Of Compassion and Men: Using Compassion Focused Therapy in Working with Men

  • Joanna SmithEmail author
  • Sunil Lad
  • Syd Hiskey


The relationship between compassion and men is a fascinating, yet vexed one. This chapter will consider how typical male coping styles in response to distress, the status-seeking default mode of many Western men, and sex differences in parenting styles, can render men more vulnerable to having underdeveloped self-soothing abilities. This has potential negative implications for men’s mental health. The core principles of compassion focused therapy (CFT) are discussed, along with the growing evidence base for its effectiveness. Examples of the clinical application of using CFT with men are given, drawing on case illustrations of working with men in prison environments and men in an older peoples’ service, to show how specific challenges to men can be worked through with CFT.


Compassion Compassion focused therapy CFT Men 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation TrustNorwichUK
  2. 2.Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation TrustKetteringUK
  3. 3.University College LondonLondonUK

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