A Compassion Focused Approach to Working with People Who Have Committed Offending Behaviour

When: Friday 15th May 2020, 9:30am to 4:30pm
Where: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston Campus (postcode B15 2TT)
Cost: £140 (University of Birmingham alumni are entitled to a 50% discount)
Speaker: Dr Sunil Lad


In this workshop, participants will be introduced to the theory and model of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), and consider how this can be applied to understanding and working with people in prison or other forensic settings. Working with people who have engaged in offending behaviour can be challenging, difficult and make people question the reasons for such behaviour. Compassion Focused Therapy was developed to address difficulties for people with mental and physical health difficulties. In this workshop we will explore how this model can be used to work with this group.

During the workshop we will address:

  • Provide an overview of the CFT and how to applies to offending behaviour
  • Recognise the role of shame to understand the development of offending behaviour and how to work with it
  • Developing the compassionate self and additional training exercises to work with this group
  • Addressing common emotional experiences of working with this group and how to apply a compassionate perspective
  • How to explore and work with common blocks to being compassionate and self-compassionate with this group

The workshop will include practical experience of some of the compassionate mind training exercises, didactic teaching and group discussion. This workshop would be suitable for people who have an interest in, or are currently working with people in forensic settings. The workshop will briefly cover the fundamental principles of Compassion Focused Therapy but will assume some prior knowledge. Those new to the approach would benefit from visiting www.compassionatemind.co.uk for a more detailed understanding prior to attending the workshop.

About the presenter

Dr Sunil Lad is a Counselling Psychologist. His current post is as a Counselling Psychologist at Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust where he goes into a number of prisons and supports probation officers in developing a psychological understanding of behaviour.

He is also the Clinical Lead of a national pilot for Mental Health Treatment requirements where treatment is offered in the community following a low level offence. Sunil has worked in forensic settings for over 15 years. He has been using CFT in his practice when working with people who have committed violent and sexual offences and experienced trauma. He has written two chapters and a journal article on Compassion Focused Therapy.

Suggested pre-course reading

  • Gilbert, P. (2009). The Compassionate Mind. A New Approach to the Challenges of Life. London: Constable & Robinson.
  • Gilbert, P. (2010). Compassion Focused Therapy. Distinctive Features. London: Routledge.
  • Gilbert, P. (ed.). (2010). Compassion Focused Therapy: Special Issue. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy. 3, 97-201