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Kidney donation: the operation & first few postoperative days

I've already written a series of blog posts leading up to my recent kidney surgery - starting with "Kidney donation: why it's well worth considering" to the most recent "Kidney donation: preoperative preparation ... aspects of self-compassion".  Writing this now, I'm happily & successfully over the waterfall of the operation and into the phase of managing the bumping & scraping against a variety of post-operative boulders.

The surprising power of weak 'social ties'

I’ve just been to the Farmer’s Market here in Edinburgh and I set myself the challenge of being more chatty than usual to the stallholders I was buying food from.  I ‘pushed’ myself to be friendly & talk more than I’ve ever done before (and I’ve been going to the market intermittently for years) … and it was such fun.  Tender, bubbly, jokey, light.  And I had more of a spring in my step for hours afterwards.  And it didn’t mean that I took much longer doing the shopping than I usually do either.  And as one might have predicted, this ‘good mood’ and happy positivity then splashed over into my actions subsequently (see Barbara Fredrickson's 'Broaden-and-build theory' of the function of positive emotions and her comments about

Compassion, wisdom & wellbeing training: 8th session, taking the learning on into our lives

At our eighth & last session of the Compassion, wisdom & wellbeing trainingwe reviewed the journey we've been on together over the last couple of months.  We looked at what each of us personally had found most interesting & valuable.  The weekly reflection sheets that we'd filled in could make it easier to remember the variety of areas we've explored.

Do therapists get wiser with experience - or just repeat the same old mistakes?

I'm due to give a talk at the "Cosca Ethics Seminar" in a few hours.  The title is "Do therapists get wiser with experience - or just repeat the same old mistakes?".  The 52 slides make quite a large file to download.  I've put them on Dropbox, so here's the Dropbox link to them as a downloadable Powerpoint presentation and here they are as a PDF file.  There should also be three handouts provided at the seminar - the "Situated wise reasoning scale (SWIS) event", "SWIS questionnaire &am

Deepening our enjoyment & appreciation of life

A sense of meaning, connection to our values and real engagement in what we do are crucial to nourish high wellbeing in our lives … and then high wellbeing feeds back to help us be more vital & effective in what we do.  But it’s important too to ‘smell the flowers’ on our journey.  Excessive focus on being happy is likely to be counter-productive but being too ‘puritanical’ tends to shoot ourselves in the foot as well.  The fascinating work of Barbara Fredrickson on the 'broaden & build’ function of positive/pleasurable emotions illustrates the way that deepening our enjoyment & appreciation of life doesn’t just balance energy & effectiveness, it actually boosts these qualities.  A high emotional

  • Compassion, wisdom & wellbeing training: 3rd session home practice

    There are seven requests for this third week of home practice:  

    1.)  Please would you glance back at the handouts from the third session of the course & jot down further thoughts/feelings on this week's session 3 reflection sheet.  What last night felt most interesting & potentially helpful for you ... what felt less clear or less helpful?  The series of eight Session reflection sheets you will hopefully have completed by the end the training can provide a succinct, personal way of looking back on the course in the future and reminding yourself what was most important for you.  (10 minutes total, or more if you want) 

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