chapter  3
13 Pages

Attachment theory and compassion focused therapy for depression


Compassion focused therapy (CFT) emerged from a number of major but disparate inÀ uences, including clinical observation, evolution theory, attachment theory and Buddhist practices (Gilbert 2000a, 2009a, 2012). Firstly, when working with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for chronic depression in the 1980s, it became clear that some people could generate impressive alternative thoughts to their depressive ones but still said: ‘I can see the logic but I don’t feel any better’ or ‘I know logically I am not a failure but I still feel a failure’. This is now well recognised as a dif¿ culty in CBT (Stott 2007). Exploring the emotional textures by which people experienced their alternative thoughts revealed that they were often somewhat harsh and aggressive, rather than kind, understanding and supportive. Attachment theory gave important insights into how we generate such ‘kind’ emotional textures (Cozolino 2007) and that shame is one of the biggest blocks to feeling af¿ liative emotions for the self (Gilbert 2010).