People say how creative the All Blacks are, but creativity is just practice that's camouflaged. It comes from hard work. - Wayne Smith, All Blacks rugby coach
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 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 25th March 2017
I recently wrote a blog post on "Personal social networks (1st post): Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 model". I emphasised the huge importance of our social networks for improving life expectancy, protecting against psychological disorders, and boosting our happiness & wellbeing. What's not to like?! I went on to introduce Robin Dunbar's work and his layered model of personal social network structure. I then talked about the key inner support clique layer. Outside the support clique is the sympathy group or - stated possibly less awkwardly - outside our very closest relationships we have a layer of close relationships.
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 12th June 2011
There was a pretty startling paper published in last month's British Journal of Psychiatry:
Last updated on 4th November 2010
Yesterday, Catero and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with a ceilidh. This is Auld Lang Syne at the end of the party. I'm the loudmouth (on one glass of wine), with dear Catero on my left (to the right in the picture). Laura, precious stepdaughter, is three places to my left and Kieran, precious son, only half shown four places to my right. Celebration and gratitude ... and very relevant to this month's blog post themes of relationships and social networks.
Last updated on 21st September 2010