding and application of compassion (www.compassionatemind.co.uk). He has helped to establish number of sister Compassionate Mind Foundations in other countries. The Compassionate Mind Foundation has now developed compassionate mind training programme for schools and for business.
The compassionate mind foundation now has developed two other domains of activity. In 2017 the Reed foundation awarded the foundation hundred £106,000 to develop a compassion training in schools. This was conducted both in the UK and in Portugal. Follow-up studies are exploring potential epigenetic changes associated with compassion training teachers.
A second domain of activity has been compassion in business and for leadership. Again the key theme is having a clear understanding of the evolution and physiological aspects of compassion. He on the board of the compassion and politicsorganisation.
Paul was made a Fellow of the British Psychological Society in 1993 in recognition of his book Human Nature and Suffering (1989) and other contributions to psychological science. In 2015 he was awarded the Monte Shapiro award for contributions to psychology https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMbGmD84Iww. He was awarded an OBE by the Queen in March 2011 for his services to mental health. He has been married for over 40 years with daughter and son and still tries to play guitar - but had to give up the leg spin bowling!
The Nature of Compassion, Fear, Safe Relating and World Change
Paul's recent online lectures relating to COVID-19
In this series of talks, Prof Paul Gilbert OBE, pioneer of Compassion Focused Therapy and President of The Compassionate Mind Foundation, will discuss how compassion can help us during this time of heightened anxiety and uncertainty, with a powerful vision for the future of our societies.