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Wellbeing & health seminars

Those who do not have the power over the story that dominates their lives - the power to retell it, reexperience it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change - truly are powerless because they cannot think new thoughts.

- Salman Rushdie

"Wellness in Students" - a talk given at a conference on student health in London in July '07.  Introduces Self-Determin

Self-determination theory

I'm a big fan of Self-Determination Theory (SDT).  SDT is a general theory of motivation and personality that has evolved over the past three decades.  SDT suggests that humans, like plants or other animals, intrinsically 'strive' for need satisfaction & flourishing.  Social context and personal choices can support or thwart this need striving with major effects for health and wellbeing.

Wellbeing, time management, self-control & self-determination

“ If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito. ” - Anonymous

This is a bit of a ragbag section.  It contains a mixture of handouts on wellbeing, time management and related topics.  A lot of my work involves helping people face fear and anxiety.  The "Determination training" and more straightforward monthly "Practice record" are often helpful here.  The "Respected figures exercise" is one of the most frequent forms that I ask people to fill in - it clarifies values and so highlights how one wants to act.  The handout on Kohlberg's work is relevant to values too, especially at times when the focus is on fairness and assertiveness.  I often move from the "Respected figues exercise" to the five "Goals for roles" handouts.  They build from clarifying "Role areas" and using this for the "Funeral speeches" or "80th birthday party exercise&qu

Peer groups: Cumbria spring group - first reflection

Why are these groups often so great, so welcome, so precious?  Real life is very rich - theories only capture aspects of this richness.  However a theory, that I like a lot, highlights one reason why these peer groups are so important.  The theory is Self-Determination Theory (SDT).  It has evolved for over three decades.  The SDT website (see below) is a treasure trove of information about this approach.  It contains hundreds of research papers covering SDT's application to many fields including happiness, wellbeing, friendship, couples, parenting, education, psychotherapy, healthcare, political/ecological action - to name just some of the more obviously relevant. 

SDT focuses particularly on the crucial importance of satisfying three basic psychological needs - autonomy, competence and relatedness.  It proposes that:

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