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Peer groups, Cumbria spring group - second morning, authenticity & feedback

Yesterday in "A 3 layer view of intrapersonal & interpersonal judgement" I wrote about the first morning of this four day residential group.  Now it's the start of the second day.  What happened yesterday?  I began in that "on-my-own" familiar way - getting up quite early, washing, writing, meditating, plunging in the stream.  I tried running up the Drove Road, but slightly pulled my calf muscle again - a recurrence of a strain from earlier in the week.  I walked/hobbled back down through the fields.  Lambs, cowslips, beautiful hares, calls from the curlews. 

Writing (& speaking) for resilience & wellbeing 2: traumas & difficulties

Fear is the mind-killer ... I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.  Bene Gesserit "Litany against Fear" from "Dune" by Frank Herbert

You can access a downloadable Word format version of this post by clicking here  .

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

Recent research: six studies on positive psychology, goals, relationships, caregiving, mindfulness & nature

Here are half a dozen studies that one could loosely put under the broad umbrella of positive psychology.  Zorba the Greek said "Take what you want and pay for it, says God." and Niemiec et al's study, on the effects of achieving different kinds of goal, supports this statement (for all six research studies mentioned in this blog post see below for abstracts and links).  Quoting Niemiec et al's somewhat awkward language: "The relation of aspiration attainment to psychological health was found to differ as a function of the content of the goals. Attainment of the intrinsic aspirations for personal growth, close relationships, community involvement, and physical health related positively to basic psychological need satisfaction and psychological health.

Stanford psychophysiology lab research on emotion regulation

Last week I talked about coming across Srivastava and colleagues' paper (Srivastava, Tamir et al. 2009 - see below) on the social costs of emotional suppression.  This led me to Srivastava's lab at the University of Oregon.  It's then an easy jump to James Gross's Psychophysiology lab at Stanford University (see below).  The Stanford lab is a hive of activity with research projects in a whole series of fascinating areas  .  A key focus is work on emotion regulation - its neural basis, emotional & social consequences, and relationship with personality.  Their "process model of emotion regulation" suggests that " ...

Oregon University research on emotional regulation, interpersonal perception & personality

I love it when I follow up ideas from a new research paper and then break through into a whole area of helpful knowledge that I haven't come across before.  This happened recently with the paper by Srivastava and colleagues (Srivastava, Tamir et al. 2009 - see below) on the social costs of emotional suppression.  This then linked me through to James Gross's work at Stanford, but more on that in next week's post.

Self disclosure by health professionals

Blogging about my mum's illness and my reactions to it led me to think again about self disclosure by health professionals.  Our job is to be helpful for our clients - it's what we're about.  Self disclosure by health professionals is a mixed bag.  It can sometimes be helpful and sometimes damaging.  Different schools of therapy and different styles of doctor have strong opinions about what's right and wrong in this area.  Strong opinions without research back-up tend to generate more heat than light.  As has been so delightfully stated "The plural of anecdote is not data".  This post is not at all intended to be exhaustive about research on health professional self disclosure.  It is intended to shine a light on some interesting facts and to raise some questions.

Friendship, life planning, & expressing emotions

Yesterday and today are a check-in time with my friend Larry.  I've written in a previous blog post how Larry and I have met every three or four months for many years specifically to review how our lives are going and to plan and prioritize our goals for the next few months.  "Taking charge" of our lives in this kind of way makes huge sense.  For example the self-determination literature (S-DT)  highlights the importance of making autonomous decisions about what we put our energy into.  This S-DT research and much other work (e.g. a recent study on goal-setting) also emphasises that this kind of approach is a core component of growing wellbeing in one's life.  Yeats wrote something like "A friend is someone who sees the potential in you and helps you to live it."  Meeting with an old friend in the way Larry and I have done, is certainly an example of what Yeats was talking about.

Recent research: egosystem & ecosystem

In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.   Beatles

This is essentially the Beatles closing statement. It is the last lyric on the last album they recorded.
(Let It Be was the last album they released, but it was recorded earlier).

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