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Finding safeness in the movements of compassion


21 - 22 - 23 - 24 SEPTEMBER 2023

with Nico Petrocchi and Kate Lucre

Sometimes we need a change of perspective to see what has always been there.
Bringing ourselves into a space with curiosity and a desire to listen, letting nature embrace us so we can re-embrace our human nature.

This is what Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), a psychotherapeutic approach based on a biopsychosocial and evolutionary model, allows us to analyze our motivational and emotional regulation systems.
Compassion Focused Therapy practices have proven useful in cultivating one motivational system in particular, which is that of compassion; we may think that compassion is only about connecting with others, expansion and soothing. However, different internal and external movements can be very functional in cultivating the qualities of compassion. 

In this experiential retreat we will honour the existence of different ways of cultivating safety and safeness; we will dive deep into movements of expansion and movements of contraction, exploring how these two apparently opposing motions are crucial in the compassionate path.



From the 21st to the 24th of September 2023

The retreat will begin at 2pm on Thursday 21st and will end at 1pm on Sunday 24th


At Borgo Acquapaola (in Bracciano, 1h from Rome)


To learn more about Borgo Acquapaola and its history you can visit their website.


Borgo Acquapaola is surrounded by nature, crossed by the Paola water spring, and is a place with a very special energy, thanks to the many groups it hosts each year.

The cuisine is mainly vegetarian and uses only organic products from local sources.

Borgo AcquaPaola is 45km from Rome's International Airport Fiumicino.

Bracciano can be reached by car, by train or by bus from Rome city center.

If you need assistance with reaching the venue, please contact us at

Do you want to know more?
Join us for a FREE information session!

During this information session, the trainers will provide information about Compassion Focused Therapy, as well as the other disciplines we will be exploring during this retreat.

You will have the opportunity to experience a brief CFT practice and begin to appreciate how these approaches can help us live a life that we feel more aligned with our needs.

We will also explain how the retreat will be structured and what you can expect during these four immersive days!

The session is free and open to all those interested.

The meeting will be recorded and registrants will receive a recording of the meeting.

The session will take place on Wednesday 10th of May at 9pm Italy time (8pm UK time)

By leaving your email you agree to subscribe to the Compassionate Mind Italia mailing list; you can unsubscribe at any time.

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What you can expect

This retreat is aimed at providing you with a space and practices to cultivation your compassionate motivation.

Compassion helps us not only to face difficult times in our lives with a greater sense of courage and confidence, but also to choose and define the direction we wish to take in our lives. We will be focusing on practices that enable us to explore what safeness means to us and how we can integrate it in our daily experience.

You can expect:
Moments of meditation
Embodied activities including yoga and psychodrama
Many moments for self-reflection
Guided explorations in bigger and smaller groups

During the retreat there will be no shortage of moments of connection with other participants and immersion in the beautiful nature surrounding the retreat site, Il Borgo Acquapaola.

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Who is this retreat for?

The retreat is open to those who are in the helping professions, as well as those who wish to take part in an immersive and experiential setting for their own path of self-discovery

We ask that you have basic knowledge of Compassion Focused Therapy as we will not be going over the basic model during the retreat; in case you have no previous experience of CFT, we will be happy to suggest some resources you can use to acquire the required theory to fully enjoy and benefit from this retreat.


The maximum number of participants is 45 people.

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General outline of the program

First introductory session - ONLINE (date to be defined)

THURSDAY 21st September

2 - 3pm  Registration

3pm - 6pm Opening circle and practices

6pm - 7pm Free time

7pm - 8:30pm Dinner

8:45pm - 9:30pm Restorative Yoga


FRIDAY 22nd September

8:30am - 9:15am Yoga session (optional)

9:15am - 10:15am Breakfast

10:30am - 1pm Morning Session

1pm - 3pm Lunch + Break

3pm - 5pm Afternoon session

5pm - 5:15pm Snack Break

5:15pm - 7pm Afternoon session

7pm - 8:30pm Dinner

8:45 - 9:30pm Post-Dinner activities 


SATURDAY 23rd September

8:30am - 9:15am Yoga session (optional)

9:15am - 10:15am Breakfast

10:30am - 1pm Morning Session

1pm - 3pm Lunch + Break

3pm - 5pm Afternoon session

5pm - 5:15pm Snack Break

5:15pm - 7pm Afternoon session

7pm - 8:30pm Dinner

8:45 - 9:30pm Post-Dinner activities 


SUNDAY 24th September

8:30am - 9:15am Yoga session (optional)

9:15am - 10:15am Breakfast

10:30am - 1pm Morning Session + Closure

1pm Lunch

Post-retreat session - ONLINE (date to be defined)

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Several accommodation options are available: accomodation in small shared rooms (2 or 3 people) and dormitory (a large room with bunkbeds).

All prices include food (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack), lodging and all retreat activities.

EARLY BIRD (until 1st of July)

580£ (657€) in shared room

 490£ (555€) in dormitory

FULL PRICE (after 1st of July)

630£ (717€) in shared room

 540£ (615€) in dormitory

Rooms are assigned on a first-come first-served basis.

Image by DDP


Nico Petrocchi

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Nico Petrocchi, psychologist and psychotherapist trained at APC-SPC, holds a doctorate in Psychology and Social Neurosciences at La Sapienza University and a visiting scholarship at Boston University where she carried out an experimental study on Loving Kindness Meditation with depressed patients.

After more than 8 years of collaboration and continuous training with Paul Gilbert (creator of CFT), she founded Compassionate Mind Italia, the only Italian association recognised by the English foundation (Compassionate Mind UK) for the diffusion, research and training in Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT).


Nico is trainer supervisor of CFT both in Italian and international contexts (England, United States, Spain, Belgium, Slovakia), translator and editor of Paul Gilbert's book Compassion Focused Therapy, distinctive features, published by Franco Angeli; she collaborates with Paul Gilbert in conducting training courses in Italy and England, and in numerous research projects investigating the heart rate variability (HRV) as a physiological index of the activation of compassion.

Kate Lucre

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Kate Lucre is a therapist and supervisor specializing in the use of CFT for complex trauma, personality and relationship difficulties in groups and individuals.

She is the regional supervision coordinator for the Compassionate Mind Foundation and also gives workshops for the Foundation. She gives workshops throughout the UK on CFT for groups and on compassion-focused staff support and supervision.

Kate Lucre offers group and individual CFT supervision, including a monthly international supervision group for therapists involved in providing CFT groups.

She has published data on compassion-focused group psychotherapy. She is completing a PhD in CFT at the University of Birmingham, evaluating a 12-month CFGP program for people with severe personality disorders.

Kate is also involved in a number of research projects in the UK developing and evaluating compassion-focused staff support initiatives.

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