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Therapeutic writing & speaking: inspiration from values (background information)

Writing (or speaking) about our values or areas of our lives that are of particular personal importance can help us feel less threatened by stresses and more able to see situations clearly.  There are many research studies demonstrating this.  For example writing about personal values has been shown to reduce both subjectively experienced psychological stress and the body's adrenaline response to taking an academic exam (Sherman, Bunyan et al. 2009).  This easing in sense of threat tends to boost the exam results people achieve, especially for those who tend to get more stressed (Cohen, Garcia et al.

K: Life skills for stress, health & wellbeing, session 10 (part 2 - therapeutic writing)

“ A leader is a dealer in hope. ” - Napolean

I wrote yesterday about the first part of this tenth "Life skills" evening.  I particularly discussed development of Goodwill practice - very much in the "Nourishing positive states" section of the "Four aspects" diagram (below).  In the second half of the evening we moved on to the "Exploring & processing" section of the diagram with the introduction particularly of various forms of therapeutic writing.

Four aspects of helpful inner focus

Recent research: mindfulness (mechanisms & practice), prevalence (abuse & suicidality), health anxiety imagery & CBT for kids

Here are half a dozen recent research studies - two on aspects of mindfulness, two on sobering prevalence rates, one on imagery in health anxiety, and one on CBT with children.  Fuller details, links and abstracts for all studies are listed further down this page.  Willem Kuyken and colleagues looked at "How does mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) work?" in helping recurrent depression sufferers.  They came up with some fascinating and provocative findings.  For example it appears that MBCT acts differently from standard CBT, although they are both helpful in reducing risk of depressive relapse.  Standard CBT (and maintenance antidepressants too) reduce cognitive reactivity to experiences of induced low mood, and this appears important in how they lessen relapse risk.  MBCT however seems to act not by reducing cognitive reactivity so much as by decoupling the reactivity from a tendency then to slide into depression.  It appears this decoupling is mediate

Life skills for stress, health & wellbeing, tenth session (part 2 - therapeutic writing)

I wrote yesterday about the first part of this tenth "Life skills" evening.  I particularly discussed development of Goodwill practice - very much in the "Nourishing positive states" section of the "Four aspects" diagram (below).  In the second half of the evening we moved on to the "Exploring & processing" section of the diagram with the introduction particularly of various forms of therapeutic writing.

Four aspects of helpful inner focus

Manchester BABCP conference: “metaphors and stories in CBT” (fifth post)

Yesterday I wrote about David Clark's inspiring conference talk on "IAPT: achievements, lessons and the future".  The lecture was followed by a rather poor conference lunch - I had an image of us all dipping our heads into the brown paper bags of sandwiches we were given, like feedbags for horses.  A good conversation with neighbours over lunch, then wandering to a different building to get to the "Metaphors and stories in CBT" panel discussion with Richard Stott and Ann Hackmann.  Paul Blenkiron had been billed to contribute too, but apparently his wife had had a baby this morning - I hope they're doing well.

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