Discussion Groups


As part of our goal to facilitate the scientific understanding and application of compassion, we have set up three international discussion groups. Each group utilises the basic definition of compassion as 


A sensitivity to suffering in self and others with a commitment to try to
alleviate and prevent it.

To be helpful rather than harmful.





Purpose of the discussion groups


The discussion groups have been created to help individuals who are interested in developing the evolutionary and biopsychosocial approach to compassion and its dissemination. Hence they are not general compassion lists but support our specific scientific approach to compassion that seeks to link our understanding of how the human mind evolved, it’s neurophysiological architecture, with psychological and social process that shape and are shaped by it. Hence this approach draws on a range of different approaches including Western scientific and the contemplative traditions - but with a specific focus on the evolutionary dynamics and challenges of the brain.

Those wishing to join these lists should have some familiarity with the basic CFT model. So while discussion of different views is welcomed it is important to recognise that this is a specific approach rather than for people who want to debate their own approach.

Participants joining the list do so on the understanding that they recognise the nature of the list and that material shared is confidential unless otherwise stated.

Participants are clinically and personally responsible for how they use any of the materials learned through the list or the Foundation’s website.

Discussion list 1: Compassion focused therapy and well-being

This is open to clinicians and researchers who have some experience of compassion focused therapy approaches, recognise the evolutionary foundations of this approach and are interested in contributing to the development of this approach. The purpose of the group is to share ideas and academic materials amongst the group to further skills in compassion focused therapy and compassionate mind training.

Discussion list 2: Compassion focused schools

This is to stimulate and support the work of individuals who are seeking to develop compassion focused approaches in schools. The guiding model of our approach is to help children understand the tricky nature of the human brain. It is also to focus on the role of cultivation of prosocial motivation and compassion as a way of helping self and others. Group members can share information about projects to develop CMT programs in schools.

Discussion list 3: Compassion focused leadership

Leadership can have a profound effect on organisational structures including the mental well-being of those that work within the organisation and the ethical orientation of the organisation. The evolutionary model of leadership highlights how different styles of leadership can create different cultures. The purpose of this group is to disseminate ideas, research and the approach of compassion focused leadership amongst peers with a specific interest in this area.


To join any of the above discussion group(s) please

Contact Us


Special Interest Group Discussion Lists


Compassionate Mind Physical Health

This is the discussion list for the Compassionate Mind Physical Health special interest group, who explore how a compassionate mind or compassion focused therapy approach can aid our understanding and treatment of a range of physical health conditions. To join this list, please email Hannah or contact Dr Zoey Malpus, the list owner.


Compassionate Mind Forensics

This is the discussion list for the Compassionate Mind Forensics special interest group, who explore how compassion focused therapy can be used within forensic institutions, and with forensic populations. To join this list, please email Hannah or contact Dr Kerensa Hocken or Dr Jon Taylor, the list owners. 

Compassion Focused Therapy for Groups

This is the discussion list for the Compassion Focused Therapy for Groups special interest group, who explore how we can use compassion focused therapy in groups. To join this list, please email Hannah or contact Kate Lucre, the list owner.




Advice about discussion list subscription


1 You can be added to the discussion list(s) with any kind of email address, but if you wish to access the online archive associated with each list, you will need a googleaccount (this is solely because our discussion lists are hosted by google). If you don't have a googleaccount, they are easy to set up - https://accounts.google.com/signup/v2/webcreateaccount?hl=en&flowName=GlifWebSignIn&flowEntry=SignUp 


2 There are different options for how you can receive these emails -

ALL emails (they come to your inbox as they are sent)

DIGEST (collates emails into one email - usually every 25 emails or once a day)

SUMMARY DIGEST (once a day, summarising the day's activity)

NO EMAIL (web access only)


If you want to change how you receive the emails on the list, or if we can be of any further help, please let Hannah know via hannah.gilbert@compassionatemind.co.uk. Always happy to help!