Do you sense that you are your own worst enemy? Is your inner critic’s voice loud and obnoxious on most days? Are you challenged to accept your flaws as a human being? Do you find yourself berating yourself when you make a mistake? Is most of your energy and time spent on trying to be perfect in order to avoid making such mistakes? Well, you are not alone and Compassion-focused Therapy (CFT) might be the prescription that the doctor orders!
Talk therapy, or psychotherapy, can take many forms, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotionally-focused Therapy (EFT), and Narrative Therapy, and Compassion-focused Therapy (CFT) is one of the newer kids on the block. However, the research is very promising and CFT is making a name for itself within the field of psychotherapy! It evolved as an approach to healing for people experiencing high shame and self-criticism that creates mental health challenges, such as anxiety, depression, and addictive, impulsive behaviors. And, having been a perfectionist in the past that suffered from anxiety growing up in an environment born from chaos, I can personally attest to the peace that comes from quieting the inner critic and accepting my imperfections as a normal, natural state as a spiritual being having a human experience.
So if you are tired of trying to be perfect (whatever that is?!?) and feeling like a failure when you make mistakes, all hope is not lost. If you are thinking that you might need some help in challenging the shame that your inner critic brings up, then you might seek out support from someone that will work with you to expand your ability to experience compassion through CFT. As a psychotherapist that looks through such a compassionate lens, it has been my experience that it will feel awkward at first because it is something new and different. Yet, it is exactly that feeling that indicates there is much room for growth and healing through compassion.
Although I have not done any research of my own, I can personally attest to the shift I have experienced as well as the shifts I have seen in my clients when our hearts began to open to the idea of our common humanity through compassion. For those of you that need a little more evidence, click on the link below to read a review that summarizes the findings of research where CFT has improved the mental health in clinical populations: