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Alcohol & food

“ To stand and stare, to watch the rising sun, fills me with such calm happiness, I am sure I have dwindled away too much time on inessentials. ” - Diana Gault (when dying of cancer)

Here are a series of information and assessment handouts on alcohol and food.  "We are what we eat" is bit over-simplified, but only a bit.  It's amazing how important what we eat and drink is for our psychological and physical health.  This site's blog posts  "New research shows diet's importance for preventing depression" and "Preventing cancer through life style choices" make this point well and also provide links with many other sources of information.  Searching the tag cloud brings up much recent relevant research and advice.  Try clicking, for example, on

Sleep, ADHD & fatigue

Happiness is a kind of gratitude; it is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy what we have that really counts.  - E. Edwards

This section contains handouts, questionnaires and information sheets about sleep, ADHD, and fatigue.  The sleep handouts are mostly based on Colin Espie's excellent self-help book "Overcoming insomnia and sleep problems" and the intention is that the handouts would be used in conjunction with this book - see the bottom of the page for more details.  The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index is an alternative way of assessing severity of sleep problems and tracking progress - it is more convenient than assessment with a sleep diary but less accurate. 

Wellbeing, calming & mindfulness skills

“ Until lions have their historians, tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter. ” - African proverb

Here are a bunch of handouts that I use largely in the territory of wellbeing, mindfulness and relaxation.  Some are assessment and monitoring questionnaires.  Some provide orientating information.  Some describe specific exercises to do.

Bus driver metaphor (available as both Word and PDF handouts) - this is a classic ACT (acceptance & commitment therapy) metaphor.  I've posted a blog post on this often helpful way of viewing things.  It's sensible though to also understand possible limitations of this metaphor

Emotions, feelings & personality

Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

This section contains handouts and questionnaires about emotions, feelings & personality.  It seems helpful to understand emotions through an evolutionary perspective - we have emotions, to a large extent, because they had (and have) survival value.  We are the descendants of people with adaptive emotional systems that helped them stay alive and function well.  Typically unwelcome feelings that seem maladaptive are due to emotions that are firing off inappropriately.  As a rule of thumb, if an emotion is an appropriate reaction to a situation it can help us respond successfully.  If the emotion is inappropriate then it's likely to be more useful to work to change the emotional response - through therapy or other approaches. 

Life review, traumatic memories & therapeutic writing

“ The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt. ” - Frederick Buechner

This section includes charts to help clarify life history, traumatic events, childhood experiences, and therapeutic writing.  It overlaps with some of the handouts given in the linked "PTSD assessment, images, memories & information" section .  I use "therapeutic" writing as a general term covering all types of writing that have been shown to be helpful & "therapeutic".  When describing the form of therapeutic writing, developed by Jamie Pennebaker and other researchers, that focuses particularly on writing one's "deepest thoughts & feelings" about life traumas & difficulties, I tend to use the term "expressive" writing (to distinguish it, for example, from other forms of therapeutic writing focusing on diverse topics such as "best possible selves", "intensely positive

Relationships, families, couples & psychosexual

“ The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. ” - Mahatma Gandhi

Here are a series of questionnaires and handouts on couples, sexuality, parenting, attachment, and abuse.  The first sequence of 20 or so handouts are from a two day workshop I run - for more details including downloadable copies of the slides, see the blog post "Psychotherapy with couples & other close relationships".  Listed below these are further relevant handouts & questionnaires.

Relationships in general

Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked.

- Warren Buffet

Relationships are right at the heart of human health and wellbeing.  The first four sets of handouts listed below highlight the increased death rates, poorer psychological health and lowered wellbeing in those with worse relationships.  There is a rather confusing plethora of different questionnaires for assessing relationship networks.  I like the large amount of helpful information one can elicit from the "Personal community map" and associated sheets (below).  Sheldon Cohen has argued convincingly that social intimacy, social integration, and social conflict all make independent contributions to our health and wellbeing - we want higher scores for intimacy & integration and (usually) lower scores for conflict.  The community map overall question sheet and the associated brief three question current a

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