Saturday, December 29, 2012

Murray Creek, Late December Haiku

Entry for 28 Dec 2012:

December labyrinth:
Winding path sprinkled
    with oak leaves;
We walk the circle again.

Fooled by false gloaming: Full moon
Fluoresces through clouds

-28-29 December 2012

EFT Tribes Book Chapter Published

Entry for 27 December 2012:

The second edition of Pete Sanders’ popular book on the different forms of person-centred therapy (PCE) was released in the final weeks of 2012.  The first edition, published in 2003, has been a perennial favourite with the students in our post-graduate course in person-centred counselling, helping them to reflect on where they want to locate themselves as budding counsellors and what their options are.  In order to clarify the relationships among the different PCE therapy suborientations, Margaret Warner and others hit upon the metaphor of “many tribes, one nation”, pointing to unity amid diversity.  (From a Scottish point of view, “clans” works well also.)

Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) was mentioned in the first edition, sometimes critically, but was not represented by a chapter, leaving it status within the larger PCE nation unclear.  Then, about 18 months ago, Pete asked me if I’d be willing to do a chapter on EFT for the second edition of the “tribes book”.  Although academic pressures nowadays lead me to turn down most book chapter invitations, this one made sense to me, and I was pleased to take up the challenge.  As is common, work on the chapter got delayed and deadlines were extended but eventually several months ago I had to buckle down and produce something, which in quick succession got revised, copy-edited, typeset, proofed, and, finally, two weeks ago, published.

When I wrote this chapter I had in mind my students on postgraduate counselling diploma and MSc courses in the UK and elsewhere, as well as for folks with previous qualifications as counsellors or psychotherapists who might be thinking about coming along for training in EFT to build on their existing skills.  However, there is a lot of complexity to EFT and a lot of jargon. I hope that I’ve succeeded at least in part in providing an accessible overview of Emotion-Focused Therapy, thanks to help from the folks at PCCS Book and in particular Richard Miller, a former counselling diploma student who read an earlier version of the chapter.

Reference: Elliott, R. (2012).  Emotion-focused therapy. In P. Sanders (Ed.), The tribes of the person-centred nation: An introduction to the schools of therapy related to the person-centred approach (2nd ed.).  Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Travel Narrative: Glasgow to California

Entry for 23-25 Dec 2012:

Leaving Glasgow after an exhausting season of moves and crises.
Twelve hour time shift: up at 3am, 4 hours earlier than usual,
six am flight to Amsterdam, then 8 hours jet lag
by the time we reach San Francisco.

On the way back home to California,
I read most of second of two long-delayed
Australian Emotion-focused therapy doctoral dissertations,
finally beginning to catch up with myself.

We enter the US at Minneapolis,
with surprising ease: short walk, short lines,
American security officers efficient
but condescendingly proud of their equipment and training.

Bay Area rush hour a week before Christmas:
We rent a car and make the drive to Pleasanton,
Risky from sleep deprivation and jet lag.

Arriving at my mother-in-law’s house,
Kenneth is already there.  
He too has been in transition
and is glad to see his long-lost parents. 

Northern California is having a wet year,
storm after storm sweeps through,
filling reservoirs; mudslides block roads,
early snow falls in the Sierra Nevada.

Cool, fresh mornings make for good runs
for Kenneth and me, as we begin to
catch up with the intense jumble of each other’s lives,
clearing a space for recovery and reconnection.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Toast for the Solstice

Entry for 22 December 2012:

For friends and family,
For light and darkness,
For continuity and change,
For wisdom and not-knowing,
For tears and laughter!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Dublin and Back

Entry for 26 November 2012:

My friend Laco Timulak invited me back to do another day on EFT for anxiety difficulties, after the first one I did for him 2 years ago, not long after my surgery.  I flew from Glasgow on Friday night, after a very full week of research methods and EFT training at Strathclyde.  It was very wet in Glasgow as we left but dry and cold in Dublin when Laco picked me up. 

It’s always nice to see Laco and to catch up on our latest adventures and misadventures; we have a history that includes the 6 months he spent in Toledo with me and my team on a Fulbright Fellowship in 2001. (His flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on 11 September 2001 was turned back halfway across the Atlantic supposedly for “maintenance issues”, in case there were terrorists on board.  This did not help his fear of flying…)

I had a lot more material on working with anxiety difficulties this time, thanks to two more years of research and the work I did for my keynote presentation at the World Associate conference in Antwerp last July.  As before, the group of psychotherapists was experienced and motivated, as this was the last session of a 12-day EFT training that Laco runs in Dublin.  This time, I was not recovering from surgery, had another two years of EFT training experience under my belt, and had had a reasonably good night’s sleep, so I was in good form, in spite of technical difficulties with a misplaced Apple Mac adaptor.

Laco is running a clinical case series study on the use of EFT with Generalised Anxiety Difficulties, with very promising results so far.  On Sunday, he generously spent six hours reviewing one of his cases with me, while we discussed and sometimes argued about EFT theory and case conceptualisation.  Laco’s version of EFT follows the recent work of Les Greenberg, Antonio Pascual-Leone, and others on the features of productive emotion and the emotional deepening process, which provides a fairly elegant organising structure that runs across different tasks and can help therapists learn the model. However, the exact relationship between the older, more modular task models and the newer more general model is not yet completely clear, so there is much room for interesting discussion. 

The next morning I caught the bus to Dublin airport and was soon flying back to Scotland.  Approaching Scotland, we flew past Arran on our left, Holy Isle standing just offshore, Goatfell and neighbouring mountains looming behind, covered in snow.  We also passed Bute and Cumbrae before reaching the Scottish mainland.  As we descended over North Ayrshire toward Glasgow Airport, I recognised Loch Semple below and thought that I could even make out the ruins of Semple Collegiate Church, which we’d visited a couple of weeks ago.  It was like a mini-review of many of our past Saturday Adventures, with a sense of our six years’ grounding here.