Developing Compassionate Resilience in those who have been hurt and harmed by others: Using compassion-focused therapy to help change the emotional context of traumatised lives.

Presented by Dr Deborah Lee

Event proceedings

  • 6pm - Registration opens
  • 6.15pm - Drinks and canapes served
  • 7pm - Keynote address commences
  • 8pm - Estimated end of event

This is a free public event.

About the presenter

Deborah LeeDr Deborah Lee is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Head of Berkshire Traumatic Stress Service and South Central Complex Treatment Service for Veterans. She is also an honorary Senior Lecturer at University College London. She is author of 'The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Recovering from Trauma and PTSD: Using Compassion-Focused Therapy to Overcome Flashbacks, Shame, Guilt, and Fear' (2013). New Harbinger, New York.

Dr Lee has worked in the field of trauma for 25 years and specialises in the treatment of Complex PTSD. Her particular area of clinical and research interest is in shame- based PTSD and self-criticism. She has pioneered the use of developing compassionate resilience as part of a phased based treatment approach to complex PTSD and has collaborated with Professor Paul Gilbert, the originator of compassion Focused Therapy, for 20 years. She has widely contributed to the dissemination of her clinical knowledge through writing and delivering over 150 clinical workshops and talks in North America and Europe.

About the talk

Those who have been repeatedly traumatised at the hands of others have many challenges to face as they discover a life without trauma and learn how to live in a mind that can flourish. As well as characteristic symptoms of PTSD, people struggle with profound self-loathing, lack of trust, interpersonal difficulties, affect regulation and altered states of consciousness. This symptom presentation is often referred to as Complex PTSD, and this new diagnosis is now to be included in ICD-11.

Effective treatments of interpersonal trauma suggest phase-based approaches (Cloitre, 2010) and recent expert consensus has suggested this too is a suitable treatment of Complex PTSD (UKPTS 2015 guidelines). Yet other researchers suggest that working directly with trauma memories should not be delayed and therapists ought to make this the focus of treatment. This debate is still to be resolved by evidence and the precise ingredients of the phases are still debated.

This keynote will explore recent developments in the treatment of complex PTSD using compassionate resilience as a way to develop a compassionate narrative about trauma and work directly with trauma flashbacks, in order to create an integrated trauma narrative. Recent preliminary findings will be presented which explores the effectiveness of compassionate resilience based on the principles of compassion focused therapy (Gilbert, 2005; 2009) as part of a phased based treatment for complex PTSD.

About Compassion Symposium

This cross-disciplinary symposium is designed to bring together academics, clinicians, researchers, and students from different disciplines within The University of Queensland and from the community, to present on how compassion is or could be a part of their research, studies, or practice.

The compassion symposium consists of the free keynote address, and the full-day conference.

About the Event

The School of Psychology at The University of Queensland is delighted to announce the return of the UQ Compassion Symposium for 2024. The ninth iteration of this beloved event, the Symposium will bring together researchers, clinicians and students from a range of disciplines to showcase compassion-based research and practice.

Registration for the Keynote Address and the Compassion Conference is now open. See below for full details and to register.

Key dates


Friday 27 September 2024 (commencing at 6pm, pre-drinks and nibbles from 5pm)
Location: Abel Smith Lecture Theatre, St Lucia Campus


Saturday 28 September 2024 (registration from 8:30am, 9:00am - 4:00pm)
Location: Oral Health Centre, Herston Campus

The 2024 full-day format will again include two concurrent streams to provide an array of session options to conference delegates. Presenters will be given a 30-minute time-slot, which includes time for questions and discussion.

Registration details will be released shortly. Please note this will be an ‘in person’ only event

Call for presenters

The UQ School of Psychology's Compassionate Mind Research Group is pleased to invite submissions for presentations for the 2024 UQ Compassion Symposium conference on Saturday September 28.

We are interested in research and practical applications of compassion across the lifespan (children, teens, adults, older adults) and in multiple contexts (therapy, workplace, school).

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Compassion
  • Self-compassion
  • Mindfulness
  • Empathy
  • Altruism
  • Morality
  • Positive psychology 
  • Forgiveness
  • Emotions (e.g. shame, anger)
  • Intervention research
  • Assessment research

Application Requirements

Applications to present should include the following information:

Personal Information:

  • Full name
  • Organisation/affiliation
  • Email address
  • Contact number
  • Brief professional bio (250 words max) to be included in the conference program
  • Professional photo

Presentation/Poster Information

  • Presentation or poster title
  • Abstract/summary (250 words max)
  • Focus (research, practice, philosophy, etc.)
  • Format (lecture, workshop, demonstration)

Submission and review

Please submit your completed application via the link below. Submissions close Friday 19 July. All submissions will be notified via email of the status of their application. All accepted speakers will receive free admission to the Symposium.

Submit your application


Advanced Engineering Building (#49)
Jocks Road
St Lucia campus
GHD Auditorium (Room 200)