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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".

Peer groups: Cumbria autumn group – flowing

And it's the third morning of the group.  Yesterday again I took time for a usual mix of "self-care" - yoga, meditation, stream-dunking, tea & fruit.  As I wrote yesterday, I was very aware of feeling frustrated and impatient with how I felt the group had been going and how, particularly later in the day, I hadn't felt much emotional engagement with it.  Then it was breakfast and the small groups.  I was ready to "pop" by then and came in pretty much right at the start to ask for a bit of time.  It's a good rule of thumb in the group - and often in relationships more generally - that if I'm going to find it hard not to be distracted from what other people might do & say by what's going on in me, then it may well be sensible to raise the issues that are distracting me.  Unmentioned elephants in the corner of the room make conversation about othe

Peer groups: Cumbria autumn group – frustration

Yesterday I wrote about arriving for this Men's Group in Cumbria.  It's the second morning.  Groups - particularly these residential interpersonal groups - seem a bit like rivers to me.  They move on inexorably, often full of surprises.  I may have some guesses as to how a group will evolve or what will happen next, but so regularly I come round the next bend of the river and where I expected rapids, there is a deep smooth-flowing straight section - or where I thought all would be beautiful and calm, the river plunges into a gorge and it feels like I'm struggling to keep my vision clear in the emotional spray.

Peer groups: Cumbria autumn group – arriving

It's a little after 6.00am and I've been up and about for a while.  It's the first morning of one of the four day residential peer groups that I've been coming too since 1991.  This is the autumn Men's Group.  In the Spring several of us also meet here in Cumbria for a Mixed Group.  The groups are about friendship, emotional/interpersonal learning, a chance to get a break in the country.  I love this time - with all its honesty, deep connections, pain, laughter.  The groups can be something of an emotional roller coaster.  I've written extensively about them before - both why describing these gatherings is relevant for a blog about stress, health & wellbeing, and also more detailed reports from last year's Men's Group and from the Mixed Groups earlier this year and

Assessing attachment in adults

I'm a doctor and psychotherapist who's interested in using attachment ideas to improve how helpful I can be for clients.  Awareness of attachment issues informs therapy, it doesn't dictate it.  An obvious question is whether it's sometimes worth assessing attachment in a "formal" way.  I'm no expert in this area.  I'm an "informed amateur" and, after reading and exploring a good deal around the subject, my impression is that it can be pretty useful at times to assess attachment.  The Wikipedia article on Attachment measures provides an excellent overview of the field while, for much more in depth information, the two attachment books and the various websites that I've described in previous blog post

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