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Update on website traffic: my own favourite top 15 (6-10) - therapist feedback, relationships, conflict, group work, & walking

Last month I used Google Analytics to identify the most read pages on this website and I wrote the post "Update on website traffic: the ten most popular blog posts". This got me thinking - "What are my own personal favourites?" I quickly realised that the posts that I've written that have had the most impact on me and my practice as a therapist are nearly always made up of sequences of blog posts rather than just individual items.  I said that glancing back over the last year or so, themes that stood out included mindfulness, therapist feedback, self-control, conflict, embodied cognition and positive psychology.

Is interpersonal group work better than sitting meditation for training mindfulness?

I'm missing the seventh session of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course that I've been attending because I've come down to our annual four day UK Men's Group in Cumbria.  I've written about these peer groups many times on this blog - for example, last year's Men's Group and the year before's, as well as Mixed Groups here in Cumbria and just last month a Scottish Mixed Group too.  I woke this morning and wondered - as a kind of thought experiment - whether maybe this four day interpersonal group is, in some ways, a "better" way of training mindfulness than the more traditional practice of sitting in meditation. 

Health crisis for Britain's middle-aged

Ouch, a very interesting international health survey, that has just been released, reports:

"Middle-aged Britons are experiencing a mid-life health crisis, according to new research from Bupa, which shows that those aged 45-54 are more likely to be obese, more likely to smoke and more likely to suffer from depression than their peers around the world.

The international Bupa Health Pulse study, which asked more than 13,000 people in 12 different countries questions about their health and lifestyles has shown that late-middle age is the toughest time health-wise for Britons. No other country in the survey - which included Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia and Australasia showed such a consistent range of unhealthy results for this age group.

The study, which questioned more than 2,000 people in the UK, found:

Friendship: science, art & gratitude

(this post is downloadable as both a Word doc & as a PDF file.) 

About every three months I meet up with one of my oldest and dearest friends and we spend twenty four hours or so together checking in on how our lives are going and what our plans are - this "work" links to the post "Building willpower: the eight pillars".  Our friendship goes back nearly 30 years and we've been doing these check-in's for a decade or so.  We know each other pretty well!  I'm just back from one of these times and it leads me to think a bit about friendship.

Proposal for a BABCP special interest group on compassion

The British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) encourages the formation of Special Interest Groups (SIG's) in areas that members want to particularly focus on.  There has been discussion recently about a possible SIG on Compassion.  If you're a member of the BABCP and you would like to be involved, do please let me know (if you haven't done so already).  I've made some suggestions about the kind of territory a Compassion SIG might cover (see below), but I very much understand that people who are interested in the SIG, may well not be interested in all the areas I've suggested ... and they may have additional suggestions to add.  The aim would be discuss all this further once we see if there at least 15 of us who would like to support the SIG's establishment.

Conflict: not too much, not too little - some research suggestions

(this post is downloadable as both a Word doc and as a PDF file).  

Occasional disagreement and conflict are pretty much inevitable.  I scanned Medline for relevant research articles to see if there are any helpful insights that have emerged recently.  As usual when one trawls for information, hundreds of publications emerge.  Here are a few of the areas I found particularly interesting.

Recent research: two studies on relationships, two on body to mind effects, and two on mindfulness

Here are details of half a dozen recent research papers - two on relationships, two on body to mind effects, and two on mindfulness.  Fuller details, links and abstracts of all the studies mentioned are given further down this post.

Valentine's day: "language style matching predicts relationship initiation and stability"

Valentine's Day!  Well here's a topical research study.  Professor Jamie Pennebaker is probably best known for his research on expressive writing - see, for example, the series of four blog posts I wrote about his lecture at last year's British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies' conference.  However, as he states on his very informative website"His most recent research focuses on the nature of language and emotion in the real world. The words people use serve as powerful reflections of their personality and social worlds".  Last month Jamie and colleagues published this interesting paper: 

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