Many of us have struggled with difficult events or relationships throughout our lives. Your childhood may have been very difficult, or more recent problems have had a great deal of impact on you. These experiences can often leave us feeling self critical or shameful about ourselves. Maybe we feel that we ought to recover in a certain way; or find it hard to get past certain hurtful emotions. Sometimes, although we understand in our head that we ought to get past a problem, we find it impossible in our heart to do so.

Understanding Me is not therapy but is an information sharing presentation drawing on the theory that underpins Compassionate Mind Training. The fact is this; we are all human and we all find ourselves here in this world, with a brain and emotions that we have to figure out. Working out how and why our brains work the way they do is a tough task, understanding emotions can be even harder. Much of life’s suffering involves working our way through difficult situations, and we are not to blame for the ways our brains react to significant life events – we were not involved with the development of our brains nor the evolution of our emotions.

If you would like to gain a greater understanding of the brain and the functions of emotions, and have found yourself suffering from self critical thoughts or strong difficult emotions, there is now an opportunity to do this, and to develop compassion for yourself and others in the process.

There is evidence that suggests people who are more self critical and experience strong feelings of shame can struggle more than others, with common mental health difficulties. The Understanding Me course aims to help people who experience these difficulties.

Understanding Me is based on the principles of Compassionate Mind Training, which itself stems from the psychological approach of Compassion Focused Therapy. There is good evidence to suggest that this approach can help us develop a greater sense of compassion for ourselves and others.

In the future we will run Understanding Me in community venues, but due to the COVID-19 crisis we have decided to launch it online. We will also upload handouts with every session so you can practice skills and activities in-between. Come back fortnightly to find the next session when it uploads. There’s a good chance this course may be helpful for you, so why not give it a try?

Understanding Me is a Compassionate Mind Training inspired course for people with mild to moderate common mental health difficulties. It is not therapy and doesn't sit on the clinical pathway for any particular diagnosis. Attendees are not offered follow-up and the facilitators do not assess or manage risk.

Click on the text below for each session of course: