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Psychotherapy with couples & other close relationships

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.

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.

Some counsellors & psychotherapists are more effective than others

This is the third in a sequence of blog posts - "Therapist drift: black heresy or red herring - maybe not so important?", "Psychotherapy is helpful but has developed shockingly poorly over the last 30 yearsand now this one "Some counsellors & psychotherapists are more effective than others."  As you can see from the slide below, identification and study of highly successful therapists' methods and characteristics is an obvious area to explore much more fully, as it is almost certain to give leads on how we might make general improvements in psychotherapy's helpfulness.

Truly excellent therapists have "grace under interpersonal pressure" - Fascinating new research

Hemingway wrote "Courage is grace under pressure".  New research underlines that "grace under interpersonal pressure" is a key ability of truly excellent therapists.  Study after study has shown that psychotherapists vary considerably in how helpful they are for their clients.  The slide below shows a typical set of findings:

                                       (downloadable as a Powerpoint slide and as a PDF file)

New research describes effective ways of changing long-term personality traits & other persistent behaviour patterns (2nd post)

I recently wrote the blog post "New research describes effective ways of changing long-term personality traits & other persistent behaviour patterns (1st post)" where I introduced two new research articles - Hudson and Fraley's "Volitional personality trait change: Can people choose to change personality traits?" and Elliott et al's "Psychometrics of the Personal Questionnaire: A client-generated outcome measure".  The Hudson & Fraley paper describes an intriguing way of deliberately changing long-term personality patterns.

New research describes effective ways of changing long-term personality traits & other persistent behaviour patterns (1st post)

Hudson and Fraley's great new article "Volitional personality trait change: Can people choose to change their personality traits?" still just has "online first" status at the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology so it hasn't even got to "hot off the press" yet.  It describes such interesting findings.  The abstract reads "Previous research has found that most people want to change their personality traits. But can people actually change their personalities just because they want to? To answer this question, we conducted 2, 16-week intensive longitudinal randomized experiments.

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