ANNUAL PSYCHOTHERAPY ACTIVITIES: - A "Work Blog" (of sorts) since moving to the Edinburgh area!
June 2003: Moved to Edinburgh from Findhorn: obtained 6-month locum contract as a "Psychological Therapist" in Clinical Psychology Dept. NHS Lanarkshire, extended to 9-months. Wrote 2 chapters in the "Handbook of Body-Psychotherapy" (link and link) (translated into German to be published by Schattauer, 2006). Revised EABP Training Standards & also EABP Membership Criteria & Conditions. Applied for European Certificate in Psychotherapy from EAP. Wrote 1st draft of "Help Yourself Towards Mental Health" - a Handbook for People with issues of Depression, Anxiety & Low Self-Esteem, originally for the Clinical Psychology Dept. from client notes.
2004: Wrote 4th draft of "Under the Skin: A handbook of Psychophysiology." Wrote extended articles on "Ethics of Psychotherapy in Europe" (Part 1 & Part 2) for International Journal of Psychotherapy and also started an extended article "Physiological Theory of Evolution" Appointed Counsellor at Cramond Medical Centre; appointed Counsellor at Ratho Medical Centre (NHS Lothian) - both in Aug 2004. Re-wrote extended "Ethics of Touch" internet article. Attended & gave workshop at EAP Congress, Belgrade June 2004; attended & gave plenary presentation & workshop at UKCP Conference, Cambridge, Sept. 2004; Good News! - Karnac Books have decided to publish "Help Yourself Towards Mental Health" as a book (my first real book!); attended & gave presentation at EABP Congress; Athens Oct 2004; attended EAP meeting and 1st conference ECPP, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Oct 2004. Upgrading 2nd edition of EABP Bibliography on CD-ROM (3,500 + entries) for publication, Spring 2006. Designing research programme with Bessel van der Kolk for EABP: advising others in Body-Psychotherapy about their projects. Reviewing several books. Elected to UK-AHPP Board of Directors as Treasurer.
2005: Invited to present at Group Analytic Society Winter Workshop, "Body and/or Mind", Budapest, Jan. Attended meeting of EAP in Vienna (Feb). Attended course: Outcome Evaluation & Introduction to CORE, Leeds, March. EABP Board meetings: March, Nürnberg, Germany. Attended AChP Conference on Body-Psychotherapy Cambridge, April. Writing several essays and articles on Body-Psychotherapy. Attended & presented at USABP Conference in Tuscon, Arizona, June. Wrote article "Doing Effective Body-Psychotherapy without Touch" Energy & Character, Biosynthesis Journal, Sept 2005. Attended meetings of EAP & EAP Congress in Vilnius, Lithuania, July. EABP Board meeting, August Amsterdam. Invited to be on UKCP / EAP Conference committee. Wrote article: "On Learning from a Suicide" Therapy Today, BACP Journal, Nov 2005; wrote pamphlet: "Coping with Stress: for Health Professionals". Applied for membership of British Psychological Society. Started M.Sc. in Psychological Studies at Glasgow University. Attended EAP Meeting, Budapest, Oct 2005. EABP Board meeting, November, Amsterdam. Awarded European Certificate in Psychotherapy from EAP. Appointed External Moderator: RS-POP-UK. Designing research project in NHS with hypertensives.
2006: Attended meeting of EABP Council of National Associations and Committees, Zurich, Jan. Started new job in Dept of Adult Clinical Psychology, Larbert, NHS Forth Valley: Stopped doing M.Sc. due to logistical difficulties (car engine blew up!); Attended meetings of EAP, Vienna, in Feb; attended meeting EABP Board, in Amsterdam, March; Published article: '150 Years of Body-Psychotherapy' published in 1st issue of new journal: Body, Dance & Movement in Psychotherapy: March 2006 (Vol 1, No 1), & similar chapter in Taylor & Francis: 'About A Body'; Appointed as Deputy Editor of International Journal of Psychotherapy, editing 3 issues per annum from Nov 2006 onwards; Attended meetings of AHPP & RS-POP-UK in London; Gave Body-Psychotherapy workshop on Body-Psychotherapy in Edinburgh: Went to Biosynthesis Conference, Lisbon Portugal in June 2006, giving presentation there; Went to UKCP/EAP Conference in Cambridge in July 2006; Went to EABP Conference & AGM in Askow, Denmark in Sept 2006; attended meetings of HIPS and UKCP in Oct in London.
2007: Attended meetings of AHPP in London in January; Started teaching criminal psychology course at Newbattle Abbey College, Dalkeith; Edited issue of IJP in February; Gave Body-Psychotherapy workshop on Body-Psychotherapy in Edinburgh - in March: Attended EAP meeting in Vienna in February; Attended UKCP AGM in Torquay in March and was elected to be 'Vice-Chair, Registrants Services' of UKCP; Bought and moved to new house in Stow in March/April; Attended several meetings of AHPP, UKCP in London throughout the summer; Edited issues of IJP in June; Attended EAP meeting and conference in Florence in June. Started new job in Dept of Clinical Psychology, NE Edinburgh, in July; Assisted in the foundation of the M.Sc course in Dance / Movement Psychotherapy at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh; Appointed to Editorial Board of Journal of Body, Dance & Movement in Psychotherapy; Edited issue of IJP for Oct; Attended EAP meeting in Tirana, Albania in Oct - elected to be Co-Chair of ETSC; Also assisted in the foundation of the M.Sc course at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Reflection: "I am doing much too much - thus I am getting totally stressed out. This is slightly (or seriously) ridiculous, and even mildly insane!" Resigned from AHPP Board in October; resigned from UKCP Council and as Vice-Chair in December; focussing now much more on paid clinical & private work, and on writing.
2008: Attended no meetings in 1st six months, (Wonderful!) - other than for the QMU accreditation for an M.Sc. in Dance/Movement Psychotherapy. Working extremely hard clinically, giving about 24+ sessions per week. Edited issue of IJP in Feb; submitted article to new (Russian) journal on Psychotherapy on Functional Competencies. Another article - 2nd in series on the History of Body-Psychotherapy - was published in the BDMP Journal (Vol 3, No 1) "The American Legacy of Reich". In May 2008, took 2.5 weeks off walking by self in south-west France. (My mother passed away at the end of this trip.) I then edited issue of IJP for June (Vol 11, No 2) with own article on "Re-Balancing the ANS". Attended EAP meeting in Brussels in June. Had article published in BDMP Journal (Vol 3, No 2) "A Dance Across the Atlantic." (with Patrizia Pallaro). Edited issue of IJP for Nov. 2008 (Vol 11, No 3). Attended one-day SIGN conference in Edinburgh, establishing effective non-pharmacological treatments for depression. UKCP registration ended (Sept 2008). Decided to attend 5th World Conference of Psychotherapy in Beijing, China in October 2008, giving a poster presentation on "Re-Balancing the ANS as a pre-requisite to effective counselling & psychotherapy"; also visiting Shanghai, Guilin, Xi'an, then Lhasa, Zedong & Chengdu (For details of this trip, please go back a page and click on the link to my 'blog' about the trip to China). Edited issue of IJP for February 2009 (Vol 12, No 1). Broke ankle in mid-December by slipping off computer chair: luckily NHS medicine is readily accessible in the Scottish borders and everything was 'fixed', bar the 6 weeks in plaster and the very long rehabilitation. Luckily also, that it was my left ankle and I have a car with automatic gears, so I could drive.
2009: In February, I went to EAP meeting in Vienna; followed by a short weekend in Amsterdam (in April) to start work on the Functional Competencies of Psychotherapy project. Accepted a new placement trainee in the GP surgery. Helped a colleague edit special issue of IJP on Depression (Vol 13, No 2) and wrote an article with Laura Steckler on "Depression and Body Psychotherapy"; then took a one-week holiday in Lanzarote in May. Started editing work on future issues of the Journal of Body, Movement & Dance in Psychotherapy (BMDP), because no editorial assistant at present. Attended EAP meeting and conference in Lisbon in July; good for CPD. Did more work on BMDP Journal (Vol. 4, No. 3) with Vicky Karkou; more work on IJP Journal for Nov 2009 (Vol. 13, No 3). Then took a 2-week holiday on the island of Brac, in Croatia in Aug. with Laura. Being recorded for "USABP Conversations" in Sept/Oct. Wrote an article on Spiritual Emergencies and on an earlier "Soul Awakening" article, entitled "Strange Changes in Psychotherapy" which was accepted for the IJP. Went to a 'placement managers' meeting at University. Went to EAP meeting in Graz, Austria in October and finalised proposal (plus questionnaire) for EAP project on Functional Competencies (see here). Accepted as EAP Individual Member: and renewed ECP. Working on next IJP issue (Vol 14, No 1). Agreed to act as Editor for the English-American edition of the massive 'Handbook of Body-Psychotherapy' (edited Gustl Marlock & Halko Weiss, published Schattauer, 2006, in German) - that is all my spare time taken up for the next year: but what a privileged piece of work! The EABP Bibliography of Body-Psychotherapy (with over 4,000 entries) went on-line. Worked on BMDP Journal (Vol 5, No. 1) with my 3rd article on the History of B-P, "European Diversity", though I had to split it into two parts. The 1st article in a series on the Science of B-P is now being published by USABP Journal, and I also worked on 2nd & 3rd article (see Articles page). Finished next IJP issue (Vol 14, No 1) including my article on Spiritual Emergence processes. Accepted a new placement trainee in GP surgery. Put a proposal for new Salisbury Centre Counselling Service into the pipeline.
2010: Jan: 3 weeks of deep snow: garden very pretty, but quite wearing - lost some shrubs & bushes. Finished editing Spring edition of Journal of Body, Movement & Dance in Psychotherapy; pushing on with doing the English edit of Handbook of B-P (99 chapters and 100 pages) and 'learning' lots more about the deeper aspects of B-P, much of which I had already intuited - I am glad to say; I was re-recorded for USABP 'Conversations'; started 12-week course on Counselling Supervision at Edinburgh University; started new part-time (18 hrs pw) contract with NHS Lothian for 2 months, reducing counselling waiting lists in NW Edinburgh; compiled (so far, 23) results of EAP questionnaire on Functional Competencies; had the proposal for a low-cost counselling service accepted by the Salisbury Centre trustees; in February, attended a 1.5 day conference & EAP meetings in Vienna and the EAP Board unanimously supported the project on establishing the Professional Competencies of a European Psychotherapist that I have been pushing for several years. March was very busy with the Counselling Supervision course; the extra NHS work; my youngest daughter's wedding. April involved an Easter weekend trip to the Lake District to see an old friend; the extension of the extra NHS work; the news that my book with Karnac is coming out soon (details here); work on the next (July) issue of the IJP. Also in April, I made a short trip to Zürich to meet with Prof. Berhard Strauss (Jena Univ.) and the EAP Working Group on Functional Competencies; as well as working on an article on Phenomenological Psychotherapy (to be published in the IJP in Nov 2010) and an article about Modalities and Mainstreams for the World Journal of Psychotherapy. My book "Help Yourself Towards Mental Health" has just been published by Karnac Books (someone please write a review) - it has taken nearly 6 years since signing the contract (July 2004)! Finished the July issue of the IJP (Vol. 14, No 2) and re-started on editing the English-American edition of Handbook of Body Psychotherapy. Attended the EAP meeting in Bucharest, Romania in early July and presented a workshop on Spiritual Emergencies at the 17th EAP Congress "Crisis: Change and Challenge". After a lovely (though expensive) holiday in Turkey in July, August brought the Edinburgh Festival and a visit from my father-in-law, George, aged 85, from USA - and still blowing his trumpet (literally). September brought the Nov issue of the IJP (Vol. 14, No. 3) getting finished; I attended a meeting at Univ. of Herts. of the Editorial Board of the BDMP Journal and finalised a Reflections article for the BDMP Journal on Starting to Publish Professionally for Trainees; developed a conference PowerPoint presentation; and initiated negotiations about possible link-ups of Body Psychotherapy journals; and attended a lecture by Stan Grof in London. October brought an EAP meeting in Paris, the completion of an article On Else Lindenberg & Reich, more work on the Professional Competencies of a European Psychotherapist (mainly launching the website: click here); a technical discussion document onMainstreams & Modalities; an article on Encouraging the Felt Sense of Self; as well an article on Twenty Different Definitions of Psychotherapy. At the end of October, at the EABP Conference in Vienna, I made 2 workshop presentations, and at the EABP AGM was awarded Honorary Membership of EABP! November brings more work on the Handbook of Body Psychotherapy; the final publication details for my new book, 'First Contacts with People in Crisis & Spiritual Emergencies', published with AuthorHouse; and another issue (Feb 2011) of the IJP (Vol. 15, No. 1), getting it ready for the publishers. I am also considering starting up something called 'Body Psychotherapy Publications'!
2011: Lots of snow this winter (again) meant lots of time to get on with all this editing work. Started with a new placement counsellor at Cramond; finished off the portfolio for the Counselling Supervision course; the project with EAP on Professional Competencies meant a one-day trip to Vienna in January, as well as masses of work on the 'Psych-Comp' website; February was as hectic with a trip to York for a (thankfully successful) mediation with UK-AHPP, so maybe that saga is now ending; in February, a trip to Vienna for the regular EAP meeting, plus an extra day of work on the Project; a trip to Ayr for a men's group weekend., which was very invigorating. March & April brought another issue of the IJP (Vol 15. No. 2) completed: a special issue on R.D. Laing; and I started doing some editorial work on the next issues of the JBDMP; finished off last two articles in the History of B-P series: Qui custodiet ipsos custodes and Who, what and where we are now and then went to work on the actual Core Competencies of a European Psychotherapist; sent off the Felt Sense of Self article to the World Journal of Psychotherapy; and started putting together the first volume for Body Psychotherapy Publications. Still not ready to start up the Salisbury Counselling Service, click here! In between a couple of family weddings in June & July: my daughter and ex-wife, [please remember this is a work blog] I got out the July issue of the IJP - a 'Special Issue' on R.D. Laing, edited by Theodor Itten; pushing ahead with writing the 1st draft of the Core Competencies in the EAP's 'Professional Competencies of a European Psychotherapist' project here; a trip to Zurich for the Project in July; and then work on the Project and the next issue of the IJP; a holiday in France in August, and then a trip to Rome in October for the next EAP meeting (during which time I became a grandfather). Also in October, I went to Isla Margarita, near Caracas, Venezuela to present at the IX International Scientific Committee (ISC) Congress on Body Psychotherapy, where I was also elected to the ISC. Then, accepted into the Chiron Association for Body Psychotherapists (CABP) as a member. The 1st November sees the launch of Body Psychotherapy Publications (www.bodypsychotherapypublications.com) with the 1st volume on "The Historical Basis of Body Psychotherapy'"available as a PDF download, and with the printed paperback version coming out in Dec. Early Dec, and I am back as a UKCP registered psychotherapist again! At last! The next issue of the IJP (Vol. 16, No. 1, 2012) came out with me as Editor now!
2012: Started the New Year (after a bit of snow) with 2 new placement counsellors at Cramond, and am considering a small research project on CORE there. In January, I got down to London again to see my grandson, Hugo. who is delightful (of course). In February, a short trip to Vienna, for the EAP meeting, went well; the Core Competencies Project seems to be coming on, but oh so slowly! I am becoming more involved with a local group of health practitioners in the Scottish Borders which is re-starting up As February moves into March, and then April (although you couldn't tell the difference with the vile Scottish weather), another Scottish Men's Group weekend on the west coast of Ayrshire; then I started work on the next issue of the IJP (Vol. 16, No. 2) - a special issue on Psychosynthesis (with lots of subsequent shenanigans about postal weights and numbers of pages which might have wiped out any potential profit). I attended an EABP Scientific Committee meeting in Amsterdam, followed by another trip to see my grandson (who is still gorgeous), and then a meeting of the Editorial Board of the BMDP journal. [N.B. I have decided to step down from this Journal over the next few months.] In April, I started working on co-editing a book on R.D. Laing; finished off - at last - the 'Qui custodiet' article (now renamed as 'SHadows of Body Psychotherapy' with some valued help from Gill Westland; and started in on the second and third volumes from Body Psychotherapy Publications (see here), hoping to have these out and available in September for the EABP Conference. I have just heard the the Salisbury Centre in Edinburgh is closing - such a pity, but I don't have a lot of time and energy to help save it, even if that were possible. Personal Note: All this editing work is subsuming my writing time: I need to think about that. In May, I finalised another issue of the IJP: a Special Issue on Psychosynthesis & Roberto Assagioli, and managed to get it delivered, from Lviv - on time - to a Psychosynthesis conference in Rome! A meeting in Zürich with the Working Group on the Professional Competencies of a European Psychotherapist - and the Project seems to be gaining momentum - and a visit to London to see my grandson in early June; followed by some terrible Scottish weather (no summer, just rain) and then an EAP conference and meeting in Valencia, doing a presentation on the Competencies (though there also now seems to be a bit of sabotage from within the EAP 'on high'): finished the 2nd volume of BBP "About the Science of Body Psychotherapy" and working on the 3rd volume, "About Relational Body Psychotherapy". The edited book on R.D. Laing seems to be coming on nicely as we move into (slightly) better weather at the end of July. Laura gives up her NHS job, as I continue working on the various BPP projects, and the Competencies Project, and the next issue of the Journal (Vol. 16, No. 3), and the R.D. Laing book, and the B-P Handbook: and there must be more to life than editing!
HAd a very successful EABP conference in Cambridge in September, and Laura was well enough to go; met up with good friends and sold 100 BPP books (all 3 volumes). October has some nicer weather, but it got cold as I struggled with the last edit of the Laing book, and last minute stuff for the Journal and an SPR Conference in Porto in Portugal (but no time to be 'there' for my grandson's 1st birthday) followed by the EAP meeting in Edinburgh (and the book launch of the Laing book). November was very stressful as I had a financial (cash flow) crisis and so things were tight until well after Christmas, but we managed to get through into 2013. Also I was busy finishing off the work of the graduate students on the statistical and textual analysis of the returns on the EAP Core Competencies project and then getting the members of the Expert Panel 'on board'. I have started to give private sessions in Edinburgh at the new Tara Rokpa centre: it has a very nice atmosphere.
2013: A tax rebate - after doing my accounts - and a couple of other payments (plus a bit of loan restructuring) sorted out that particular financial problem - at least for the moment. Got on with the next issue of the IJP (Vol. 17, No. 1) in time for the February EAP meeting in Vienna; and got the reports through from the Expert Panel: so - all set to go for the final stages to complete these Core Competencies (except that EAP's financial restrictions on the Project are beginning to bite). I have started thinking about the next 2 volumes of BP Publications: one on 'Touch' and one on 'Trauma', and updating some of David Boadella's articles and working on some others. I then produced a 'revised' version of the Core Competencies ready to go to the EAP's AGM in Moscow in July and there are (still) further complications about payment for all this work. I am really enjoying the small local groups that I attend: an Enquiry Group; and a (male) Therapist's group; as well as the annual Scottish Mens' Group in Stroove: that produced a new poem, "It Sucks Being a Boy". I've also just had fun writing an article on the "Side Effects of Psychotherapy" (based on a ResearchGate post) - though now not sure where to get it published: there are some difficulties being an Editor of a Journal, and I have also just revised an article on "Shadows in Body Psychotherapy". I continue to apply for (new) part-time jobs in counselling and psychotherapy and also to stay in the process of therapy, personal revision, supervision and re-assessment. In April, am starting to put together a new issue of peer-reviewed articles for the IJP (due for July 2013), as well as finalizing the editorial work on the "Handbook of Body Psychotherapy and Somatic Psychology". May and June were taken up with the July issue of the IJP; and also with finalising the Core Competencies of a European Psychotherapist, ready for (hopeful) acceptance of this stage of the Project in July, at the EAP meeting in Moscow. It was accepted and I didn't get paid! Such is life! However, I was (just about) able to afford a holiday in France for 3 weeks in July and August, which was very relaxing, though I had to plug away at a number of chapters of the Handbook. Also, I had just started a new placement trainee at Cramond and a new (Polish) Editorial Assistant for the IJP. So, this will eventually relieve my work load a little as I focus on finishing off the Handbook of Body Psychotherapy, the next issue of the IJP, and also on restructuring my clinical work and income-generating activities. The EAP met in Cyprus and - still with strained finances - and also leaving my laptop (my life!) in the taxi from the airport, I eventually managed to ensure that the IJP was a proper sub-committee of the EAP Board, that I spent a nice day with a friend Thomas, finding some new trees for his "forest" in Portugal, and also planning a book of the next EABP-ISC Congress in Lisbon in September 2014.
2014: My goodness! It is now September 2014 and I have not written up this blog for about 9 months! So ... here goes. January was "shite" - drich, dreer and drab: and I was also financially 'broke' - again. Living from hand-to-mouth and decided to put Leith flat on market: BTW - by March, I had sold the flat, for £10,000 more than expected, and within 3 days of it being on the market: Whoopee!!! But, during Jan and Feb - during the 'dark days' - I realised that I really do have a fundamental problem with "looking after myself" financially. I have many fantastic talents: even extraordinary ones; I am a great clinician; I am also a fantastic "organiser" - in respect of organisations, and can help and heal 'sick' organisations; I am also "shit hot" on organisational finance; I am an excellent editor, as well; I can help around the house, take out the trash, etc.; and I look after Laura lots; but ... with regards to my own finances ... there is definitely a missing piece of the jigsaw: I call this "Mr Micawber's Formula" - and you can look it up for yourself! Vienna again in February - for the EAP meetings (and the IJP meetings) - and so we progress slowly and steadily - ever onwards and upwards: for further details go to the IJP website here!
I started back in therapy again with a Clinical Psychologist in the Scottish Borders: very interesting! More of a "compassionate" approach than strict CBT, but we are both (I think) becoming more aware of our different boundaries. Suddenly, March & April & May seemed to have got filled up with the intense copy-editing process for the English-American edition of the "Handbook of BP and SP" to be published by North Atlantic Books. Also, contributions are/were coming in - thick and fast - for the book of the Lisbon Congress in September 2014: in total - 35 different people and about 40 different contributions: using "Big Sky" printing at Findhorn for this. So, it seems as if there is just more and more editing - and always something more. The summer (July) issue of the IJP came out in time and on schedule - though no July EAP meeting this year, because of the World Congress for Psychotherapy (WCP)'s 'jaunt' to South Africa - another manifestation of Alfred Pritz's "Global Psychotherapy" building into a "galactic empire". Laura and I holiday'd in France again - less traumas and quite relaxing, but poor weather - and I became a grandfather for the second time on August 13th. Welcome, Hera! - to this crazy world. We also managed to get to the EABP-ISC Body Psychotherapy Congress in Lisbon in September and I managed, by the grace of G*d, to get all the printed Congress books there in time: and they sold reasonably well. I had ordered a few (80) too many, but - we live and learn. I also managed to finish the October issue of the International Journal in good time, but not quite in time for the EAP meeting. The October EAP meeting in Vilnius also went very well and - on the way back - I got to see little Hera in London (Yummy - she's deliciously gorgeous). Things have settled down a bit in November and so I'm getting back to the final editing process of the Handbook of BP and SP. Client sessions and finances are looking up a little in November: and my CORE statistics for NHS clients are looking excellent.
2015: Life progresses into another New Year. A new Special Issue of the IJP on Existential Psychotherapy for February 2015 meant a lot of extra work, liaising with all the existential people. Then, I attended the IJP Editorial Board & EAP meetings in February in Vienna. A lot of minor changes, but I managed to persuade Alicja Heyda (from Poland) to think about and then later 'accept' the position of IJP Executive Editor, to replace my dear friend, Theodor Itten. I want to feel as if there is some possibility of continuance, with Tom Ormay getting on, and also the fact that I effectively 'control' a lot of the Journal issues and website. So, hopefully, I will be able to pass on stuff and delegate more as we progress. In April, I went down to the 1st World Conference of Existential Psychotherapy in London, and made sure the Special Issue of the IJP sold well.
I also met up with David Brazier, the guest editor for the next Special Issue on Mindfulness & Psychotherapy; and someone from Xxxx publishing company that might like to 'take over' the publishing of the journal (at some point in time). I also saw a good old friend, John Rowan, and persuaded him to join the IJP International Advisory Board.
Then I went and saw the grandchildren and Laura also came down and met them and fell in love with them. Thank God! That seemed to heal something. The rest of April and May was involved with producing another issue of the Journal for the early (June) EAP meeting in Athens. We didn't manage to get printed copies to the meeting, so ... Anyway, I am more and more convinced that the present 'production process' of (very cheap) printing in Lviv and the (very difficult) transporting of issues to Vienna, Budapest and other EAP meeting sites isn't working very well, so we will - at some point in time - have to re-visit this issue. We are also still chasing the issue of an impact factor with PubMed.
My private psychotherapy work continues in parallel with the NHS work in the various Edinburgh clinics. I really enjoy working at Tara Rokpa - it as been about a year now: it is a little more formal and less 'eclectic' than the Salisbury Centre; but it is also more reliable with a decent on-line booking system. I am also slowly building relationships with the Tara Rokpa 'people': however, my good friend Brion Sweeney has just gone of a 3-year Buddhist retreat - and I miss his wry Irishness. Within the NHS work, at Cramond, I started this year with a very nice new trainee counsellor on placement, a Greek Clinical Psychologist, also training in Glasgow as a counsellor, who seems to be fitting in OK. I am getting supervision from a different 'Counselling Psychologist' within the Edinburgh Psych Dept. 'system', which also seems to be working out OK.
I then attended a 'placement day' in August at the Strathclyde University Counselling Dept and gave a presentation on "What Works (and what doesn't) in Counselling" (available on this website, here). And I am enjoying being in a (fairly) regular male "therapists' group", as well as another 'mixed' monthly "Enquiry" group, but I am not currently in personal therapy, which is OK. The Scottish Mens Group meets in early March on the East Lothian coast, and I am looking forward to that, as well.
The final work on the Handbook of Body Psychotherapy & Somatic Psychology has neared its completion with a few "hissy fits" and a few "accusations" - no matter! - its publication is planned for Dec. 2015 (see here). That will be the 8th book with my name on the cover! My ResearchGate profile is looking good with lots of (more than 500) reads of articles, etc. and an "index" of 10.74. I also attended a very nice PCCS Books conference in Nottingham (see here) in November, and then a meeting of the EABP Science & Research Committee in Amsterdam a couple of weeks later. I also looked after my 2 grandchildren in London for 5 days (with their grandmother) which was exhausting but delightful, and then Laura and I went down for a weekend in December as well. I am now exhausted with all that travelling and the whimseys of EasyJet. Another issue of the Journal came out in October/November and we are beginning on the February 2016 issue, well ahead of time and entering its 20th year of publication, no less!
2016: Started couples therapy again with Laura, which is interesting, especially working with another couple. There was a meeting of the EAP in mid-February in Vienna, with some preliminary work and the first issue of the IJP, now in its 20th year of publication. We will also be producing an Extra Special Issue on "Mindfulness & Psychotherapy" this year - as an e-issue. In March, I acted as convenor (or organiser) for a very successful meeting of the Scottish Mens Group at Whatley Lodge on the Lothian coast. In April, having just finished the IJP Mindfulness issue, Laura and I (fairly suddenly) had to go to Cleveland, OH for Laura's father's funeral. I returned after a week and Laura stayed on for another week with her sister in Florida. Meanwhile, I continue to work on Genovino Ferri's book, and also on the next BPP volume on "About Touch and Body Psychotherapy". I also started work on a contract for Confer, writing several papers about Embodied Approaches to Psychotherapy for an on-line psychotherapy CPD course. And the next (July) issue of the IJP is always looming on the horizon. I managed to miss a meeting of the EABP Scientific Committee because of the trip to the States, so felt a little out of touch and am somewhat indecisive about whether to stay in this committee or not. Produced the July issue of the IJP just about on time; and then started in on the November issue, but suddenly the work load impacted and I seemed to be struggling. Work on Ferri's book stopped and I focussed on the BPP book on 'Touch'. In mid-September, I got to London to see my grandchildren and attended a SGM of CABP. I saw some old friends, and was (again) treated slightly hostilely by a couple of CABP people: this organisation is not functioning very well. I then visited my ex-wife's new home in Leicestershire and 'celebrated' the birth of our youngest son, now 40 years old. Later on in September, I was in Zagreb for an EAP meeting, which was a lot less contentious than usual. People are increasingly respectful for the role that I seem to play within the EAP: not just as Editor of the Journal - and it seems that the Extra Special Issue on Mindfulness helped - but also as an 'elder', a 'keeper' of the archive, a 'protector' of procedure, or something: however, one person reacted a little negatively, so maybe I should also shut up a bit more. Two weeks later, I was in Athens (with Laura) for the bi-annual EABP Congress and General Assembly, where I presented a case history in the Scientific Symposium. Things seem to be running quite smoothly without me. We then had a very nice relaxing week on Paros, which was sorely needed. On my return, I was eventually getting some responses for a new placement trainee in Cramond, as the new academic year is starting. And I sent off the November issue of the Journal to be typeset. Throughout all this time, I am maintaining my clinical work as an NHS Counsellor (12 sessions p.w.) and as a private practicing Psychotherapist: together I give about 15-18 sessions per week, as well as getting supervision, line management and line managing a trainee counsellor.
At the end of this year, I was subjected to a horrendous process of an unsubstantiated complaint being made about me in my NHS work. On the basis of a six-line email from someone who wasn't even present during the session, I was effectively suspended for 2 months and the complaint had to be investigated. I could understand it much better if the client had complained. There was no follow-up with the complainant and eventually there was "no case to answer", but ... I didn't imagine this as one of the risks of being a therapist - and I complained about the 'process' of how the complaint was handled. Not nice! Apparently, several colleagues have been in similar situations.
2017: With four issues of the International Journal last year, and a 'Special Issue' coming up on Psychodrama Psychotherapy in June, as an editorial team, we are seriously being pushed. The February issue was a little late, and - at the EAP Meeting in February in Vienna - was not present: only the November issue, which had not been sent out! I'm not sure what is happening with the distribution, but I'm not happy with it. Marzena was present in Vienna and I got to meet her for the first time - in the flesh, so to speak: we have been working for about 2 years via skpye, e-mail and DropBox. My counselling job in South Queensferry has come to an end (they cut the funding: it seems the NHS is now not seeing counselling as a legitimate item of expenditure). However, I am still employed by the NHS - counting paperclips or something (?). Another nice meeting of the Scottish Mens Group in Whatton Lodge at the beginning of March, ending with a nice fire on the beach at Gullane. Some 'old faces' were not present, some new faces were. All good stuff! March was surprisingly pleasant and made more so by the receipt of a large cheque for mis-sold PPI (see my Facebook page (19/02/17) for details and comments). My youngest daughter, Rhiannon, came up and visited with her husband, Henry, which was really nice. There was also a lot of hard work on the Journal and getting the Psychodrama issue finalised. I went to Bologna (for the first time) for a meeting of the EABP SRC: I had stayed on it after all. This was nice, but I had some 'Raki' (Serbian branky) spilt on my laptop's keyboard, which necessitated a new computer and the re-furbished one getting sold on eBay. I was also invited (or got myself invited) to present at an European Association of Counselling (EAC) Congress in Athens at the end of April. So, Laura came too, and we booked a week in Santorini for afterwards. As it was, the Congress got cancelled, but my flight and hotel in Athens was paid for anyway, and we met with a good friend, Lily Anagostopolou. Santorini was very nice - but (probably) only in early May, as it was already getting crowded. At the end of May, we had a visit from the grandchildren, coming up on the train for the weekend from London, which was a real highlight, and then we reverted back to regular client work; editing work; a little gardening when the weather permitted; and the occasional 'treat' of a day at the gym. The 2nd issue of the journal, the 'Special Edition' on Psychodrama Psychotherapy, came out on time - just - and got it to their conference in Sweden. At the end of July, went to a Process Oriented Psychotherapy week-end at Caer Mabon, a retreat centre in Wales on the topic of "The Longing Behind The Addiction": it was good; had a nice hot tub beside a stream, and also triggered some writing - done whilst waiting for a garage person to arrive and fix my flat tyre on a minor backroad the middle of North Wales: the country of 'Prydain' in the Mabinogion. In August, we had a little holiday in southern Spain: Laura had gone a week early to do an Art Therapy workshop with a good friend from Findhorn; I went out a week later, and arrived a day late as I had lost my passport - which I only discovered the night before I was due to fly. I got a new one through couple of frantic trips to Glasgow: only to be handed my passport on the way to the office to collect a new one, when I stopped for a coffee at the local Esso gas station: I had dropped it there a day or so earlier. Got to Spain, exhausted, somewhat flustered still, and several £100 poorer: Granada was nice and the beaches were fine. Then I went to Antwerp for an EAP meeting, which was pleasant and somewhat rewarding as it seems as if several projects are possibly back on track. Back into the usual routine for the rest of September, and during a mild October, and the next issue of the Journal was completed in good time for November publication. I was then informed that I was supposed to be presenting at the International Scientific Committee for Body Psychotherapy in Mexico City at the end of October. Wow! I had never been before, and it was also an opportunity to sell a few copies of the Handbook (and my own books) and also to promote the 'Specific Competencies' of a Body Psychotherapist. I liked Mexico, and the celebrations for the Day of the Dead, and I really enjoyed the ISC Congress and the people I met there, but I hated the 11-hour flights: during which I also lost a hearing aid somewhere. I got back just in time for a trip with Laura down to London to meet other Body Psychotherapists; also to do a CPD workshop with Richard Erskin; and we managed to see (pregnant) Gudrun, Jude, and the grandchildren as well (though poor little Hugo went into melt-down at the Covent Garden Transport Museum after a sugary meal). We then enjoyed Thanksgiving with my daughter Rhiannon and her husband Henry who came up to Scotland again for a visit. And then more editing work getting the next issue of the Journal ready in good time for the Feb meeting in Vienna. I am getting to have a general sense of coping, or riding the waves.
2018: Christmas was quite affordable as I had got paid reasonably well for some work that I had done about a year ago on 'Study Guides' for a Confer on-line course on "Embodied Approaches to Psychotherapy" (see here). The New Year brought some snow, and the start of planning something for my 70th birthday; another issue of the IJP was almost ready - in good time - and there was the immanent approach of another granddaughter, born at home on February 7th, and subsequently named 'Octavia'. I find that I am managing to write quite a lot of differently themed articles, interspersed with other activities, however the development a new BPP book on B-P Case Studies almost foundered when the new EABP President 'decided' that it should be published elsewhere. This involved a major 'confrontation' and a declaration of intent with a progress report, which seemed to prove reasonably successful. In February, I went to Vienna again for the usual EAP set of meetings. The meetings of the IJP Editorial Board went well; we distributed 150 copies of the latest issue of the Journal (Vol. 22, No. 1) to EAP members; and - apart from the hotel being different - a reasonably good time was had by all. However, with the change of EAP General Secretary, the tectonic plates within EAP are shifting and expectations of rifts and earthquakes (tsunamis, even) are high. March brought a wee slow-down in the form of a mini TIA, which resulted in me finally going off alcohol, and determined to loose weight. Luckily, I had already started on both projects and so it was just more of the same! Still, it acted as a pretty strong wake-up call. March and April brought a lot more snow, somewhat inconveniently, but we managed to get down to London by train to see the grand-kids and Octavia: so the weekend was spent holding her and exchanging pheromones and oxytocin! My NHS Lothian (3-hr p.w.) work has eventually been 'seconded' to Health-in-Mind and I should start work in May or early June in Craigmillar. However, the month also saw the death of Joop Valstar, an EABP colleague or 20-25 years standing, and then the death of Martha Emeleus, an Edinburgh 'counselling' colleague of about 10 years standing. I got off the next issue of the IJP (Vol. 22, No. 2) at the beginning of May. The rifts in EAP have come to a head with the EAP President resigning. Several of us are trying to get the situation dealt with 'properly' and not just being swept under the rug: I have no idea whether people are strong enough to do this. The latest initiative of plans for a European 'Psychotherapy' Act seem to be bearing some fruit. We will have to see how it ripens. I also managed to get out in the glorious May weather and get my new shed erected; the lawns cut; and the garden beds weeded.
Then, the long-planned trip to Italy (with Laura this time) began: first, with a flight to Venice and a train to Bologna for a meeting of the EABP Scientific & Research Committee in Bologna - but with only 4 of us present in the flesh (so-to-speak) and lots of skype and e-mail contact with the others and with the EABP Executive Board. Then, Laura and I went to Florence for 4 days and totally blitzed out on statues, Madonnas, leather shops and ice-cream. We then went to Venice for 7 days, where I managed to get caught up with this 'blog'. Venice has to be the most beautiful city in Europe, if not the world. Laura and I have been walking and sight-seeing to the extent of about 12,000 Fitbit 'steps' per day for the last 8 days. Then we fly back to Luton and my birthday.
The book on B-P Case Studies progresses, with a hopeful finalisation date of July 1st, in time for typesetting and printing by the EABP Congress in Berlin in early September. I also want to get the BPP book on Touch completed by then, as well.
Please watch this space for more 'blogging'!