Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT; Gilbert, 2014) is an approach to psychotherapy originally developed to work with those experiencing self-criticism and shame. CFT incorporates psychoeducation, such as understanding the evolved nature of the human brain and the nature and sources of human suffering, and skills development components, ranging from body-based and imagery practices through to method acting and embodiment techniques. The focus of CFT is to help people develop their compassionate minds and cultivate compassion across the three flows: For others, from others, and self-to-self, or self-compassion.

Cultivating the qualities and skills of compassion has been found to be helpful in the context of grief. Self-compassion in particular predicts reduced severity and longevity of the grieving process, and reduced risk of mental disorders, especially when grief is complicated by shame and shame memories. In this chapter, we will explore the concept, research, and application of compassion, as well as compassion-focused approaches, in the context of grief, with a focus on those whose grieving has become complicated by shame and shame memories.