Interviewing leaders

in mental health

Interviewing leaders in mental health

Prof Paul Gilbert Legacy Interview
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Prof Paul Gilbert Legacy Interview

Venture into the heart of compassion with Prof Paul Gilbert, OBE, a pioneer in psychology and the visionary creator of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

With Special Guests

Chris Irons, Deborah Lee, Nicola Petrocchi, Matthieu Ricard, Daniel Wilson & Hannah Gilbert

“I want to thank you for introducing CFT and Paul Gilbert’s work. I find it fascinating and very helpful. I’m now reading his book and I think it should be on all child therapy trainings.”

MindinMind’s Legacy Interview celebrates the extraordinary contributions of Professor Paul Gilbert OBE, a pioneering figure in the field of clinical psychology. He is the founder of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and bestselling author of Overcoming Depression and The Compassionate Mind. Professor Gilbert has published 23 books and over 300 academic papers and book chapters. As a leading researcher and practitioner, Paul’s groundbreaking work has provided compelling evidence for the role of compassion in understanding and alleviating our own suffering and that of others.

Beginning with an overview of Paul’s early life experiences and education, which laid the foundation for his lifelong passion for understanding, this interview offers a captivating exploration of Paul’s significant impact on our understanding of compassion and mental health. He is joined by a distinguished group of collaborators and clinicians as we consider how compassion can help with treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, where shame and self-criticism present major difficulties.

Special Guests

Dr Chris Irons

Chris IronsChris Irons, a clinical psychologist who worked closely with Paul in CFT’s development, shares his experiences of learning from and later collaborating with Paul on research into shame, self-criticism, and attachment. He highlights Paul’s unique ability to integrate various disciplines, such as neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, and attachment theory, into a comprehensive therapeutic approach.

Dr Deborah Lee

Deborah LeeDeborah Lee, a consultant clinical psychologist and founding board member of the Compassionate Mind Foundation, discusses her pioneering work with Paul in developing CFT for treating post-traumatic stress disorder. She also emphasises the importance of compassionate leadership within the National Health Service, inspired by Paul’s work.

Nicola Petrocchi

Nicola PetrocchiNicola Petrocchi shares her extensive research on the efficacy of CFT, demonstrating its profound effects on mental health outcomes, particularly for conditions such as treatment-resistant OCD. Her work, influenced by Paul’s thinking, has contributed significantly to the growing body of evidence supporting CFT’s effectiveness.

Matthieu Ricard

Matthieu RicardMatthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk, author, who has been dubbed “the world’s happiest man”, discusses his involvement in research showing the powerful effects of compassion on the brain. He shares insights from his conversations with Paul about the important distinctions between compassion and empathy, and how these insights have enriched his understanding of Buddhist psychology.

Dr. Daniel Wilson

A photo of Daniel WilsonDr. Daniel Wilson, a neuropsychiatrist, anthropologist and past president of the American Neuropsychiatric Association, discusses how Paul’s thinking on evolutionary psychology has shaped his own work on the evolutionary components of mental ill health, particularly depression and suicide.

Hannah Gilbert

A photo of Hannah GilbertHannah Gilbert, Paul’s daughter and a psychotherapist, offers a unique perspective on her father’s unwavering passion and dedication to his work. She shares how growing up in an environment that fostered curiosity and exploration has influenced her own career in the field of compassion.

Key points from the interview include:

  • The development of Compassion Focused Therapy and its effectiveness in treating a wide range of mental health issues.
  • The importance of understanding the role of shame, self-criticism, in human suffering.
  • The integration of various disciplines, such as evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, attachment theory and Buddhist psychology, in Paul’s work.
  • The impact of Paul’s thinking on the field of clinical psychology and beyond, including leadership and public engagement.
  • The transformative power of compassion in understanding and alleviating suffering.

From his groundbreaking research to his transformative insights for clinical interventions, Professor Paul Gilbert has inspired a generation of researchers and practitioners to explore the vital role of compassion in promoting mental health and well-being, and his influence continues to shape the field of clinical psychology and beyond.

Interviewer

Paul is in conversation with Jane O’Rourke.

Jane is a Child, Adolescent and Family Psychotherapist and Founder of MINDinMIND. She was formerly a senior producer at the BBC and recently won the Association of Infant Mental Health’s Founders Prize. She runs the counselling service in a state primary school in London, United Kingdom.

Resources & Readings

A MINDinMIND List of Compassion Academic Papers and Books and other Resources

(We will keep adding to this list as a resource for you to come back to. Please email us contact@mindinmind.org.uk if you would like to suggest additional resources to add here!)

Link to Prof Paul Gilbert’s excellent list of many publications, mostly free to download. With a helpful summary of key thinking.

Link to join the lively and often very informative Compassionate Mind email compassion discussion list

Link to scales developed by Prof Paul Gilbert and colleagues which are free to use with permission.

Link to Paul’s bestselling book The Compassionate Mind.

Link to Paul’s bestselling book Overcoming Depression.

General Papers:

The impact of compassion-focused therapy on positive and negative mental health outcomes: Results of a series of meta-analyses. Nicola Petrocchi

Post Natal Depression:

The Compassionate Mind Approach To Postnatal Depression – Michelle Cree
https://www.hachette.co.uk/titles/michelle-cree-3/the-compassionate-mind-approach-to-postnatal-depression/9781780330853/

Forensic:

Promoting a compassionate motivation in detained youth: A secondary analysis of a controlled trial with the PSYCHOPATHY.COMP program.
https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2022-84888-001

At the heart of change: Differences in young offenders’ HRV patterns after the delivery of the PSYCHOPATHY.COMP program:
https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychiatry/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2022.1032011/full

The efficacy of the PSYCHOPATHY.COMP program in reducing psychopathic traits: A controlled trial with male detained youth.
https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2021-62983-002

We look forward to bringing you more insightful interviews soon.

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