The dogs howl, but the moon still keeps on shining. - German Proverb
Last updated on 26th June 2017
This weekend I'm due to give a two day training workshop in Belfast on "Psychotherapy with couples & other close relationships". Here are the downloadable slides for the first day on "Working with couples" (sadly with the cartoons removed for copyright reasons) and here the slides for the second day on "Close relationships". There are lots of relevant handouts - here are the details.
Last updated on 7th May 2017
Yesterday I wrote the blog post "Paired meditation deepens interpersonal connection: Tania Singer's wonderful ReSource project" which introduced & overviewed the recent, very impressive ReSource Project. I also discussed the associated JAMA Psychiatry research paper "Effects of contemplative dyads on engagement and perceived social connectedness over nine months of mental training: a randomized controlled trial" with its abstract including the comments "Secularized classical meditation training programs address social cognition, but practice typically occurs alone.
Last updated on 6th May 2017
Yesterday I was skimming through the JAMA Psychiatry journal and I got hijacked by Kok & Singer's recent article "Effects of contemplative dyads on engagement and perceived social connectedness over nine months of mental training: a randomized controlled trial". The abstract reads - "Importance Loneliness is a risk factor for depression and other illnesses and may be caused and reinforced by maladaptive social cognition. Secularized classical meditation training programs address social cognition, but practice typically occurs alone.
Last updated on 19th June 2017
Personal social networks are hugely important for our health & wellbeing, as I've underlined in the first of this six post sequence - "Personal social networks (1st post): Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 model". However our personal networks are also regularly affected by conflicts, especially with those we're close to. It's not a surprise - if you're very close to someone, it's likely you'll sometimes step on each other's toes.
More to follow ...
Last updated on 19th June 2017
I've recently written three blog posts about relationships - "Personal social networks (1st post): Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 model", "Personal social networks (2nd post): the sympathy group & the full active network" and "Personal social networks (3rd post): assessing how we're doing". Towards the end of the second of these posts I said I particularly like the paper "Do birds of a feather flock together?"
Last updated on 27th March 2017
If you'd like to clarify and potentially look after your personal social network better, a good place to start is to chart it. You can download a simple blank chart here either in Word doc or PDF format. Filling in the whole "Personal community map" can take a good hour or two, so possibly ... at this stage ... just put your support clique into the most central circle.
Last updated on 23rd March 2017
Relationships are immensely important for both our health and our wellbeing ... for how long we live, our resilience to psychological stress, and for our levels of happiness & life satisfaction. This is crucially relevant for pretty much all of us. The post "Strong relationships improve survival as much as quitting smoking" clearly links the state of our personal social networks to how long we're likely to live.
Last updated on 7th February 2016
A couple of days ago I ran a one day workshop on Couple Therapy for final year Counselling Psychology students at Glasgow's Caledonian University. Although I've run many workshops over the years around relationship themes, this is the first time I've taught one specifically on Couple Therapy. It's hard work building a full day workshop from the ground up. I think the students were kind to me as I'd run a five day workshop for them on Group Work last November and so we knew each other a bit.
Last updated on 29th September 2015
Just about to start the second day of this two day workshop led by Professor Don Baucom on "Couple-Based Interventions for Anxiety Disorders". We're here at the Royal Foundation of St Katharine in London's East End. St Katharine's aims to provide a "sense of an oasis in the city" and I think it succeeds really well. I've been to workshops here before and I would thoroughly recommend it. But how was yesterday's first day of this workshop?