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Peer groups, Cumbria spring group – fourth morning: honouring my mother

The last morning of the group.  I wake a bit "troubled".  This is the ebb and flow of the group.  Feelings tend to be more intense here.  As the "group river" flows its four day course, I know that I'm likely to move through a series of different emotional states.  I lie in bed for a bit sensing what I'm feeling.  What's it about.  The overall "smell/flavour" of my mood seems contributed to by a mix of things.  One factor is that I feel, what seems to me, a low key grumbling unease going on between me and one of the other people in the group.  A second factor is a discomfort I have about how another person expressed themselves for a while in the group yesterday.  A third is a concern I'm feeling about another person seeming to get too "isolated" in the group.  And there's something too about the group ending - both saying goodbye to the people and saying goodbye to this four day, magical, oasis in my life.  There are precious, good me

Peer groups, Cumbria spring group – third morning: emotional closeness, green issues, & dancing

Third morning.  It's after 7.00am.  Yesterday I wrote on "Authenticity & feedback".  The group seems to be "speeding up" now.  That's partly because I've got less time this morning.  Fairly typically at home, I try to have my light off by 10.15pm and get up by 5.15am.  Last night we were dancing till about midnight.  Brilliant.  Such great fun, but not a big encouragement to be up only a few hours later.  And partly the group feels it's speeding up because, like being away on a few days holiday, experiences start to blur together.  And partly I feel it's because the river of emotion and openness is running more strongly.  As happens so often, many of us - me included - seem more fluid, more easily touched by strong feeling, more easily "triggered" by the depth of what others express.

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.

Recent research: six studies on positive psychology, goals, relationships, caregiving, mindfulness & nature

Here are half a dozen studies that one could loosely put under the broad umbrella of positive psychology.  Zorba the Greek said "Take what you want and pay for it, says God." and Niemiec et al's study, on the effects of achieving different kinds of goal, supports this statement (for all six research studies mentioned in this blog post see below for abstracts and links).  Quoting Niemiec et al's somewhat awkward language: "The relation of aspiration attainment to psychological health was found to differ as a function of the content of the goals. Attainment of the intrinsic aspirations for personal growth, close relationships, community involvement, and physical health related positively to basic psychological need satisfaction and psychological health.

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