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Narratives and Self-Identity

How do the stories we tell ourselves shape our personal realities? How can this help and hinder us? 

The theory of narrative identity postulates that individuals form an identity by integrating their life experiences into an internalized, evolving story of the self, which provides the individual with a sense of unity and purpose in life...

Bring all knowledge, thoughts, questions, and challenges of the topic. If nothing else, bring your curiosity. :)  

Hope to see everyone there!

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    The principle of meeting up as a community of people who seek to have some understanding of the human mind is more important than the subject matter isn't it?

    3 · May 29, 2014

    • Laurel T

      Hi Anthea, I agree. I have decided to go ahead a arrange a meetup to discuss psychology as a science. I won't be able to attend but will go ahead a book a venue and set a date. I'm thinking June 15th.

      2 · May 29, 2014

    • Zafar

      Yes, let's get something arranged. Do let me know if you need any assistance.

      1 · May 29, 2014

  • Philip W.

    I'm interested in mindfulness, but I'm with Anthea that it might be better a bit further down the line as a personal preference.

    Some topic ideas, which I'd be willing to try and facilitate: * is, and should, psychology be a 'science (I could try and share what I know about the history eof psychology as an intro)

    * what do we know, not know and will possibly never know about the brain

    * ethics of research - what have we learnt about from people with brain injury and animals (e.g. memory and conditioning respectively)

    I don't mind if this isn't the sort of thing people are after - reflects some things I've learnt and thought a bit about.

    1 · May 15, 2014

    • Philip W.

      1) discussing whether psychology is a science and if it is not, to discuss our differing meanings and understandings, or 2) approaches to improving personal wellbeing, psychological functioning etc e.g. mindfulness. Would it help to have a vote on one of these two to keep it simple? My vote would be for 1) to see if this kicks off some sort of democratic "most votes wins" approach to setting the next topic!

      May 28, 2014

    • Laurel T

      I'm taking control of the reins! The next meetup will be a discussion about psychology as a science. I will book a venue and let everyone know the date and time. I won't be able to come but I trust that those who do will be able to get the discussion moving. What do you think?

      May 29, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I feel that it would be beneficial for the next meet up to explore whether psychology is a science and if it is not, to discuss our differing meanings and understandings. The last meet up involved a lot of discussion around spirituality which does not meet my own understanding of what I understand psychology to be. However, I understand that others may take a different view.

    1 · May 16, 2014

  • Paul N

    (I've had to split the posts up due to a 1000 character limit - I hope you can piece the order together)

    May 16, 2014

  • Paul N

    Since Anthea raised this issue, I've been cogitating and beginning to share her concerns about the group taking a 'spiritual' direction (I stress 'human spirit' and not supernatural spirit here) because, as anyone who has completed that journey knows, once you escape your psychology you find that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, and nothing is difficult to talk about. All the truely authentic spiritual groups I've ever been a member of eventually fizzle out, rather like evaporating black holes.

    1 · May 16, 2014

  • Paul N

    I posted up Welwood's analysis because poking around in the rather messy aspects of our psyche, working out where our suffering in life, in the here and now, from our human nature, comes from in order to help me, and in turn others, to achieve their emotional needs is much more interesting and relevent. I suggest that we don't avoid talking about the end point of psychology, because knowing the destination of a journey can be important for a guide, but we place emphasis on the various models of mind currently theraputically employed.

    1 · May 16, 2014

  • Paul N

    I also would like to steer the group away from trying to be scientific about the subject unless we have to define terms from an epistemological or linguistic reference point. Matthew tried to give the group an underlying scientific rigour but in actuality turned the subject and the group into a rather dry series of lectures. I think we just have to accept that psychology is the science of the subjective and debate issues like the nature/nurture argument as an explanation for patterns of behaviour from a black box or even a blank canvas point of view. Hopefully doing this can stimulate deep thoughts and feelings which will enrich the lives of the members of our group, and their families, friends and clients.

    1 · May 16, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I don't want to put a spanner in the works but I recently came across the expression 'spiritual by-passing' so I'm reluctant to go with the mindfulness idea, even though I'm involved with mindfulness myself. It refers to by-passing psychological insight for the imagined benefit of a spiritual pathway.

    I wonder if we could keep the topic choice open for some more ideas until the group has more of a definite shape and maybe introduce mindfulness further down the line?

    1 · May 13, 2014

    • Luke B.

      Paul, I will certainly be checking the links and thank you for them. Personally I do think that, as we age, we do start to become more open and spiritual at varying degrees, I know that , in my own way I've become more 'spiritual' than religious and found a tremendous appreciation for nature. I guess one has to also look at philosophy as well as psychology as the two are very closely linked and the definition of spirituality, appreciation of/connection with nature and any religious beliefs of an individual. As a newbie I look forward to hearing more.

      1 · May 14, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks for this link Paul. Looks really interesting! I'm ok with postponing the mindfulness topic for later.

      May 15, 2014

  • Luke B.

    It looks as though mindfulness will be our next topic. I propose that if anyone would like to give a talk on the subject could you please make a notification to that effect here and perhaps an estimate as to how long you may require for your talk and wondered, as there are a few practitioners of mindfulness, if you may be able to discuss how best we could arrange a group workshop. The only mindfulness that I was shown was that of distraction, of getting back into the 'here and now' by either counting back from 3000 or totally being immersed in my senses. I understand that it is an ancient practice and that there is so much more to it. I look forward to hearing the discussions and learning so much from you all.

    May 13, 2014

    • Laurel T

      Hi Luke, I'll email the group within the next day or two and sort out your admin access as well. I am up to my eye balls in course work but should have some breathing room this Thursday... fingers crossed! :)

      May 13, 2014

  • Luke B.

    As some of us were discussing later on, would anyone object to the next session being based on Mindfullness? Some actually practice Mindfullness so perhaps we could have a brief outline from different practices and maybe even a workshop where we could look at some of the techniques....what do you think folks?

    1 · May 11, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'm definitely up for mindfulness! Could prepare a short passage from a book on this topic.

      May 13, 2014

    • Luke B.

      That would be wonderful Kate :-)

      May 13, 2014

  • Paul N

    For those interested in exploring naratives & metaphor, Birmingham Skeptics in the Pub are holding something that may interest you. http://birmingham.skepticsinthepub.org/Event.aspx/1845/Walking-with-Metaphors

    1 · May 12, 2014

    • Sharon Y.

      This sounds really interesting but I cant make it!

      May 12, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, I'm Nicolette, I've been a Hypnotherapist for the past 13 years and I now have a café too, which I am offering as the venue: Happy Heart Café, 26 Richmond Road, Olton, Solihull B92 7RP. Close to Olton Station (Birmingham to Dorridge/Stratford line). Let me know if you want to use it - we will be the only people there.

    1 · April 17, 2014

    • julian b.

      Hi Nicolette, are you offering any Hypnotherapy sessions? On a professional basis, of course! I am looking to unlock some creative potential & help to quit smoking. I am a musician & writer. I often get lost when trying to compose. I think it may be down to indecisiveness & lack of inner confidence.

      May 12, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yep - see my e-mail to you.

      May 12, 2014

  • Laurel T

    Alright, so the Prince of Wales it is... I won't have time this week to check out any other venues and the Prince of Wales seems pretty damn good. Hope everyone can make it. If the location is inconvenient for a lot of people then it can be discussed at the next meeting. Looking forward to it!

    2 · May 1, 2014

    • Luke B.

      Hi Julian, yes it certainly has character so I'm sure you would like it and they have a writers meet up sessions as well so that may be of interes

      May 12, 2014

    • Luke B.

      Mmm, don't know what happened there with my phone, anyway I will continue,...yes the writing group May interest you. I must confess that is something that I would love to be able to do, write an article, I write poetry but only when inspiration hits and then the words just flow naturally yet I can not just sit down and compose a poem. I managed to write a short story a little while back but showed no one. What do you write and do you also compose music? I do take my hat off to those with a creative ability as one would like such creativity one's self. I confess I do not normally smoke except for the odd cigar once every six months or so but it's become a tradition at Christmas. I do hope that you manage to stop smoking if that is one of your goals. Look forward to meeting you at a future event and good luck with your continued study.

      May 12, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    A brilliantly succinct presentation of the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves on the link to Four Thought. Thank you Mike.

    1 · May 12, 2014

  • Annabelle

    Was nice to meet you all and very interesting topic. Very organised thanks Laurel x

    2 · May 11, 2014

  • Chris H.

    Hello. I've not been to one of your meets before. I'm new to studying psychology, just self studying out of interest really. Is it ok if I attend and listen in on the discussion?

    2 · May 5, 2014

    • Paul N

      yes and no. People behave monstrously but I plan to lead a future discussion on "The Glass Wall of the Verb 'to be'" and hope to show the linguistic mistake most of us make which separates the observer from the observed and encourages our projections in in unhealthy ways. Labeling individuals as narcissist is unhelpful. More later.

      2 · May 11, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      This sounds interesting Paul; it is so easy to label others and discussions on projections may help us to own the bits of ourselves that we want to separate from.

      May 11, 2014

  • Rebecca G.

    So sad and sorry that I couldn't make it.

    1 · May 10, 2014

    • Laurel T

      There's always next time Rebecca. :)

      1 · May 11, 2014

    • Luke B.

      I concur with Laurel as I'm certain we will continue to have enthralling discussions on numerous subjects and please feel free to make any recommendations for future discussion. Look forward to meeting you at future meetings.

      May 11, 2014

  • Zafar

    What a great meeting and thanks for understanding my qwerky sense of humor. Looking forward to the next one! :-)

    1 · May 10, 2014

    • Laurel T

      Thanks Zafar. It was great seeing you and enjoyed your participation! See you soon. :)

      May 11, 2014

  • Luke B.

    Great discussion, nice venue as it was just my style - old worldly so took in the ol' decor. I was rather in awe at the wealth of knowledge and expertise of the group and confess what I do know I do know of the subject could probably be written on the back of a stamp but it was so interesting hearing your various viewpoints and how you have integrated certain doctoring into your own lives and your practices. I certainly feel that I may learn quite a lot from you all. It was also great to catch up with some familiar people as well as welcome new members. Thanks for a lovely afternoon.

    2 · May 11, 2014

    • Laurel T

      I feel the same Luke. There was a wealth of knowledge by the people that contributed and a genuine interest by all. These meetings are going to generate a lot of ideas and personal development. I look forward to returning in a couple months. Let me know if you would like admin access so that you can arrange a future meet while I'm away. No pressure though... ;)

      1 · May 11, 2014

  • Sharon Y.

    Thanks for this afternoon Lauren, good to meet you and everyone else. Will see you all at the next one. My daughter enjoyed it too and wants to come along after her GCSE's ☺.

    2 · May 10, 2014

    • Laurel T

      Wonderful that you both enjoyed it. :)

      2 · May 10, 2014

    • Luke B.

      It was a pleasure meeting you both and so glad that your daughter enjoyed it, it's so refreshing to know that youngsters are interested in such conversations...she'­s sure to go far with that kind of head on her shoulders and best of luck to her on her exams. Look forward to seeing you at the next meet.

      1 · May 11, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    A very interesting, thought stimulating discussion; lovely people; thanks everyone!

    4 · May 10, 2014

  • Paul N

    I came across Craig Chalquist a few years back who was very much into script & narrative. Anyone else heard of him? He once had an extremely good website analysing historical figures like William of Orange & looking at Shakespeare from a psycho-analytical standpoint. (Was called 'To thine own self be true') http://www.amazon.com/Craig-Chalquist/e/B004ZSVLHE/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

    May 2, 2014

    • Laurel T

      I haven't heard of him but will be sure to look him up.

      May 5, 2014

  • julian b.

    Sounds intriguing!
    I'm up for that one. Count me in.

    May 3, 2014

  • Paul N

    I'm actually really looking forward to this meeting. Its going to stimulate so many ideas. I hope we're not going to be competing with canned music.

    April 28, 2014

    • Laurel T

      I visited the Prince of Wales in Moseley yesterday and as Luke said, they have two private rooms and an outside area... it looks like a good spot. Is that location convenient for you Paul?

      April 28, 2014

  • Alexandra W.

    If Birmingham , I can get there too :-)

    April 28, 2014

  • Darren

    If Birmingham City Centre - then I'll be there - Thanks

    April 21, 2014

  • Michelle P.

    Olton or Birmingham city centre are best for me, if possible.

    April 20, 2014

  • Laurel T

    Location to be announced sometime in the near future.

    April 17, 2014

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