A biological compassion focused model at The Limes, Nottinghamshire

The Compassion Focused Model at The Limes

The Limes is a specialist rehabilitation service for men with a mental illness and/or Personality Disorder. The aim of the service is to equip the service user with the skills needed for increased independence and community living. The service uses a unique Compassion Focused model that works well with the male patient population at The Limes. Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) helps patients to understand the biological components to behaviours, as well as physiological and psychological. Males often feel closed to emotions so using a biological model provides a language that is less threatening and more accessible.

CFT suggests that in order to feel reassured, to soothe yourself or have a sense of safety when experiencing high levels of distress, an individual needs to be able to access the appropriate system in the brain. From the first day in life, infants are calmed through receiving care. Caring behaviour calms the threat system, however some individuals find this very difficult to access because it has not been developed properly or because they are frightened of feelings of soothing and warmth.

How does it work? Why is it different to other approaches?

CFT provides an alternative therapy for individuals who have tried other therapies but have not achieved successful outcomes.

The biological element of the intervention helps to destigmatise a patient’s view of themselves and others and helps them to understand that we are all programmed with a survival instinct that can override our cognitive thoughts. Ultimately, this supports patients to become less judgemental and reframe their thoughts.

At The Limes, CFT is combined with Positive Behaviour Support (PBS). PBS enables patients to understand the function of their behaviours and enables patients to develop the ability to share that with others in their lives. The combination of the two models helps break down the internal threat system that often prevents people moving on from services.

What are the benefits for patients at The Limes?
  • Improved ability to manage their emotions
  • Supports patient to soothe themselves without maladaptive coping mechanisms such as drugs, alcohol or self-harm
  • In reducing shame, blocks to therapy are reduced. In reducing blocks to therapy, we are able to address more issues relating to core beliefs and any offending
  • Shorter length of stay in services as using a CFT framework can help move forward the most ‘stuck’ and difficult to place patients
  • CFT works alongside a range of psychosocial interventions, offence related work and relapse prevention programmes provided at The Limes


Please click here for more information about The Limes or contact Caroline Carnell on 07795 651 683 or email caroline.carnell@elysiumhealthcare.co.uk