Child care

If you’ve ever been told to “stop acting like a baby”, we have some good news for you. Embracing your inner child, or soothing yourself as you would a distressed baby, can be a way of healing past traumas as well as reducing anxiety and feelings of shame.

It’s based on Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) by UK-based psychologist Paul Gilbert, who observed that many people, in particular those high in shame and self-criticism, were experiencing difficulties generating kind and self-supporting inner voices when engaging in traditional therapy. He observed that, although these individuals were able to engage with cognitive and behavioural tasks, they still responded poorly to therapy.

Gilbert developed the approach and teachings of CFT, which, put simply, teach people how to feel compassionate to themselves and others by training patients in how to talk to their inner voices with compassion. Initially developed to treat people with high levels of self-shame, this form of therapy has expanded its benefits and it’s now part of a growing global movement that recognises the potential of compassion to benefit a range of sectors, from business, education and healthcare to science, research

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