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Meeting at relational depth: a model

I went to a workshop on Saturday about "Relational depth".  As is usually the case, chewing over the material afterwards, thinking about how it's relevant for myself & my work, following up some leads - these seem crucial activities to promote "digestion" rather than a quick learning meal that goes right through me providing no "nutritional value".  One of the ideas that I enjoyed was a slight refocus of the classic person-centred triad - authenticity, empathy, unconditional positive regard - so that the relationship between the people involved became more foreground and the individuals a little more background.  I put together a slightly adapted version of one of the facilitator, Mick Cooper's handouts.  It looks like this:

Meeting at relational depth: what gets in the way?

This is the fifth in a series of six blog posts triggered by going to a workshop "Meeting at relational depth" taken by Mick Cooper in Glasgow.  I've already written about two exercises we explored during the morning session - "Meeting at relational depth: what does it involve?" and "Meeting at relational depth: what intrigued me most".  In the afternoon session, we mostly focused on two further exercises:

Strategies of disconnection:  Participants will be invited to take some time, in pairs, to discuss the ways in which they may tend to disconnect from others.  There will then be time to explore the relevance of this to therapeutic practice.

Meeting at relational depth: links to attachment

Yesterday I wrote a post "Meeting at relational depth: what intrigued me most".  I described how, in this one day workshop, I paired up with someone I'd never met before and acted as client in a 20 minute role-played counselling session.  Every minute we independently estimated how deeply we felt connected (on a 0-10 scale).  When we looked at our estimates at the end of the session, they almost exactly matched.  I felt as connected to my "counsellor" as she did to me, even though she had said only a few words.  What's going on?

Meeting at relational depth: what does it involve?

"A consultation is when the room disappears."   David Reilly (physician) 

On Saturday I went to a course called "Meeting at relational depth: a research workshop".  I have already written a first post outlining the day.  After staying overnight in Glasgow with a friend who was also coming to the course, we cycled over to Jordanhill Campus the next morning.  There were a couple of dozen or so participants on the workshop - a pretty good turn out.

Meeting at relational depth: outline of a 'research' workshop

I'm booked in for a course today with Professor Mick Cooper of the University of Strathclyde entitled "Meeting at relational depth: a research workshop".  The publicity blurb reads "This experiential workshop, which Mick Cooper has been running nationally and internationally since the publication of 'Working at relational depth in counselling and psychotherapy' (Sage, 2005), will give participants an opportunity to explore their experiences of relational depth, and to look at how it feels to meet others at this level of intensity - in both their therapeutic practice and everyday life.  Through practical exercises, pairs-work and small and large group discussion, the workshop will help partici

Opening up group, session 5

“ To be uncertain is to be uncomfortable. To be certain is to be merely ridiculous. ” - Goethe

I wrote just a few days ago about the fourth session of this "Opening up" group.  This fifth session was a full day meeting.  Good to have a whole day together.  A bigger pool to swim in, more time to explore.  Nice too to share food together - we all brought contributions for lunch.

Opening up group, session 2

Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you. - Jackson Brown

I posted last week on the first meeting of this "Opening up" group.  The reflection sheets everyone had filled in after the initial meeting had been copied and sent to all participants, so we already had more material to work with as we started this second session.  I've experimented with different ways of beginning interpersonal group meetings over the years.  In peer groups I usually bid to start with a few minutes of silence.  I find it seems to help people "arrive" and then to engage more deeply, more quickly - it certainly does this for me.

Opening up group, session 1

“ If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life. ” - Wu-Men

For many years I have run two kinds of "training group" for clients.  One teaches what can loosely be thought of as "stress management skills".  The latest version of this is the "Life skills for stress, health & wellbeing" course that I have been describing at some length in blog posts over the last three months.  The other kind of group that I regularly facilitate focuses on relationships.  As this group has evolved over the years it has been given various titles.  For quite some time I called it the "Relationships & emotional intelligence" group.  It was an accurate description of what we focused on, but it was kind of clunky as a label.  I've now reverted to simply calling the course "Opening up&

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