A narrative review exploring the effectiveness of compassion-focused therapy


Content & Focus: This narrative review summarises findings of research that has shown use of Compassion- Focused Therapy (CFT) to improve psychological outcomes in clinical populations. This article reviews the research studies that have utilised CFT to treat clients experiencing a variety of mental health issues. The paper begins offering an overview of CFT theory and compassionate mind interventions. A literature search was conducted which included book chapters and articles that discussed compassion focused therapy. Twelve studies were identified which showed significant psychological improvements in clients with diagnosed trauma symptoms, brain injury, eating disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia-spectrum disorder, chronic mental health problems and psychosis, both within groups and during one-to-one therapy. Within the context of the reviewed studies, CFT has shown itself to be an effective therapeutic intervention when combined with approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Conclusion: The research design of the majority of the studies examined precluded determining the extent of individual contributions that CFT made towards client recovery. Further research that uses more rigorous approaches are required to evaluate more effectively the role CFT plays in clients’ therapeutic recovery. Keywords: Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT); Compassionate Mind Training (CMT); Self-compassion; clinical outcome measure; narrative review.






Elaine Beaumont
Caroline J. Hollins Martin

Original Work Citation

Beaumont, E., & Martin, C. J. H. 2015, March). A narrative review exploring the effectiveness of compassion-focused therapy. Counselling Psychology Review, 30(1), 20-32



“A narrative review exploring the effectiveness of compassion-focused therapy,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed June 17, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/23483.

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