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Emotion-focused therapy workshop series (first post): excitement and why am I doing this?

I woke gently bubbling with excitement.  I'm off in a couple of hours or so to Glasgow to join a course entitled "Emotion-focused psychotherapy: Level 2 workshop series".  Sadly I missed the first day of this seven seminar sequence - I was at the October Scottish Mixed Group peer residential.  Hopefully I'll get to all of the next six.  There's a seminar scheduled for today and then one a month from January through until May.  I believe there will be about 20 participants, presumably all pretty experienced psychotherapists/counsellors.  What fun!

Is interpersonal group work better than sitting meditation for training mindfulness?

I'm missing the seventh session of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course that I've been attending because I've come down to our annual four day UK Men's Group in Cumbria.  I've written about these peer groups many times on this blog - for example, last year's Men's Group and the year before's, as well as Mixed Groups here in Cumbria and just last month a Scottish Mixed Group too.  I woke this morning and wondered - as a kind of thought experiment - whether maybe this four day interpersonal group is, in some ways, a "better" way of training mindfulness than the more traditional practice of sitting in meditation. 

Peer groups, Cumbria spring group – second morning: early stages of a group, self-disclosure, & emotional awareness

I wrote yesterday about arriving at this year's Mixed Group here in Cumbria.  Now it's the second morning.  Yesterday was the first full day of the group.  How was it?  As I've written before "Process groups tend to move through a series of developmental stages.  These can be described in a variety of ways.  Tuckman presented an early description which still contains much that is useful.  His sequence was forming (orientation and dependence), storming (intra-group conflict and differentiation), norming (interpersonal intimacy and cohesion), performing (work and functional role-relatedness), and adjourning (loss and autonomy).  It is important to emphasise that all stages of group development contain useful opportunities for learning and that one stage is not necessarily any better than another."

Peer groups, Cumbria spring group – first morning: beginning, why are we here, & how do I know what I feel?

First morning of the "Mixed Group".  This last week has been such lovely weather.  People arriving yesterday evening looking so brown.  The forecast had predicted a change to more cloudy weather, and it certainly seems accurate for this morning's rather colder, overcast feel.  Good weather to stay indoors for "group work" though ... no repeated urge to be outside in the sun.

We've been meeting here in Cumbria for these four day peer group residentials for over twenty years.  I've written quite often about these groups in this blog, for example last year's Mixed Group and last year's Men's Group.

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