Building a relationship with reading….

downloadThe title of this post really has a double meaning and is inspired by the radio show Talking Books on 10Radio in Somerset. The guests today were in the relatively early stage of their relationship – newly engaged and very much in love. Clearly, they were not in need of our couples counselling, or Shaping Anger for Couples workshops but it was refreshing to hear that they were cementing their bond in a thoughtful and intelligent way. They had set themselves a challenge, a brave one, and it was something we thought you, our followers, might be interested in as a way to share ideas and subjects that are important to you with someone close.

Each person in relationship chooses five books for the other to read. It is as simple as that. Any genre, for any age. Yet it is so much more complex in reality. By choosing those books you are making a number of decisions and taking interesting aspects of your personality and relationships into account. Do you pick books you think will make you look clever? Or do you choose books that you grew up with and which remind you of key times in your life? Do you look over your shelves for books you think the other will enjoy? Or are you trying to trip them up? Are you being honest and authentic in your choices?

When you consider these points you can see it is not quite as easy as it first seems. How will each of you respond to the other’s list? What if a book that is your favourite is loathed by the other? Are you prepared to defend your choices in a constructive way? Or do you fear an argument? Have we put you off even considering this as a way to bring you together and offer opportunities for fascinating conversations?

We have, on this blog, often highlighted reading as a way to relax and to take you out of a stressful day. We have a page on the Local Bookshops site (see the link to the right) with a list of our favourite titles (we are always looking for suggestions) and our poetry for mindfulness posts are very popular. But we thought this was an additional way to make reading part of your whole life and at the same time learning a little more about someone you are close to. It doesn’t have to be a life partner – it could be a friend or work colleague for example. But we think it is a really interesting way to take you out of the routine of the day and into a conversation with a difference.

In fact, you could do it with music, or films. It will get you talking, and relationships are best nurtured by finding ways to communicate and make sure you are really understood and known by people who are important to you.

What do you think?

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Shaping Anger – a workshop for couples

shapeimage_3The Terrace is pleased to announce that Jill Gabriel is bringing her ‘Shaping Anger’ workshop to The Terrace in Taunton this autumn. This group has been running for many years in Bath.

Since 1983 Jill has worked and trained as a counsellor and psychotherapist in both analytical and humanistic psychotherapy. For twenty two years she has been involved with Spectrum, a humanistic and integrative psychotherapy centre in London. She has run their Working with Anger Workshop for ten years. She also has a private practice for individuals, couples, supervisees and groups. Jill is a co-founder of Relationshapes and has been training therapists since 1995 to work with couples. Her passion is to continue to understand her own truth while working with others to do the same.

In this workshop Jill will explore ways in which we organise and shape our expression of anger, both individually and as couples.  She will provide a contained space for couples to explore their patterns of conflict through dialogue and exercises. The workshop will also look at the function of this multi-faceted emotion and our responses to it.

In order to continue growing and maturing within our intimate relationships we need to find a balance between sustaining enough contact and maintaining enough distance. In this process appropriate expressions of anger help us to define ourselves and our differences. We will work with each couple’s unique ‘relationshape’ of anger.

Date: Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 November 2012

Time: 10am to 5pm

Cost: £150 per person

Venue: The Terrace, Humanistic Psychotherapy and Complementary Health Centre, 35 Staplegrove road, Taunton TA1 1 DG

To book a place on this workshop ring Jill Gabriel on 01225 318834,

or The Terrace on 01823 338968 or email post@the-terrace.co.uk