Breakdown of a Self Detective course

The general approach to a typical 6-week course is to have the weekly sessions listed below. However, if participants wish to explore separate topics – such as self-worth, self-identity, grief, loss, shame, guilt, blame, anger, power & control – then the group can easily adapt to that. Similarly, if a course wishes to explore certain subjects in more detail, there can be a whole 6/12/18-week programme devoted to just one, two or three topics.

Week 1. Starting up your own Self Detective agency

To begin with we will be working out exactly what a Self Detective is, before sorting out the skills, tools and framework that we need in order to start working on our own individual case. We will also be looking at setting goals and how to measure our progress, as well as looking at a case study to see how we can help someone else with all the stuff that is going on in their life (and then apply it to ourselves).

Week 2. The self

What are the ingredients that make up our own self? How much are we a product of nature or of our environment and our upbringing and our life experiences? Do our values and beliefs ultimately shape who we are? Can we change who we are, either by starting again from scratch or by de-constructing and re-constructing our existing self?

Week 3. Relationships

Relationships can bring us joy and contentment. They can also cause us a lot of pain, hurt and distress. Together we will look at the bonds we form with other people as well as some of the games we play with each other and what their purpose is. We will also discuss love and the substitutes we look for when we don’t get enough love. Finally, we will take time to explore our own relationships through a number of simple, individual exercises.

Week 4. Thinking, feeling and actions

Our internal world is made up of thoughts, feelings and actions – as well as bodily sensations! How might we make sense of them, and how might we understand how they link up with each other to help or hinder us? Through discussion, pictures, insights and group exercises we will hope to come away from this session with a better idea of how we tick and how we can improve our ticking. Finally, we will be taking a look at how we can do more of what we want to do and less of things that we do automatically, without much thought (or feeling) involved.

Week 5. Coping strategies

While some methods of coping are clearly better than others, we won’t be judging anyone’s coping strategies. Instead we will be looking at what people carry around with them when they are out and about and what people do when they get stressed, depressed and anxious. We will also be exploring what resilience is and how some seem to have more of it than others. We will also look in more detail at some of the main coping strategies available to us: breathing, sleep and music.

Week 6. The process of change

For the final week we will be bringing everything from the past five sessions together, as well as focusing on change. Do we like or dislike change? What is our relationship to change? For those participants who recognise a need for change, we provide a number of models and exercises. As this is the last time the group is together there will be a sense of celebration as well as a discussion on where we go from here, in terms of continuing to improve the quality of our lives.

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