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Ch.11: Emotions

Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.

- Aristotle

What are emotions?  Emotions as source of information, of energy/activation, of signalling.  Emotional regulation.  Self-distancing & self-immersion.  Focusing.  Rescripting.  Imagery.

Paired meditation deepens interpersonal connection: how to go about it

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.

Paired meditation deepens interpersonal connection: Tania Singer's wonderful ReSource project

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.

Therapeutic alliance ruptures/tensions: description, frequency, causes & effects

I wrote a blog post yesterday entitled "Therapeutic alliance ruptures: common, very challenging & a key area for increasing therapist (and personal) helpfulness"I think this area is so important that I'd like to spend additional time exploring it more thoroughly. 

"Therapeutic alliance ruptures": common, very challenging & a key area for increasing therapist (and personal) helpfulness

We had another of our small peer Emotion-Focused Therapy supervision/practice groups yesterday evening.  Half a dozen of us were able to make it.  We'd agreed we would look particularly at "therapeutic alliance ruptures" at this meeting.  As a doctor, I can't help finding the term "alliance rupture" rather giggle-inducing.  I have all kinds of pictures of unwanted extrusions, metaphorical trusses and possibly extreme interpersonal surgical cures. 

Do psychotherapists, doctors and leaders develop "emotional chainmail"? Some ways of building both stability and empathy.

In the last couple of days I've written two posts on the possibility of developing "emotional chainmail" when faced with repeated experiences of suffering ... "Do psychotherapists, doctors and leaders develop "emotional chainmail"?  Description of a possible problem" and "Do psychotherapists, doctors and leaders develop "emotional chainmail"?

Do psychotherapists, doctors and leaders develop "emotional chainmail"? Two kinds of empathy.

I wrote yesterday about how, at the weekend, I was involved in an hour and a half's deep emotional conflict resolution with an old friend that was witnessed in a group by another eight people.  As pretty much always, in the feedback that emerged over the next twenty four hours, different people reported very different reactions to what they had seen.  I still (after forty years involvement in a wide cross section of psychotherapy groups) find it jaw-dropping the sheer variety of what different people feel & think when observing absolutely the same event.  However, it seemed that most of those who spoke were deeply moved and respectful of what we'd done and how well it had worked out ...

Do psychotherapists, doctors and leaders develop "emotional chainmail"? Description of a possible problem.

I've been in a peer "psychotherapy group" residential retreat again recently and I was involved in an interaction that has crystalised a series of thoughts about potential "emotional armouring" in therapists that I've been aware of more vaguely for some time. And in fact these "suspicions" involve not just psychotherapists, but also doctors and leaders more generally as well. Happily there are great advantages of this emotional stability & resilience, but I believe there can also be very genuine personal & interpersonal costs. So what am I talking about here?

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