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Therapeutic alliance ruptures/tensions: description, frequency, causes & effects

I wrote a blog post yesterday entitled "Therapeutic alliance ruptures: common, very challenging & a key area for increasing therapist (and personal) helpfulness"I think this area is so important that I'd like to spend additional time exploring it more thoroughly. 

"Therapeutic alliance ruptures": common, very challenging & a key area for increasing therapist (and personal) helpfulness

We had another of our small peer Emotion-Focused Therapy supervision/practice groups yesterday evening.  Half a dozen of us were able to make it.  We'd agreed we would look particularly at "therapeutic alliance ruptures" at this meeting.  As a doctor, I can't help finding the term "alliance rupture" rather giggle-inducing.  I have all kinds of pictures of unwanted extrusions, metaphorical trusses and possibly extreme interpersonal surgical cures. 

The "Balanced Measure of Psychological Needs" scale: a helpful contribution to self-determination and wellbeing assessment

I'm a big fan of Self-Determination Theory (S-DT)For me it's one of the best ways into understanding flourishing and wellbeing.  I use the ideas all the time in my work and in my life.  The fine S-DT website at Rochester University in the States gives vast amounts more information.  I've mentioned S-DT many times in this blog - see for example the post "Self determination theory" from five years ago that gives links to the slides of a lecture I gave on S-DT and a whole bunch of relevant handouts.

Some suggestions for giving and receiving helpful feedback

                      (this blog post is freely downloadable as a Word doc and as a PDF file)

"Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor."      Dr. Alexis Carrel

"It is a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away."     Robert Pirsig

"There are people who live their whole lives on the default settings, never realizing you can customize."        Robert Brault

Lessons from a personal multi-source feedback project

"A friend is someone who sees the potential in you and helps you to live it."     W. B. Yeats (adapted)

"Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance or a stranger."    Franklin Jones

A few months ago now, I initiated a personal feedback project.  It was triggered by a number of factors.  I was soon to start the third part of an Emotion-Focused Therapy training and was interested in possibly using myself as "a case study" for the course; I had received some quite surprising & confronting feedback from a friend and I wondered how idiosyncratic or widespread his viewpoint might be; I had been encouraging feedback in groups that I run and I wanted to explore this more deeply; and finally I'm in a very good position to ask for & receive honest, thoughtful feedback from a broad social circle.

Peer groups, Cumbria spring group: third full day - boundary issues, friendships and singing round a bonfire under the stars

And it's the final early morning of this four day residential group.  I wrote yesterday about sunshine along the wall outside - and it's here again today, bright & fresh.  Sunday morning.  I can be a very organized person - lovely though to let my hair down at times here (what hair I've got left).  Yesterday evening we sang around a bonfire.  Fantastic stars.  The stream.  Wine.  Singing together.  Happiness.  Not to bed till well after midnight.

Peer groups, Cumbria spring group: second full day - couple's work, interpersonal challenge, fathers and banquets

The start of the third full day here.  In yesterday's post I wrote about the first full day and today I'll write about our second full day together.  We've had so much rain over the last couple of days, it's a blessing to see the bright early sunlight splashed along the wall outside the window as I sit here writing.  I sneaked away to bed with Catero my wife a bit early yesterday evening.  It had been a long special day and now I'm up this morning feeling fresh.

Peer groups, Cumbria spring group: first full day - feeling our way in, revisiting the Skye experience and dancing

Still before breakfast - at the start of the second full day now.  Yesterday I wrote about "arriving".  The noise of the mill stream just outside provides a constant back drop while we're here.  When we arrived on Wednesday evening it was flowing so quietly, the water level almost as low as I've seen it.  Then the rain came and it turned into a torrent.  Roaring.  In a way a bit of a parallel for our group.  We've got going fast.  So many of us know each other well.  Familiar place.  Familiar to be in one of these residential groups together again.  And new.  Extraordinary to "age" alongside these people.  We've brought photographs from earlier groups going back over twenty years.  Poignant, funny, endearing, happy-sad.

Peer groups, Cumbria spring group: first morning - "arriving"

First morning of the "Mixed Group".  We have been meeting like this - in an old converted watermill in Cumbria - nearly every year since the start of the 90's.  This year's residential is a bit different.  For many it's a 20 year reunion (or thereabouts).  Sixteen old friends!  Sounds a little like "The big chill" or "Peter's friends" or any of a whole series of other films and stories looking at  "reunions".  I've written a lot about these residential groups in this blog - see, for example, the group work links in

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