Cultivating Compassion: An Exploration of Compassion Focused Therapy and Mindfulness Interventions to Treat Shame

Please join us for a complimentary educational event

Cultivating Compassion: An Exploration of Compassion Focused Therapy and Mindfulness Interventions to Treat Shame

Nikki Rollo, PhD, LMFT, Reasons National Director

Jillian Szafranski, RYT, Reasons Trauma Informed Yoga Therapist

Thursday, November 15, 2018 from 4:00 pm -7:00 pm

Reasons Residential San Marino*New Reasons Location ~ Address provided at the time of RSVP

2 Continuing Education Credits Provided*

Presented by:

Nikki Rollo, PhD, LMFT, Reasons National Director & Jillian Szafranski, RYT, Reasons Trauma Informed Yoga Therapist 



Please join us for a complimentary educational workshop. We are looking forward to an evening of education and connection. This event is being held at our newest Reasons Residential location, scheduled to open early 2019.

Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be provided.

More information to come.

Please RSVP in advance, limited space available. To RSVP, please email Aly at [email protected].


Individuals presenting for eating disorder treatment often experience overwhelmingly high levels of shame, self-criticism, and self-directed hostility. Shame is recognized as a central factor in the development and maintenance of eating disorders. This shame may be experienced as feelings of inadequacy, body shame, feeling flawed or defective, shame about eating disorder behaviors and eating or more profoundly, being ashamed to exist at all.

Our patients live with a threat/survival-focused mind, unable to access a sense of inner and outer safeness, soothing and well-being in the world. Treatment must address not only the outward eating disorder behavioral symptoms but also these core underlying maintaining factors.

This presentation will focus specifically on self-compassion as an antidote to high levels of shame. It is based on the assumption that learning to relate to oneself with kindness and love in times of difficulty is key to the process of healing from emotional and relational pain.

Compassion is evolving as an empirically supported foundational therapeutic resource for psychological health and well-being. According to Buddhism, compassion has a two-part psychology and is both a way of being and doing. The first part being turning toward suffering and the second with an accompanying motivation and action to alleviate it.

Research will be presented that explains the modern science of compassion and self-compassion, drawing on the work of Kristen Neff and Christopher Germer and practical teachings on how to utilize Compassion Focused Therapy, developed by Paul Gilbert and CFT-E (specific to eating disorders) adapted by Ken Goss.

The Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) integrative model draws from evolutionary neuroscience, CBT, Jungian archetypes, Buddhist psychology, and attachment theory. This model proposes that we can train our mind to be compassionate to self and others and handle distressing emotions and threat in a way that promotes safeness and contentment.

Along with presentation of theory, presenters will include personal experiential practice for attendees. Particular emphasis will be placed on learning to help patients develop inner warmth, safeness, and soothing in times of distress through Compassionate Mind Training that includes the body in the process.

Three (3) behaviorally measurable learning objectives.

  1. Describe the science of compassion as a healing path for high levels of shame and self-criticism in individuals presenting for treatment for an eating disorder
  2. Identify blocks and pathways to self-compassion in the pursuit of healing and recovery
  3. Utilize 2 skills from the core concepts of Compassion Focused Therapy to support recovery from eating disorder behaviors and thought patterns

About Nikki Rollo, PhD, LMFT: 

Dr. Nikki Rollo completed a Ph.D. in Depth Psychology, with an emphasis in psychotherapy and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in both California and New York. Additionally, she has a Master’s Degree in Social Sciences where she focused on issues of immigration, gender, and trauma.

She has worked in various aspects of mental health and eating disorder treatment for fifteen years. She is a specialist in program development, staff training, admissions, business development and clinical outreach aspects of eating disorder work. Integral to her clinical philosophy is her personal practice of yoga and meditation including completing a yoga teacher training with an emphasis on trauma-sensitive mind-body movement.

She is the founding chair of the IAEDP San Diego Chapter, and has served on the boards including LA, Central Coast, Orange County, and Boston. She is a member of CA Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and the Academy for Eating Disorders and the International Association of Jungian Studies.

She currently serves in the role of National Director of Program Development for Reasons Eating Disorder Center and Center for Change.  Her areas of special interest include body image, the subtle body, compassion, meditation, mindful movement, and depth psychotherapy.

About Jillian Szafranski, RYT: 

Jillian Szafranski began her work in the healing arts as a dancer, competitive gymnast and actor. Her training is rooted in Alexander and Linklater Techniques which she learned while attending Emerson College in Boston. Drawing enormous inspiration from the ever-developing field of neuroscience, Jillian uses her her knowledge of anatomy and somatic integration (a therapeutic technique that combines the mental, emotional, spiritual to the physical body) to craft a proprietary hands-on approach to yoga that is informed by her own experiences with physical trauma and illness. With primary emphases alignment, mindfulness, and intuitive sound and movement. She uses grounding techniques to train her students how to self-regulate and navigate through potential triggers that may otherwise lead to flashbacks or unhealthy cycles of behavior, all of this with careful consideration to not re-traumatizing the patient. Over time she teaches her students not to avoid physicality, but to combat old fight-or-flight responses by engaging the initial response and creating new muscle memory in the brain and body grounded in safety and strength.

Jillian co-created yoga programs for Reasons Eating Disorder Residential Center and BHC Alhambra Hospital in 2009, where she works with adolescents and adults. She also founded the office yoga programs for NPR (National Public Radio) in Culver City and MTA (Metro Transportation Authority) in Downtown Los Angeles. Jillian works privately as a yoga therapist and bodyworker. She is Yoga Alliance certified.

If you require special accommodations per the American Disability Act, please please indicate your need in your RSVP. 

This course will be offered at an advanced level and is appropriate for those mental health clinicians (Psychologists and Therapists), medical providers and registered dietitians with a focus area of eating disorders.

*BHC Alhambra is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing professional education for psychologists.  BHC Alhambra maintains responsibility for this program and its contents. 

*Residential License pending 

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