Sunday, February 28, 2010

Emotion-focused vs. Emotionally-focused?

Entry for 28 February 2010:

I’ve been doing a lot of EFT training in the past month, and various interesting questions have appeared along the way. For example, when I was in Veldhoven in the Netherlands late January, some folks had recently done EFT Couples (EFT-C) training, which is rapidly emerging in the Netherlands.

So I went back and looked again to the issue of Emotion-focused (Greenberg, Paivio, Watson, Elliott et al., EFT-I) vs. Emotionally-Focused (Sue Johnson et al., EFT-C). Emotionally-Focused Therapy was used in Les Greenberg & Sue Johnson in their 1988 book on couples work. It appears that Les later corrected the usage to Emotion-focused, as part of his work with Sandra Paivio on their 1998 book. In the meantime, Sue Johnson kept the original usage, so that today both names are used but in different contexts. To further confuse things, Les has recently published a book on Emotion-Focused Therapy for Couples (2008), while the Emotionally-Focused Therapy for couples folks now also offer training in individual therapy.

Let’s analyze the two forms semantically, to see if this sheds any light:

1. Emotion-focused means “focused on emotion”. “Emotion” here is a noun, pointing to the idea that the therapy is really about emotion.

2. Emotionally-focused means “focused in an emotional manner”. “Emotionally” here is an adverb, describing the therapy as dramatic and emotionally powerful.

It seems to me that both descriptors refer to important aspects of EFT, regardless of how it is spelled and who is in the therapy room.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kilpatrick Braes

Entry for 6 February 2010:

For last week's Saturday Adventure, we took the train to Old Kilpatrick, down the River Clyde, just past Dalmuir. We got off at the Kilpatrick station, turned right down the main road, crossed under the rail line and the A82, and walked up and up and up into the Kilpatrick Braes. We walked uphill for at least an hour, pausing regularly to look around as Glasgow and Firth of Clyde gradually unfolded around us. Although it was a grey, misty day, the view was still stunning.

First, we saw the Erskine Bridge emerge from behind the village, looming over it. Soon, however, we were above it, and we could see the River Clyde twisting away east behind it, into the distance, a ribbon between the buildings Glasgow lining both sides.

We passed a farm and then the path became rough and steeper. We passed a little tree shrine by the side of the road, with children’s toys and Christmas ornaments nestled in the branches, telling a story that we could only guess at. As we walked further, the Erskine Bridge seemed to shrink beneath us, and we could see further east as far as the grey and mist would let us. We could see the Campsie Fells, and Bearsden and Milngavie. At this distance, it was the highrise blocks of flats and the tall buildings of the city centre that stood out to view. We looked west down the Firth of Clyde, but the ridge of the brae was in the way and we couldn’t see much. We pushed on, and finally reached the ridge so that we could see beyond it.

There in the distance was Dumbarton Rock, actually looking rather small from where we were. Beyond it, on the far side of the Firth, we could see the sweep of the coast and there was Greenock, a bit to the left of the point where the Firth makes its sharp left turn and heads south toward Ayrshire. And beyond that, the uplands that run west of Glasgow, forming the rest of the rim of the great bowl into which Glasgow is nestled. It was magnificent.

We look down the other side of the ridge into a little valley where sheep were small grazing patches far below. We followed the path as it ran up along the ridge, away from the Clyde, and as we did so, the land became wilder, craggy and bracken-covered. Canny, alert, wild sheep watched us suspiciously from further up. The path entered a little valley between low, craggy hills. We walked just a little ways further, turned around and came back down, experiencing the whole thing in reverse and front of us this time.

* * *

Four days later, as I flew out of Glasgow on the first leg of a trip to Portugal, the plan took off to the northeast, as happens when there is an east wind. I flew over the same territory that we’d walked on our adventure, but from even further up. Starting from the Erskine Bridge I retraced our walk with my eyes, and saw what was beyond the little valley where we turned around and went back: Loch Humphries perched amid the hills, and further to the right, rocky Duncolm. How many times have I flown over these hills in the past 4 years? And only now do I begin to really know them in my body, my legs and my feet, as real places, rough and grassy, craggy and smooth, lonely spaces with occasional sheep.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Celtic Connections 2010 and Beyond

Entry for 6 February 2010:

Today we have finally reached 9 hours of daylight, the same amount that Toledo gets at the winter solstice. I'm still grateful for it!

As always, Celtic Connections helped us through the worst of the January Dark Time. We went to the finale concert last Sunday, a couple of hours after returning to Glasgow from the Netherlands. This was the yearly Transatlantic Concert, with a load of exceptional Scottish and North American musicians jamming for 2+ hours. Tickets sell out fast for this concert, so Diane and I couldn’t get seats together; however, we managed to end up in the same section of the concert hall. The concert was fun and engaging, and the tribute to Kate McGarrigle, who died a couple of weeks earlier, moved both of us to tears. Since then, I’ve been on a McGarrigle binge, revisiting their old albums and remembering just how good they were.

Actually, I found Darol Anger and the Republic of Strings, the week before, to be a more satisfying experience, musically: The musicianship was just as superb, but it hung together better, as a folk/bluegrass/jazz/classical string quartet but with guitar instead of second violin. Darol Anger, with his exceptional fiddle playing and quirky sense of humor, really impressed me, but the rest of his group were all uniformly excellent. I hope that this configuration of the group releases an album soon!

However, our favorite concert was at the Universal Folk Club on Sauchiehall Lane. Every year Universal puts on a series of concerts during Celtic Connections, featuring traditional songs of Scotland. They get three different solo singers to take turns presenting songs on a theme or from a particular area of Scotland. The concert we saw was “Songs of Marriage, Birth & Death”. The musicians aren’t usually professionals and are not always particularly polished, but for a down-home, authentic, Scottish folk experience, it is hard to beat this series of concerts. We vowed to make sure we take in at least one of these concerts every year.

But of course there is folk music to be found during the rest of the year, so this past Thursday we returned to the Star Folk Club, in St. Andrew’s in the Square, to hear Mick West and his band launch their new CD: As I think I've said before, he has an excellent voice; his fellow musicians are highly skilled; and his research into traditional sources, including rendering old ballads back into Scots, is impeccable. With concerts like this, we can have our personal Celtic Connections experience throughout rest of the year!