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CFT Calm Place

The Calm Place Imagery exercise is taken from the Psychology Tools For Developing Self-Compassion audio collection. In this exercise, the listener is guided to develop positive imagery associated with a calm place or ‘safe place’ and to experience and reflect upon the physiological and mental effects of spending time in this place.


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Audio track (MP3)

A therapy audio track designed for skills development.

Audio script (PDF)

The script for a therapy audio track. Read along with an exercise, or record in your own voice.


There is considerable research showing that imagery can have an enormously powerful effect on our minds and bodies. In CFT, imagery and memories are used to help develop and activate both the soothing system and our compassionate minds. It’s worth noting that imagery and memories encompass not only visual images, but information from our other senses as well, such as sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings.

 The Calm Place Imagery exercise is taken from the Psychology Tools For Developing Self-Compassion audio collection. Calm place imagery (sometimes referred to as safe place imagery) is used in many different therapies as a way of helping people to achieve physiological calm and feelings of safeness. In CFT, this imagery is used to trigger, build, and enhance the soothing system. The listener is guided through the development of a calm place that is unique to them, and helped to experience what it might feel like to be in a place that is not only calming, but which also welcomes them.


The Psychology Tools For Developing Self-Compassion audio collection is for anyone who wants to learn more about the ideas and practices of compassion focused therapy. It has been designed to be versatile, so it is suitable to support work with therapists who have been trained in compassion focused therapy, or to be used as a stand-alone collection of exercises. To assist the integration of the exercises into their clinical work, therapists can download the scripts for each exercise and use them in-session.

Individual tracks from the audio collection can be downloaded as .MP3 files, which can be played in most media player apps.

The simplest way to share an audio track with your clients is by using the Psychology Tools ‘Email a client’ function. After obtaining their consent, you can send it directly from this page by clicking ‘Send securely to my client’. Your client will receive a secure email containing a unique link, and when they click the link, they will be prompted to download the .MP3 file onto their device.


  • Gilbert, P. (2014). The origins and nature of compassion focused therapy. British Journal of Clinical Psychology53(1), 6-41.
  • Gilbert, P. (2020). Compassion: From its evolution to a psychotherapy. Frontiers in Psychology, 3123.
  • Irons, C., & Beaumont, E. (2017). The compassionate mind workbook: A step-by-step guide to developing your compassionate self. Robinson.
  • Irons, C., & Heriot‐Maitland, C. (2021). Compassionate Mind Training: An 8‐week group for the general public. Psychology and psychotherapy: Theory, research and practice94(3), 443-463.
  • Leboeuf, I., Andreotti, E., Irons, C., Beaumont, E., & Antoine, P. (2022). A randomized controlled study of a French compassionate mind training. Mindfulness13(11), 2891-2903.
  • Savari, Y., Mohagheghi, H., & Petrocchi, N. (2021). A preliminary investigation on the effectiveness of compassionate mind training for students with major depressive disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Mindfulness12(5), 1159-1172.