January-February: Contributed 2-hour brief introductory sessions on Integrated SocioPsychology to the inaugural meetings of Hull’s 7 Community Development Workers Networks.
Commentary: These area networks were Hull City Council Regeneration Services’ response to Government pressure to develop means of collecting more feedback and facilitating more collaboration from workers involved in various initiatives at the ‘sharp end’ of social regeneration work. Kate Bowers, one of the Hull area directors, saw my presentation on Integrated SocioPsychology as a lure to get community development workers from various agencies along to the meetings. With several of the network meetings oversubscribed, Kate was proved right!
February: Invited at short notice to contribute to ‘How can we think better’ feature on BBC Radio 2’s The Jeremy Vine Show but unable to take part due to teaching commitments.
March: Christopher Sumner, one of my Psychology A-Level students at Vermuyden, was notified of a ‘perfect A’ (100%) in his January exam module (AQA ‘A’ PYA4).
Commentary: A ‘perfect A’ meant Chris hadn’t dropped a single point over 2 questions in an hour-long exam. A quite remarkable achievement for a young man from a town unfortunately renowned for its ‘low aspiration/non-learning culture’!
Interestingly, Chris developed a real passion for Evolutionary Psychology and would only bother learning other psychological approaches in sufficient detail to criticise them from the Evolutionary point of view. Strange to some, perhaps, but it certainly worked for him!
March: Integrated SocioPsychology web site – www.integratedsociopsychology.net – launched.
Commentary: the new site borrowed most of its format from Humber MeshWORKS and recycled that site’s more generally-applicable materials. The intention of the new site, though, was explicitly theoretical: to develop a new paradigm for the behavioural sciences. However, in keeping with the motifs of NLP, there was to be a strong emphasis on practical applications.
April: Contacted by former client Radcliffe Gardens Nursing Home to consult on future direction of the business in terms of preparing it for sale.
Commentary: While I was immensely flattered to be asked by John Slack to help with this – and it undoubtedly reflected the quality of my previous work with them – preparing a business for sale was not really in my portfolio of competences. Accordingly I referred John on to my Cobus Business Services Ltd colleague Steve Beevers.
May-June: My fifth open workshop programme in Hull (again at Centre 88), now retitled An Introduction to Integrated SocioPsychology.
Commentary: The name change for the course reflected both the development of my own thinking about an integrated approach to the behavioural sciences and a greater element of so-called ‘conventional’ Psychology. A key enhancement was the introduction of the Cognitive Triad concept which linked the influence of vMEMES to the formation of meta-states.
One of the programme’s ‘graduates’, Andrew Mills (Babel Consulting), became a very valuable member of the Integrated SocioPsychology Discussion Group – effectively replacing Duncan Harper and Jennifer Crossland who had recently emigrated to Australia.
Gallery: Introduction participants, June – click on photo to enlarge.
July: Accepted into the British Psychological Society with the grade of Affiliate Member.
July: As part of a Cobus team working with j4b Training, played a key role in a presentation at Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce for the launch of j4b’s ‘Accelerated Growth Programme’.
Commentary: Although I had moved to Harrogate earlier in the year (to get married), I retained a number of relationships in Humberside – the one with the Chamber being one of the more important commercially.
It was at the Chamber’s insistence that I was brought in to ‘beef up’ the j4b programme. For a variety of reasons, the programme didn’t take off and j4b have subsequently withdrawn from offering that kind of training.
July: Asked back by Knottingley-based EMC, another former client , to support them on a major and lengthy restructuring project.
Commentary: Formerly Euro Motor Campers Ltd and helmed by Steve Smith, one time leading light of the 21st Century Group, the company had been through considerable changes in the 5 years since I had last worked with them. Steve now had the opportunity to completely retool the business financially and expand operations significantly. He looked to my expertise both to help him plan the moves and to ensure the right people were in place to maximise the opportunities.
August: Undertook some Personal Therapy work in which all my understanding of the Gravesian approach and my skills in NLP proved of little real help to the client. As a consequence, found answers in Hans J Eysenck’s Dimensions of Temperament and used aspects of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for successful treatment.
Commentary: I had first come across Eysenck’s work while at Bradford University in the early 1970s but had not looked at it any great depth. (Eysenck was considered to be obnoxious by many psychologists and students at the time. His championing of the work by Arthur Jensen (1969) on race and IQ offended many whose whose thinking was so dominated by the GREEN vMEME that they would not consider any work which might indicate there could be differences in intelligence between racial groups.) Now passing references in my reading to teach A-Level Psychology indicated that I might find the answers I sought in his work on sub-cognitive innate temperament – which I did!
Discovering – or rediscovering! – Eysenck’s work gave me another key theme in my efforts to develop an integrated approach to the behavioural sciences. I began to consider how temperament (Eysenck referred to this as ‘Dimensions of Personality’) might influence motivation (vMEMES), how temperament could undermine motivation and how motivation could escape temperament.
As to my explorations into CBT, I realised that not only were there powerful applications for dealing with temperament but that there were strategies in CBT which could be used to reinforce the effects of NLP therapies.
August: Another good set of results for Boothferry 6th Form, with Chris Sumner again scoring a ‘perfect A’ – this time on the most difficult module, PYA5.
September-December: A moderately-serious but decidedly-painful back complaint necessitated a complete cessation of teaching and almost all of my consultancy and therapy work for the remainder of the year.
Commentary: After such a busy first 8 months, the last 4 months of the year were decidedly quiet. Unable to stay on my feet for any great length of time, my incapacity at least gave me the opportunity to complete my first book, Knowing Me, Knowing You: an Integrated SocioPsychology Guide to Personal Fulfilment & Better Relationships, which I had started earlier in the year.
Unfortunately, with only a very limited ability to travel, the Integrated SocioPsychology Discussion Group effectively disintegrated in this period. However, I retained occasional contact with most of them and key elements of their work – particularly that of Steve Gorton (Enabling Development) and Andrew Mills – were carried through in to ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’.