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European positive psychology conference: love, national happiness comparison tables, & life satisfaction assessment (2nd post)

I wrote yesterday about the two pre-European Conference on Positive Psychology (ECPP) workshops I went to on "Positive supervision" and on "Positive relationships".  Then in mid-afternoon on Tuesday, the conference proper began.  It was heralded by Taiko drummers and a cluster of brief welcoming speeches.  Apparently there are 920 people at the conference from about 50 different countries.  The country spread is similar, but the numbers are up 50% on the approximately 600 attendees at the 5th ECPP I went to in Copenhagen four years ago.

European positive psychology conference in Copenhagen: national comparisons, interest conflicts & strengths again (fourth post)

I blogged yesterday about the second full day of this "5th European conference on positive psychology".  So how was the last morning of the conference?  In order to catch my flight I only went in for the final two plenary presentations and then left at the coffee break - a pity, but I already have plenty new to chew over from this conference and I don't think I was missing anything too crucial - for the kind of work - I do by coming away a little early. 

Berlin weekend: approaches to happiness

Berlin, Saturday morning.  We flew in from Edinburgh pretty early yesterday.  Direct flight.  Easy.  Guilt over air travel a little allayed by buying carbon offsets through ClimateCare.  We're staying in a Miniloft, one of the really nice set of self-catering apartments designed by Matthew Griffin & Brita Jurgens, an architect couple whose practice is up at the top of the building.

Recent research: two studies on depression, one on sex, & three on positive psychology

Here are half a dozen research papers that have recently interested me (all details & abstracts to these studies are given further down this blog posting).  The first by Fournier et al is about whether to choose antidepressants or psychotherapy to treat depression.  They found that marriage, unemployment and having experienced a greater number of recent life events all predicted a better response to cognitive therapy than to antidepressants.  In the second study Luby et al looked at depression in children aged between 3 and 6 years old.  Worryingly they found forms of depression even in kids this young.  They also found over two years of follow-up that "Preschool depression, similar to childhood depression, is not a developmentally transient syndrome but rather shows chronicity and/or recurrence."  Hopefully this kind of research will mean these troubled children have a bit more chance of being identified and helped.

Goal renewal boosts wellbeing: third post

In a series of linked blog posts over the course of this month, I've discussed writing for health and wellbeing, assessment of one's own level of wellbeing, and using a broadened Best Possible Selves exercise.  In today's post I take these ideas a step further by linking them to the research work of Professor Lyubomirsky and colleagues. 

Goal renewal boosts wellbeing: first post

Here's a method that's exceptionally likely to both boost our overall level of wellbeing and move us towards the goals we feel our most important in our lives.  It will take a bit of effort and commitment - so don't fall into the trap highlighted by Thomas Edison's comment: "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

The health professions: selfless vocation or well-paid career?

The overlap between money and the health professions seems to involve a complex, multi-faceted set of issues.  I was triggered into thinking about this by the coincidence of three events.  One was a conversation at the recent annual BABCP psychotherapy conference, a second was reading Lewis Hyde's book "The gift", and the third was struggling to pay my most recent tax bill.

The Ben Lui group (first post): the challenge of balancing planning & savouring

Tomorrow I hope to head North and West up past Stirling, Lochearnhead and Crianlarich to Strath Fillan.  I should be able to park at a little village called Dalrigh just before Tyndrum.  From there I can walk in by the River Cononish for about 7 km to get to Ben Lui (Beinn Laoigh, calf hill).  The Scottish Mountaineering Club's Munros guidebook describes it as " ... one of the finest mountains in the Southern Highlands; it stands high above its neighbours, and its splendid shape is unmistakable."  They estimate a bit under 4 hours to the summit.  From there it should be straightforward to head on to Beinn a' Chleibh (hill of the creel or chest).  The forecast is mixed - hopefully low cloud will clear somewhat as the day goes on. 

We'll see.  It's very useful having an up to date forecast, but what it's actually like on the hill can sometimes be rather different.  If all goes well and my body holds up, I'll head back over two more Munros - Ben Oss (hill of the loch outlet or elk hill) and Beinn Dubhchraig (hill of the black rock).  If it's too tough I can always pull out after just a couple of Munros or even after just Ben Lui.

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