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Opening up group, session 6

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.

- Seneca

Yesterday evening was the sixth session of the "Opening up" group.  It had been a longer gap than usual - ten days since our full day meeting at the fifth session.  As we often do, we began with a round of "checking in"; an opportunity for all of us to say briefly how we were feeling.  Like two or three others, I had been particulary busy in the preceding few days.  Great how present-time, honest interaction with a group of others brings me out of all that brain-busyness into being more here-and-now.

Opening up group, session 2

The brains of human beings seem built to process stories better than other forms of input ...  

- Thomas B Newman, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics

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

“ One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.  He said "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.  One is Evil.  It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.  The other is Good.  It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith."  The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"  The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed." ” - Anonymous

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, sixth session

Yesterday evening was the sixth session of the "Opening up" group.  It had been a longer gap than usual - ten days since our full day meeting at the fifth session.  As we often do, we began with a round of "checking in"; an opportunity for all of us to say briefly how we were feeling.  Like two or three others, I had been particulary busy in the preceding few days.  Great how present-time, honest interaction with a group of others brings me out of all that brain-busyness into being more here-and-now.

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.

Strong relationships improve survival as much as quitting smoking

The August 11th edition of the British Medical Journal reported: "Having strong social relationships seems to have an effect on survival comparable to that of quitting smoking and larger than controlling traditional risk factors, such as obesity or hypertension. A meta-analysis of social relationships and mortality looked at 308,849 participants aged 63.9, on average, at baseline; 29% died during the follow-up of 7.5 years.  Overall, strong social relationships improved the odds of survival by 50%. Similar results were found for two aspects of relationships, defined by the researchers as structural (integration in social networks) and functional (received or perceived social support), although the link with integration was somewhat stronger.

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:

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