logo

dr-james-hawkins

  • icon-cloud
  • icon-facebook
  • icon-feed
  • icon-feed
  • icon-feed

Peer groups: Cumbria autumn group – reflection

Wednesday morning - about 36 hours since we got back to Edinburgh and less than a week since we began the group.  The last half day started as usual with some of the "self-care practices" that quite a few us use (Tai Chi, meditation, running, and so on).  Good breakfast, then sadly one of the group needed to leave early due to a crisis at home.  He asked if we could meet ten minutes sooner than usual as a full group so he could voice his appreciations and say goodbye to us.  Moving.  Normally we're pretty tough that anybody who bids in to come for the group should make sure that they can stay for the full time - obviously though there are exceptions to these loose "rules".

“Smile intensity in photographs predicts divorce later in life”

I do think that Matt Hertenstein and colleagues came up with an eye catching title here:

Hertenstein, M., C. Hansel, et al. (2009). "Smile intensity in photographs predicts divorce later in life." Motivation and Emotion 33(2): 99-105.  [Abstract/Full Text]  [Free Full Text]

Holiday, friendship and “meditation retreat” (sixth post)

This is the sixth - and a rather longer - Moroccan post.  It looks a little at mindfulness and interpersonal conflict. 

The

And after the siesta yesterday, we walked (again without the camels) up to the top of the highest "singing dune" (so-called because of the noise it sometimes makes in the wind).  We sat with the sun setting and then ran wildly down the steep, maybe 300 foot or so, slope of the dune.  Then back through the diminishing light to the camp.

There are two big tents - one for our five Berber guides - and the other for some of us.  We also have a couple of smaller two-man tents we can put up, if we want to ... and there's the special option too of sleeping out under the amazing stars!

Several of us have talked of seeing this trip as involving three intertwined themes - deepening our relationship with ourselves, deepening our relationship with the landscape, and deepening our relationship with each other.

Peer groups: Wiston autumn group – third morning

So yesterday was the second full day of the group and it went roaring along - like holidays where initially time moves slowly and then seems to accelerate.  Here the "train" of group memories seems to gather pace for me by this second day.  My sense has been that for all three of the mid-size groups of 12-13, the first day was at times quite a struggle - what are we here for?  Do I really emotionally trust these other people?  Do they like and accept me?  Is it safe to take risks and be vulnerable here?  Might I end up feeling rejected, humiliated or abandoned?  All of these seem totally sensible questions to me, and I think they need to feel answered on a gut, not just a head level.

Recent research: a mixed bag of studies on personality, paranoia, burnout, somatization, and relationships

This week's recent research post is a mixed bag of six studies covering the physiological & psychological changes triggered by being separated from one's partner, why similar levels of anxiety & interpersonal sensitivity can lead to social anxiety in some individuals and paranoia in others, how difficulty identifying feelings is associated with increased somatization, the frequency of burnout in family doctors around Europe, personality factors that predict a longer life, and how wrong the old saying is that "Sticks & stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"!  

Relationships in general

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

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

Syndicate content