Friday, October 18, 2013

Notes from a Journey, plus Thorgall, the Story so Far

17 Oct 2013:

Trip to Belgium to start another year of EFT training.  I arrive at Glasgow airport to find my flight has been cancelled.  Some 20 of us get booked onto an afternoon flight out of Edinburgh airport.  There follows a shambolic shamble around Glasgow airport in search of the bus that is to take us there.  

Eventually, the bus finds us & we're on our way.  It's interesting to compare the two airports: Edinburgh is newer, feels more like a modern European airport but is also more crowded and lacks the grungy character of Glasgow. (Why should this surprise me?). 

Finally, many hours later than planned we are in the air.  I start volume 22 of Thorgall, the Dutch language graphic novel series I've been working on for most 10 years now.  Hmm... I thought Jolan had rescued his dad Thorgall and his mom Aricia from the clutches of the conscienceless Kris van Valnor at the end of the volume 21. What's going on here?  I know that the time-travel device Jolan had stolen from the Watchers from the far future in order to save his parents might have messed with the time-lines, but here we are back with Thorgall & Kris hanging out in that big forbidding castle on the sea where they were in the previous volume.  Is this some kind of flashback?  Did I mention that (a) Thorgall is really a space alien adopted by Vikings as a baby when his spaceship crashed on medieval Earth, (b) the Gods erased his memory a couple of volumes ago as part of a deal for them to leave his family alone, and (c) Kris then took advantage of the situation to shack up with him and to convince him that he's really Shaigan the Merciless, scourge of the Great Fjord, which (d) by the way is not sitting particularly well with him?  Sounds like a soap opera, but it's just my Dutch language training program, an amusingly incongruous mix of high fantasy and science fiction that has kept me practicing Dutch for almost a decade.

After that, on the plane,  it is easy for me to step into the role of translator between the Dutch flight attendant and the Scots lad seated next to me: they can barely understand a word of what the other says, but I can understand everything they say, including her Dutch. (She thinks I'm Dutch because I said when she said, "Do you want a sweet or a savoury snack", I said "Zout", meaning salty, as opposed to zoet, which means sweet.)

Another Conversation with My Mother

13 October 2013

A vivid dream-vision wakes me:
I am working at my computer
When you come to me, thin, in your nightgown,
As you were in your final  illness last year.

I turn awkwardly; you hug me and
I feel your bony shoulders poking through.
“I love you”, you say, more than once,
Making sure I understand.
                                                   “I love you, too.”
I say, and do  know this is true.

Then you say: “I want you to understand this too:
You are the culmination”.
                                                   Then you’re gone.
I awake in the dark; it’s not even one am.

What does this mean?, I ask your absence:
Was that Culmination with a capital C?
Or some commonplace, lower case culmination?
How each of us carries all who have gone before;
How the self I am now culminates my earlier selves.

I think again of my father, seven years gone:
Wise, caring peace-maker, with ready humor.

As I wend my way through the many complexities
Of friends, family, colleagues and clients;
Impossible work-loads and interpersonal tangles,
I pray for courage, love and wisdom.

For most of my life, I’ve been brash and direct,
More clever than wise, defensive, jealous,
Moved by fear more than love.

Now, however, there’s something emerging
That’s more and more like my father.
And you of all people, living or dead,
Can see the full moon behind the clouds.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Sallochy Forest Adventure

Lovely day for a drive up the east side of Loch Lomond, to Sallochy Forest, where we walked up through the crumbling stone ruins of a little village called Wester Sallochy. From there we followed a logging road and then climbed up Dun Maoil, a hill with majestic views over Loch Lomond. It was mostly cloudy but bits of sun shone through the clouds reflecting off wind-scudded waves on the Loch. The walk back took us down along a little burn filled with fast flowing but clear water from the recent rains. We followed this with a wee walk up the West Highland Way to the University of Glasgow field station. A lovely day!

Emotion-Focused Therapy: Masterclasses

--> Fridays, 9:30-17.30, Nov 2013 – Sept 2014
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

Facilitated by Professor Robert Elliott

The new Emotion-Focused Therapy Masterclass Series is open to counsellors and psychotherapists (Diploma level or above) who have completed Level Two or Level Three training in EFT.  If it’s been a while since you did EFT training, it can serve as a refresher course and enable you to catch up on more recent developments in EFT theory, practice and training.

Each day will feature a mix of EFT Practice Check-in (mini supervisions), brief presentations of specialist material on EFT; video or live demonstrations; in-depth supervision of client work; small group skill practice; and group processing. Emphasis will be on putting EFT into practice and examining blocks to effective practice.  Participants are expected to bring client case material to each session, in the form of either session recordings or process notes.

Sessions can be signed up for either individually or as a six-day package.  All six masterclasses will be day-long Friday sessions, from November 2013 to September 2014, and held in the main city centre campus of the University of Strathclyde. This course allows participants the opportunity to work toward the expert-supervision-own-work criterion for EFT-Individual Certification Level A (Completion of Training, 5 hrs) or Level B (Completion of Supervision, 15 hrs) and can also be taken in place of EFT Level 3.

29 November
EFT Case monitoring and formulation:  Case formulation is a rapidly developing topic within EFT. This session will focus on (a) methods for systematically tracking your clients’ progress and experience of therapy; and (b) formulation of key emotion processes and tasks for your clients.  Participants are required to bring client material for case formulation work.

31 January
EFT Open Marker Work: After EFT Practice Check-in and a review of the main EFT tasks, much of the rest of this session will consist of small group skill practice, as well as supervision.  Bring in material from clients who puzzle you regarding what task to work on!
28 March
EFT for Depression: EFT has been shown to be highly effective for helping clients with depression.  In this session I will provide an overview of experiential processes in depression and key EFT tasks in depression, including self-criticism splits, self-interruption, and unfinished business.  The session will include videos or live demonstration, supervision of client work, and small group skill practice.  Bring in material from your depressed clients.
2 May
EFT for Anxiety: There is now an integrated EFT for working with social anxiety and other forms of anxiety difficulty.  In this session I will provide an overview of anxiety difficulties, a review of different person-centred-experiential theories of anxiety difficulties, and the EFT approach to working with anxiety, featuring videos or live demonstration, supervision of client work, and small group skill practice, emphasising anxiety split work and self-soothing.  Bring in material from your anxious clients.
20 June
Therapeutic Difficulties in EFT:  As with all approaches to therapy, relational problems occur in EFT, including ruptures between client and therapist.  In this session, I present an overview of the different types of therapeutic difficulty; a model for processing therapist negative reactions; and key therapist strategies for addressing these difficulties, including both personal work and relational dialogue with clients.  Bring your therapeutic difficulties and dilemmas with clients!
12 Sept
EFT for Trauma:  Research indicates that EFT is a highly effective treatment for post-trauma difficulties, including both single episode traumas and complex trauma.  In this session, I present an overview of EFT trauma theory and the application of EFT to trauma, emphasising Narrative Retelling, emotional regulation work and Meaning Protest.  The session will feature video or live demonstration, supervision of client work, and small group skill practice.  Bring in material from your trauma clients.

·      Enrolment is set for a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15.  The balance between supervision and skill practice will depend of number of participants.
·      Course fee: Regular price: Three weeks before each session: Sign up for individual sessions at £100 each or get a discount by registering for the whole series at £550 by 8 November.  Late registration (less than 3 weeks before each session): £120.
·      The course could be taken for continuing professional education credit.

Contact: or 0141-444 8415 for further information on this training, the facilitators, ways of applying for this course or other APT events