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Update on website traffic: my own favourite top 15 (1-5) - mindfulness, compassion, embodied cognition, attachment & willpower

Yesterday I used Google Analytics to identify site locations that had been most accessed by website visitors and wrote "Update on website traffic: the ten most popular blog posts"This got me thinking - "What are my own personal favourites?"  I quickly realised that the posts that I've written that have had the most impact on me and my practice as a therapist are nearly always made up of sequences of blog posts rather than just individual items.  This makes sense.  For me personally, one of the most enjoyable & helpful aspects of writing this blog is the opportunity to really chew over a subject in some detail.  So when I wrote a series of posts on attachment, or self-control, or therapist feedback, I was chewing over the subjects for days at a time.  Great.  Very interesting.  Very helpful for me in digesting and allowing myself to be affected by the new knowledge.

Glancing back over the last year or so, themes that stand out include mindfulness, therapist feedback, self-control, conflict, embodied cognition and positive psychology.  Going further back still there are the posts about interpersonal groupwork, relationships, therapeutic writing, walking in nature, compassion, exercise, healthy lifestyle, attachment and goal setting.  I'm sure I've missed a few nuggets, but here are brief descriptions of relevant posts in five of these areas that I've just mentioned. 

  1. Mindfulness.  Gosh, I've been to town with this topic over the last few months.  So last September I wrote the obvious introductory post "What is mindfulness?", talked about "Mindfulness: teaching & learning" and began a series of posts on my own experience of attending a Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) class.  This sequence continued with a further eight posts on "Learning MBSR" over October and November.  Additionally during these two months, I wrote another half dozen more general posts about aspects of mindfulness.  Then in December, January, February & March I wrote another ten support posts on "Using Williams & Penman's book "Mindfulness: a practical guide" as a self-help resource".  So there have been twenty seven posts on mindfulness since last autumn, and clicking on the search tag "mindfulness" will bring up a whole series of other resources, including the "Autogenic relaxation training" and "Wellbeing, calming & mindfulness skills" pages in the website's section on "Good knowledge".
  2. Compassion.  Clicking on the "compassion" search tag brings up a list of ninety or so linked posts.  Particularly relevant is the "Good knowledge" page on "Compassion & criticism" with its many handouts & questionnaires.  The post "Proposal for a BABCP special interest on compassion" illustrates the potential breadth of this field, discussing self-compassion, general compassion, compassion in close relationships, and compassion in the therapeutic relationship.  The post "A better way to measure self-compassion" is a good entry point for exploring self-compassion more.  "Attachment, compassion & relationships", "Behavioral systems, attachment (care seeking), care giving, exploration, sex & power" and "Boosting self-compassion & self-encouragement by strengthening attachment security: twelve practical suggestions" link compassion & attachment processesA discussion of Jennifer Crocker's work - "Recent research: egosystem & ecosystem" - extends into compassion for others, as too do the posts on "Barbara Fredrickson's recent research study on loving-kindness meditation" and "Cooperative behaviour cascades in social networks".
  3. Embodied cognition.  This is a smaller area in terms of blog coverage, but I love the way that posture, movement & facial expression importantly affect how we think & feel - and of course the opposite cause-effect sequence is also true.  See the post "Smile intensity in photographs predicts divorce later in life" and the sequence of three posts beginning with "Embodied cognition: posture & feelings".  Very recent research on using botulinum injections to treat frown lines and hence depression extends the clinical relevance of this area even further.
  4. Attachment.  I've already mentioned some attachment posts under the compassion heading (above) - "Attachment, compassion & relationships", "Behavioral systems, attachment (care seeking), care giving, exploration, sex & power" and "Boosting self-compassion & self-encouragement by strengthening attachment security: twelve practical suggestions".  Clicking on the "attachment" tag should bring up a couple or dozen or so posts.  These include "Behavioural systems (attachment, care giving, exploration, sex & power): hyperactivated, hypoactivated or just about right?", the important "Assessing attachment in adults", the clinically relevant sequence on "Our life stories: needs, beliefs & behaviours", the self-explanatory "Some great attachment websites" and the intriguing "Meeting at relational depth: links to attachment".
  5. Willpower.  This area of willpower & self-control is immensely important.  Do look at the orientating post "Self-control, conscientiousness, grit, emotion regulation, willpower - whatever word you use, it's sure important to have it".  And then a further series of posts look at different aspects of this subject including possible adverse effects, methods of strengthening our self-control, and a couple of assessment measures.  So see "Self-control ... more on the many benefits", "Self-control ... possible adverse effects", "Self-control, conscientiousness, grit, emotion regulation, willpower - the importance of training", "Building willpower: it's like strengthening & nourishing a muscle""Building willpower: the eight pillars", "Commitment contracts: another good way of helping us reach our goals" and "Self-control ... how do you measure it?".  And to add to all this there are a further series of three posts this month starting with "Commitment contracts: another good way of helping us reach our goals".

Next month I will write again on this subject of my own favourite blog posts and cover another five of the remaining ten that I've mentioned - therapist feedback, conflict, positive psychology, interpersonal groupwork, relationships, therapeutic writing, walking in nature, exercise, healthy lifestyle, and goal setting - see "Update on website traffic: my own favourite top 15 (6-10) - therapist feedback, relationships, conflict, group work, & walking"

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