Compassion Focused Therapy: Emotion Regulation and Working with Difficult Emotions

When: Thursday 2nd April 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 Chris Irons


Emotions bring purpose, pleasure and meaning to our lives. However, for many people, they are synonymous with distress, pain and suffering. Anger and rage can wreck relationships and cause problems at work; anxiety can prevent us from socialising or engaging in things we would like to; sadness can feel overwhelming and never ending.

These types of difficulties are often referred to as emotion regulation problems, and can prevent us from developing stable and happy relationships, communicating our needs, and flourishing.In this workshop we will explore how CFT can be a powerful approach to helping clients work with emotions they find difficult and distressing in life.

It will explore ideas about what emotions are, how and why we struggle with them, and how developing a Compassionate Mind can provide the basis for helpful emotion regulation. Participants will also be introduced to an emotion regulation model designed to help therapists and clients to identify common difficulties with emotion regulation, and a variety of skills that may bring helpful change.

Teaching methods:

  • Didactic teaching
  • Group discussion
  • Experiential practice
  • Role play

This workshop would be suitable for therapists who have an interest in, or are currently working with people with emotion regulation difficulties. It would be helpful if attendees have a working knowledge of the basic CFT model/approach.

About the presenter

Dr Chris Irons is a Clinical Psychologist, academic, author and trainer of CFT. Heis one of the founding board members of the Compassionate Mind Foundation,a charitable organisation aiming to: “Promote wellbeing through the scientific understanding and application of compassion”. Chris has been involved in supporting Professor Gilbert and other colleagues in the development of CFT, and is currently writing two CFT books. He regularly presents to national and international academic, professional and lay audiences on Compassion Focused Therapy and more broadly, the science and practice of compassion. He is interested in how compassion may improve individual wellbeing, relationship satisfaction, and facilitate positive group and organisational change.

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
  • Irons, C. (2019) The Compassionate Mind Approach to Difficult Emotions: Robinson