The Compassionate Mind Foundation was founded by Professor Paul Gilbert. Paul is an internationally recognised researcher, speaker and trainer and received an OBE for his contribution to improving mental health in the 2011 New Years honours list.

Since it was established in 2006, the Compassionate Mind Foundation has supported global academic research and hosted the Annual Global Conference on Compassion, bringing together leaders in the field. The CMF community has also worked to develop, practice and promote Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), now used by thousands of clinicians around the world.

Our Mission & Aim

The Compassionate Mind Foundation promotes wellbeing through facilitating the scientific understanding and application of compassion.

 The Foundation supports research, teaching and dissemination of the flow of compassion whereby we are able to be compassionate to others, open to the compassion from others, and compassionate to ourselves. These important interactions, and the way that the cultivation of the compassionate self facilitates this, is shown in the diagrams along with the way in which various groups and organisations can facilitate flow.  


What is compassion?

When people hear the word compassion, they tend to think of kindness. But scientific study has found the core of compassion to be courage.

A standard definition of compassion is, "a sensitivity to suffering in self and others with a commitment to try to alleviate and prevent it."

The courage to be compassionate lies in the willingness to see into the nature and causes of suffering - be that in ourselves, in others and the human condition. The challenge is to acquire the wisdom we need to address the causes of suffering in ourselves and others.

Compassion is one of the most important declarations of strength and courage known to humanity. It is difficult and powerful, infectious and influential. It is a universally recognised motivation with the ability to change the world.


Professor Paul Gilbert OBE – Founder and President

Paul Gilbert, FBPsS, PhD, OBE is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby and Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Derbyshire Health Care Foundation Trust. He has researched evolutionary approaches to psychopathology for over 35 years with a special focus on shame and the treatment of shame based difficulties, for which compassion focused therapy (CFT) was developed. He has written and edited 20 books and established the Compassionate Mind Foundation in 2006. He was awarded an OBE in March 2011.

Ruby Wax OBE - Patron

Ruby Wax OBE was appointed as Patron of the Compassionate Mind Foundation in October 2015. 

Following her hugely successful career with BBC television as an interviewer and comedian, Ruby Wax has now turned her attention to the study of psychotherapy and neuroscience graduating from Oxford University in 2013 with a Master’s degree in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy.  She is the author of the best-selling book Sane New World.  Described as a guide to saner living, Ruby explains how our minds can jeopardize our sanity, and that to break the cycle, we need to understand how our brains work, rewire our thinking and find calm in a frenetic world.  Her show of the same name, combines neuroscience, mindfulness and comedy, helping audiences to become the masters, not the slaves of their minds.  Sane New World has toured both internationally and in London’s West End.  She also founded  Black Dog Tribe, a social networking  site providing information and social support for people suffering with  mental health issues.  She presented her TedTalk at TedGlobal 2012  “What’s So Funny about Mental Illness”?,  Ruby’s most recent  bestselling book ‘A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled’ was published earlier this year and her new show of the same is on tour.  She was recently awarded an OBE for services to mental health.


Leanne Culson

Operations Manager


Jas Basran

Research Assistant


Emma Hart

Communications Advisor


  • Mrs Jean Gilbert
  • Dr Thomas Schroder
  • Mrs Diane Woollands

Research Panel

  • Professor Paul Gilbert
  • Mrs Jean Gilbert
  • Dr Chris Irons
  • Dr Corrine Gale