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Interpersonal group work

A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

- Einstein

Interpersonal group work 2

See the earlier blog post "Interpersonal group work 1" for comments and handouts particularly orientated to pre-group assessment.  It's usually time very well spent, orientating would-be participants to what interpersonal process groups are likely to involve.  This both speeds up the time it takes new group members to start engaging helpfully in group interactions, and reduces drop-out rates.  Participants who know roughly what the group is going to be like, why the experience is relevant to what they want to change in their lives, and how they can best engage with the group to gain most benefit, are likely to be participants who get most from the group experience.  Below I've listed various handouts that can be relevant in this orientation process.

Training in group facilitation

I'm facilitating a group today on "Relationships & emotional intelligence".  When explaining why someone might want to come to the group, the initial publicity leaflet reads "It's worth taking the time to look at our relationships because they are such a huge part of our lives.  Past relationships deeply affect how we feel about ourselves and how we interact with others.  Current relationships can be a great source of joy, warmth and support, or of loneliness, frustration and unhappiness.  Human beings are social animals.  In many ways we are the sum of our relationships.  As adults, we don't have to just accept how we learned to relate when we were younger.  We can look at our interpersonal style and  how we connect with our emotions.  We can get feedback from others.  We can decide what patterns we are happy with

Assessing attachment in adults

I'm a doctor and psychotherapist who's interested in using attachment ideas to improve how helpful I can be for clients.  Awareness of attachment issues informs therapy, it doesn't dictate it.  An obvious question is whether it's sometimes worth assessing attachment in a "formal" way.  I'm no expert in this area.  I'm an "informed amateur" and, after reading and exploring a good deal around the subject, my impression is that it can be pretty useful at times to assess attachment.  The Wikipedia article on Attachment measures provides an excellent overview of the field while, for much more in depth information, the two attachment books and the various websites that I've described in previous blog post

Self disclosure by health professionals

Blogging about my mum's illness and my reactions to it led me to think again about self disclosure by health professionals.  Our job is to be helpful for our clients - it's what we're about.  Self disclosure by health professionals is a mixed bag.  It can sometimes be helpful and sometimes damaging.  Different schools of therapy and different styles of doctor have strong opinions about what's right and wrong in this area.  Strong opinions without research back-up tend to generate more heat than light.  As has been so delightfully stated "The plural of anecdote is not data".  This post is not at all intended to be exhaustive about research on health professional self disclosure.  It is intended to shine a light on some interesting facts and to raise some questions.

Personality, extroversion & compassion 2

Having written the first blog posting on Personality, extroversion & compassion yesterday, I realized I wanted to add one or two further comments.  These comments are mainly about scores on the Big five aspects scales (BFAS) and about "personality" in general.  I've also made these comments downloadable as a BFAS background information sheet. 

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