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Update on website traffic: my own favourite top 15 (11-15) - exercise, lifestyle, writing, goal setting & positive psychology

Earlier this year 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". I then wondered - "What are my own personal favourites?" and 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. Going further back still there are the posts about interpersonal groupwork, relationships, therapeutic writing, walking in nature, compassion, exercise, healthy lifestyle, attachment and goal setting.

BABCP spring meeting: Nick Grey on memory-focused approaches in CBT for adults with PTSD - writing suggestions (4th post)

(A handout of the key points in this blog post is downloadable both as a Word doc and as a PDF file)

I have written a series of blog posts on Nick Grey's expert workshop on CBT treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder.  The day's focus was particularly on treatment approaches involving the trauma memory itself.  Nick highlighted four interlinked memory-focused methods - exposure & reliving, written narrative, site visit, and discrimination of triggers.  This post is the text of a client handout I subsequently put together discussing how best to go about the written narrative.  

Therapeutic writing & speaking: inspiration from values (specific instructions)

See the two earlier blog posts - "Therapeutic writing & speaking: inspiration from values (background information)" and "Therapeutic writing & speaking: inspiration from values (how-to-do-it)" for fuller details of these self-affirmation, self-transcendence approaches.

This "instructions" post is downloadable as a Word doc

Therapeutic writing & speaking: inspiration from values (how to do it)

I wrote yesterday about "Therapeutic writing & speaking: inspiration from values (background information)".  Today's post looks more at how-to-do-it details.  Self-affirmation research describes a number of effective ways to reduce stress, clarify thinking, and boost effectiveness.  If the affirmation exercise is being done in response to a particular stress or threat, it's sensible to choose a subject to write (or speak) about that is of real personal importance but that is different from the area that's being threatened.  Happily several other writing research studies suggest additional ways of making this type of exercise even more helpful.  So a standard set of self-affirmation instructions might well involve asking participants to choose a particularly important personal value (for example, kindness,

Therapeutic writing & speaking: inspiration from values (background information)

Writing (or speaking) about our values or areas of our lives that are of particular personal importance can help us feel less threatened by stresses and more able to see situations clearly.  There are many research studies demonstrating this.  For example writing about personal values has been shown to reduce both subjectively experienced psychological stress and the body's adrenaline response to taking an academic exam (Sherman, Bunyan et al. 2009).  This easing in sense of threat tends to boost the exam results people achieve, especially for those who tend to get more stressed (Cohen, Garcia et al.

K: Life skills for stress, health & wellbeing, session 10 (part 2 - therapeutic writing)

Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point.

- C. S. Lewis

I wrote yesterday about the first part of this tenth "Life skills" evening.  I particularly discussed development of Goodwill practice - very much in the "Nourishing positive states" section of the "Four aspects" diagram (below).  In the second half of the evening we moved on to the "Exploring & processing" section of the diagram with the introduction particularly of various forms of therapeutic writing.

Four aspects of helpful inner focus

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