European positive psychology conference in Copenhagen: eudaimonia, Lego, morality & kayaking (third post)
Last updated on 9th July 2010
Yesterday was the first full day of the conference. I've already written about the first evening. The full day started fairly bright and early at 8.30am. First off was a talk by Corey Keyes, a sociologist from Emory University, Atlanta. I've liked his work, but at first glance at this conference he looked a bit too like Johnny Depp for me to take him seriously (prejudice or what!). The talk this morning soon put that right. Passionate, informed, insightful. Great stuff.
I flew into Copenhagen yesterday afternoon. I have a low key good feeling about the place. Nice. Clean. Small enough not to feel overwhelmed. Friendly. How appropriate that Denmark, the hosts of this "5th European conference on positive psychology", have so often been ranked top in the world on life satisfaction. See for example Christensen et al's paper "Why Danes are smug: comparative study of life satisfaction in the European Union." I walked from Central Station to register at the conferenc
In yesterday's post "Targeting behavioural activation better both for decreasing depression and increasing wellbeing (first post)", I suggested that there are at least three (and probably many more) interesting ways that could make behavioural activation (BA) both more targeted and potentially more effective. I wrote about aiming BA particularly to "problem solve" triggering factors (especially interpersonal ones) that seemed to have contributed to deterioration in a subject's psychological state. I also mentioned the recent Mazzuchelli et al paper "Behavioral activation interventions for well-being: a meta-analysis" showing how helpful BA can also be at building wellbeing as well as treating depression.
There are a series of meta-analyses showing that "behavioural activation" (BA) is a good treatment for depression and that it is as effective as best-established approaches like full cognitive behavioural therapy - see, for example, last year's paper by Trevor and colleagues "Behavioral activation treatments for depression in adults: a meta-analysis and review". BA involves encouraging increased engagement in enjoyable activities. Subjects may be asked to keep a record of their daily activities and associated feelings - for example, feelings of achievement and enjoyment. The downloadable charts and handouts further down this website's "Problem solving and behavioural activation" page illustrate this well-known approach.
Yesterday, in "BABCP spring meeting, first post", I described my initial thoughts arriving at the "Collaborative case conceptualization" workshop. Well, now it's Friday morning. A very social time yesterday evening after the workshop. Slept on a friend's couch. It's fairly bright and early now and their kids haven't yet emerged. How was yesterday's workshop?
So here I am sitting in a cafe at Euston station. I came in on the sleeper half an hour or so ago. I slept well, which was a blessing. I love it. A full day's work yesterday, travel while asleep, well set up for a full day today. Sleepers don't always work out so well, but my old tricks of aiming to be pretty tired when I get on board and using earplugs seemed effective this time. I didn't even resort to the further favourite of having a good slug of whisky before tucking in to the rather narrow bunk.
They taught me more about, in the midst of all this trauma and suffering and uncertainty - of remaining true to who you are,
and what love can be about in those moments. And there are three or four of those that really stand out very strongly,
whose lives were very different but who were kind of my teachers.
A therapist describing the impact on himself of working with clients struggling with AIDS
You can access a downloadable Word format version of this post by clicking here.
Berlin, Saturday morning. We flew in from Edinburgh pretty early yesterday. Direct flight. Easy. Guilt over air travel a little allayed by buying carbon offsets through ClimateCare. We're staying in a Miniloft, one of the really nice set of self-catering apartments designed by Matthew Griffin & Brita Jurgens, an architect couple whose practice is up at the top of the building.