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The 'bus driver' is warm-blooded: integrating mindfulness & emotion 2

I wrote yesterday about a couple of 'notes of caution' when using mindfulness approaches and the "The bus driver metaphor".  I pointed out that many primary emotions & constructive thoughts help energise and direct us towards healthy goals.  I also mentioned the importance of integrating head & heart in mindfulness practice.  In today's post I want to extend the head/heart integration to include 'gut' as well, and also talk a little about the importance of sometimes using 'emotional processing' methods with some of our most persistently troublesome 'freeloader bus passenger' inner voices.

Meeting at relational depth: what does it involve?

"A consultation is when the room disappears."   David Reilly (physician) 

On Saturday I went to a course called "Meeting at relational depth: a research workshop".  I have already written a first post outlining the day.  After staying overnight in Glasgow with a friend who was also coming to the course, we cycled over to Jordanhill Campus the next morning.  There were a couple of dozen or so participants on the workshop - a pretty good turn out.

Opening up group, session 2

“ No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. ” - Aesop

I posted last week on the first meeting of this "Opening up" group.  The reflection sheets everyone had filled in after the initial meeting had been copied and sent to all participants, so we already had more material to work with as we started this second session.  I've experimented with different ways of beginning interpersonal group meetings over the years.  In peer groups I usually bid to start with a few minutes of silence.  I find it seems to help people "arrive" and then to engage more deeply, more quickly - it certainly does this for me.

Opening up group, session 1

Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new. 

- Ursula Le Guin

For many years I have run two kinds of "training group" for clients.  One teaches what can loosely be thought of as "stress management skills".  The latest version of this is the "Life skills for stress, health & wellbeing" course that I have been describing at some length in blog posts over the last three months.  The other kind of group that I regularly facilitate focuses on relationships.  As this group has evolved over the years it has been given various titles.  For quite some time I called it the "Relationships & emotional intelligence" group.  It was an accurate description of what we focused on, but it was kind of clunky as a label.  I've now reverted to simply calling the course "Opening up&

Opening up group, second session

I posted last week on the first meeting of this "Opening up" group.  The reflection sheets everyone had filled in after the initial meeting had been copied and sent to all participants, so we already had more material to work with as we started this second session.  I've experimented with different ways of beginning interpersonal group meetings over the years.  In peer groups I usually bid to start with a few minutes of silence.  I find it seems to help people "arrive" and then to engage more deeply, more quickly - it certainly does this for me.

Opening up group, first session

For many years I have run two kinds of "training group" for clients.  One teaches what can loosely be thought of as "stress management skills".  The latest version of this is the "Life skills for stress, health & wellbeing" course that I have been describing at some length in blog posts over the last three months.  The other kind of group that I regularly facilitate focuses on relationships.  As this group has evolved over the years it has been given various titles.  For quite some time I called it the "Relationships & emotional intelligence" group.  It was an accurate description of what we focused on, but it was kind of clunky as a label.  I've now reverted to simply calling the course "Opening up".  The publicity leaflet reads:

Life skills for stress, health & wellbeing, tenth session (part 2 - therapeutic writing)

I wrote yesterday about the first part of this tenth "Life skills" evening.  I particularly discussed development of Goodwill practice - very much in the "Nourishing positive states" section of the "Four aspects" diagram (below).  In the second half of the evening we moved on to the "Exploring & processing" section of the diagram with the introduction particularly of various forms of therapeutic writing.

Four aspects of helpful inner focus

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