The Compassionate Self-soothing Task in Emotion-Focused Therapy
Keywords:self-soothing, compassion, Emotion-Focused therapy, therapeutic process, Psychotherapy training
The aim of this paper is to make available to the therapists and to the psychotherapy clinical research teams an update, on the Compassionate Self-soothing Task in Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT). For the humnanistic or integrative therapists that use marker-guided interventions and for those who work at an experiential level, this writing is aimed to be an inspiring and detailed training guide. On the other hand, for those researches committed to the EFT development, the text is proposed as a model that may be used to homogenize and to increase the validity of the self-soothing facilitation interventions, in those studies in which such process is a relevant variable. In the first place, we present the Compassionate Self-Soothing Task within the EFT's conceptual framework; then we give a rationale for the therapeutic work with self-compassion, and finally we present the available empirical evidence in the field. The task is also explained in terms of the process model resulting from clinical research and observation: (1) marker description, (2) client's and therapist's operations specification, (3) proposal of an end state related to a typical in-session therapeutic micro-outcome. In addition the resolution scale of the process that leads to the end state is also presented. Finally, we make a series of suggestions on how to use this material, and provide some supplementary didactic and training resources.
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