Working compassionately with our multiple selves

A compassion focused therapy (CFT) skills workshop

2.5 hours (2.5 CE credits)
Intermediate level skills workshop
Recording available for 6 months
All mental health professionals including psychologists, psychiatrists, BCBAs, social workers and therapists

Course Description

Have you ever encountered clients who express contradictory thoughts and feelings in therapy? Statements like:

“I want to improve, but I don’t feel strong enough,”


“I want to be kind to myself, but I don’t believe I deserve it,”

or even

“I want to live according to my values, but life feels too frightening.”

These apparent contradictions are quite common in therapy, and if left unresolved, they can lead to internal conflict, heightened shame, indecision, and an inability to progress in life.

At first glance, the solution may seem simple: focus on enhancing well-being, cultivating compassion, and engaging in values work. However, this logical approach often further entrenches the problem, leaving clients feeling even more stuck. This is because, as therapists, we may overlook the scared, sad, and angry parts of our clients’ selves.

To work more effectively in such situations, it is important to recognise the and work with the very different and powerful ways emotions like anger, anxiety, and sadness can organise our experience.  It can be like we have different functional “selves,” with each self involving different emotions, ways of thinking and reasoning, and motivations. In therapy, these different selves can come into conflict, especially during times of high stress or after traumatic experiences. An angry self might dominate and become excessively critical, while a sad self may feel overwhelmed and hopeless.

If not handled skilfully, these different selves can take hijack our clients, and leaving individuals stuck in shame and paralysed by inner conflict. Many recent therapeutic approaches have emphasised the value of working with different selves to help clients compassionately understand and navigate challenging emotions and their impact on our experiences.

Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) takes an approach to such work that draws from evolutionary science, affective neuroscience, and Buddhist psychology. It explores how our emotions and their underlying motivations profoundly shape our experiences and sense of self. CFT aims to help clients understand their minds in a way that reduces pathologising and shame focussing on compassion to effectively work with these difficult aspects of the mind.

Within CFT, the “multiple-selves” intervention is employed, which involves differentiating threat-based emotions and exploring their conflicts. Compassion is then applied to the client’s emotional landscape, aiding in regulation and integration. This approach helps clients develop a more compassionate relationship with themselves and navigate the complexities of their internal experiences.

By acknowledging and addressing the various selves within clients and using compassion as a guiding principle, therapists can effectively support clients in their journey towards healing and growth.

About this workshop

In this workshop, we’ll explore how to compassionately understand and relate to these different, sometimes challenging versions of the self. We will introduce a method for working with these multiple selves through intentionally cultivating and inhabiting a superordinate version of the self that is organised by the processes of compassion – the compassionate self.

What you will learn

  • Methods and exercises for engaging with and exploring different selves, their history, purpose and function.
  • How to introduce the ‘Captain of the ship’ metaphor to build the compassionate self and shift from relating to threat-based “selves” with shame and rejection to engaging with them in compassionate and helpful ways.
  • Tools and techniques to facilitate communication between different selves to increase harmony.
  • Ways to identify and strengthen the compassionate self.

Who is this workshop for?

This workshop is for practitioners, including psychologists, therapists and BCBAs who work with clients that experience problems or issues related to multiple selves, and work through anxiety, depression, interpersonal problems, or other emotional concerns.

By the end of this training, you will be able to:

  • Actively engage in methods and exercises to explore and understand the different selves, including their history, purpose, and function.
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively introduce and utilise the 'Captain of the ship' metaphor to cultivate the compassionate self
  • Utilise tools and techniques to facilitate communication between different selves, aiming to increase harmony and understanding among the various aspects of the client's internal experience.
  • Identify and apply strategies to identify and strengthen the compassionate self within clients, enhancing their ability to relate to themselves with kindness, acceptance, and compassion.

APA psychologists: This program is sponsored by Contextual Consulting and is approved for 2.5 CE credits for psychologists. 

Behaviour analysts: This workshop is available for 2.5 BACB Learning CEUs. Contextual Consulting is an approved BACB ACE Provider # OP-20-3415.

Nationally certified counselors: This workshop is available for 2.5 credit hours. Contextual Consulting Ltd. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7578. 

To find out more, including attendance requirements and how to access your certificate, go to our continuing education information page.

If you have disability and require adjustments or accommodation, please email us at to discuss your needs and we will do our best to help you.

Booking cancellation 

The registration fee will be refunded minus a administration charge if cancellations are received at least two weeks before the workshop date.

Cancellations within two weeks of the event date are charged the full registration fee, other than in exceptional circumstances that can be verified.

Event cancellation 
In the event of cancellation of the course outside of our control we will not be held accountable for travel and/or accommodation costs incurred. However, the workshop fees will be refunded.

All workshops will be subject to minimum delegate numbers being met; in the event that a workshop should be cancelled delegates will be given no less than 2 months’ notice.

Replacing delegates

If a delegate is unable to attend and a replacement is nominated there may be a charge depending on the individual circumstances, this will be advised at the time. Please contact the us to request a replacement of delegates at least a week before the workshop date.

Contextual Consulting is committed to the identification and resolution of potential conflicts of interest in the planning, promotion, delivery, and evaluation of continuing education. Potential conflicts of interest occur when an individual assumes a professional role in the planning, promotion, delivery, or evaluation of continuing education where personal, professional, legal, financial, or other interests could reasonably be expected to impair their objectivity, competence, or effectiveness.

There was no commercial support for this event. None of the planners or presenters for this educational activity have relevant financial relationship(s) to disclose with ineligible companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

Working compassionately with our multiple selves
13th Dec 2024
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM (New York time) change timezone
$64.00 (+ VAT if applicable). Early-bird rate valid until 16th Aug 2024 and then the normal price of US$80.00 + VAT will apply.
Student price US$40.00   Select:


To find out more, including attendance requirements and how to access your certificate, go to our continuing education information page.

To access this workshop you will need a stable internet connection and a set of smart phone ear buds with built in microphone. Your internet speed should be a minimum of 1.5mbs  DOWNLOAD & UPLOAD. You can check that here at

We will have dedicated technicians on hand throughout the entire duration of the workshop. They will be there to help you manage any issues that may come up and get you back in to the workshop again. Also, if you think there may be a problem, be it with your work access or anything else, you can log in early to check if things are working for you, and be prepared. There may of course be technical issues that come up on your end, which will be your responsibility to look after. But these are rare and we have an extra handy troubleshooting guide that comes with tips and tricks to deal with any problems.

Yes! As long as you have access to a web browser and you’re connected to the internet, you will be able to attend. It’s that simple – all you need to do is go to the webpage link, login and you’re set to go. You can join the workshop on any device including your home computer or iPad. You can even join in using your smart phone.

Yes, we have a special portal in the system to allow you to connect with other participants joining via the workshop.

Yes, a video of the presentation will be available to you for up to 6 months after the workshop is finished.  You’ll be able to go back over any part of the workshop to review or check anything that you missed. You also don’t actually have to attend the live workshop – if you’re not able to make it on the actual date, you can still login afterwards and watch the recorded version.

Yes, you will receive a CPD certificate.

Absolutely. You will be able to ask the presenter questions, just as you would in any workshop. You’ll also have the extra benefit of being able to interact with other colleagues who have also joined the workshop.

It’s super simple. All you need to do is follow a link that you will be provided prior to the course, along with instructions.

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