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Manchester BABCP conference: “metaphors and stories in CBT” (fifth post)

Yesterday I wrote about David Clark's inspiring conference talk on "IAPT: achievements, lessons and the future".  The lecture was followed by a rather poor conference lunch - I had an image of us all dipping our heads into the brown paper bags of sandwiches we were given, like feedbags for horses.  A good conversation with neighbours over lunch, then wandering to a different building to get to the "Metaphors and stories in CBT" panel discussion with Richard Stott and Ann Hackmann.  Paul Blenkiron had been billed to contribute too, but apparently his wife had had a baby this morning - I hope they're doing well.

Manchester BABCP conference: positive psychology and depression (third post)

The second day of the annual BABCP conference in Manchester started bright and early.  I wrote a bit in my room - I've already written a couple of posts about the first day of the conference - before heading down for an early breakfast.  Breakfast was good - much better than yesterday's disappointing packed lunch.  Social too, chatting to a couple of other "early birds" about the conference and CBT more generally.  Back to my student room - the whole conference is at the main Manchester university.  Then a good difficulty to have - trying to decide between two interesting options - either Nick Tarrier running a "skills class" on "Broad Minded Affective Coping (BMAC): a new and positive technique for the CBT tool box" or a symposium with the initially unappetizing title "Understanding anhe

Manchester BABCP conference: “more news from the imagery front” (first post)

This year's annual British CBT conference jamboree has been a bit unusual for me.  I've been coming to these British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) conferences for years now, and routinely I would start with one of the full day pre-conference workshops before launching into the three days of conference proper.  I was booked into Emily Holmes's "Mental imagery in cognitive-behaviour therapy: PTSD and beyond" workshop, but then poor Catero my wife hurt her back at the weekend and so plans were changed and I delayed coming down from Edinburgh.  Recovery proceeds and here I am - a day & a half "late" and checking my mobile for news from home - but here for the first afternoon of the three day conference proper.

Autogenic training: sixth session

Here are the handouts, recordings, and reflection/record sheets for the sixth Autogenic training session.  There are four overlapping themes to this 'lesson'.  Obviously a key issue is the next Autogenic Training step - the focus on the abdominal area.  I usually initially get trainees to put a hand or both hands on their abdomen when they are learning this exercise.  The hand(s) are positioned a little below the belly button, unless the trainee has specific abdominal symptoms - when positioning the hand(s) over the troublesome area may be more appropriate.  The hand(s) don't have to be in direct contact with the skin.  A sense of gentle, warm contact through clothing is fine.  This typically helps one focus on the abdominal area and the hand contact also merges easily with the feeling of belly relaxation and warmth that one begins to allow. 

Autogenic training, session 6

“ In good time we shall see God and his light, you say - Fool, you shall never see what you not see today! ” - Angelus Silesius

Here are the handouts, recordings, and reflection/record sheets for the sixth Autogenic training session.  There are four overlapping themes to this 'lesson'.  Obviously a key issue is the next Autogenic Training step - the focus on the abdominal area.  I usually initially get trainees to put a hand or both hands on their abdomen when they are learning this exercise.  The hand(s) are positioned a little below the belly button, unless the trainee has specific abdominal symptoms - when positioning the hand(s) over the troublesome area may be more appropriate.  The hand(s) don't have to be in direct contact with the skin.  A sense of gentle, warm contact through clothing is fine.  This typically helps one focus on the abdominal area and the hand contact also merges easily with the feeling of belly relaxation and warmth that one begins to allow. 

Attachment, compassion & relationships

Well I didn't sleep too well last night.  Catero, my wife, and I went to the cinema yesterday evening and watched "500 Days of Summer" . I enjoyed it and it got me thinking about relationships.  The "Summer" of the title is a woman who doesn't believe in romantic love.  She's kind of charming and maddening and, as I biked away from the cinema, I wondered how I would have approached treating her if she had come to me for therapy!  Interestingly a newspaper reviewer commented that the film is "weirdly incurious about the inner life of its female lead".

Autogenic training: fourth session

For the fourth Autogenic Training class, I introduce a number of new practices and ideas.  These include the next stage in the basic Autogenic Training sequence (pulse & general calmness), beginning to work on application during daily life (1st differential exercise), and a focus on the "Nourishing positive states" aspect of inner focus exercises.  For this latter, I discuss ideas about the importance of our attitudes, process visualisation, and implementation intentions.  Please read the introductory remarks and work through the first three Autogenic Training exercises before starting on this fourth Autogenic stage.

Autogenic training, session 4

The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.

- Ralph Sockman

For the fourth Autogenic Training class, I introduce a number of new practices and ideas.  These include the next stage in the basic Autogenic Training sequence (pulse & general calmness), beginning to work on application during daily life (1st differential exercise), and a focus on the "Nourishing positive states" aspect of inner focus exercises.  For this latter, I discuss ideas about the importance of our attitudes, process visualisation, and implementation intentions.  Please read the introductory remarks and work through the first three Autogenic Training exercises before starting on this fourth Autogenic stage.

Exeter conference day 3: positive psychology, imagery symposium, compassion lecture, & closing remarks

Third and last day of the full conference.  In fact we finish at lunch time today.  Up, then an interesting conversation about bipolar disorder at breakfast.  It's fun how I can chat with almost any of the well over 1,000 conference participants and almost certainly we'll have a whole lot of helpful shared experiences and insights to explore.  Then off to an in-conference workshop on Positive psychology based interventions.  Sadly there's a notice on the seminar room door saying the workshop has been cancelled due to illness.  Oh dear, I hope the would-be presenter Ilona Boniwell (or any ill members of her family) get well soon.  What a pity.  It's been a feature of this year's BABCP conference that a number of research papers on positive psychology interventions have begun to emerge.  So, flipping through the conference programme, presentations that appear to overlap into this area include: Developing the role of psychological wellbeing practitioners; If it feels go

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