Category Archives: Latest News

Peer Support Research Project 2019

In 2018 Think Thrive! have teamed up with the Imagine Community, Dumfries to develop a research project. Throughout the Summer we conducted interviews of Peer Workers and the people they support and developed a qualitative analysis of the data.

In October 2018 we presented the findings to the General Adult Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Annual Conference. We goal was to make the case for the legitimacy of the Peer Support approach to the College.

Well it seems the Consultants liked the project and have invited us back for their 2019 Conference. We mean to conduct further research on Peer Working, again as a qualitative analysis and focused on authenticity and vulnerability as the foundation of cognitive growth and change in the relationship.




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Oomph! Bike Trips 2018 – Feedback

logo foundation scotland

Oomph! Bike Trips are funded by Foundation Scotland –


The Oomph! Bike Trips in 2018 were fantastic! Relaxing, enjoyable, fun!

BIG THANKS! To Think Thrive! Staff, Volunteers and everyone who joined us on a bike trip – well done and see you in 2019!!

Here are some of the thing people said after their bike trips:

• Thoroughly enjoyed the ride, reminds me of why I enjoy cycling!
• Freedom! Downhill run exhilarating after uphill.
• Cycling together created a sense of community for me – I didn’t feel alone.
• Realising that I can do this – opens up opportunities for me.
• Group helped me do this.
• Comfy bike and company makes it good!
• Loved having company, good weather, lovely sights.
• Great having someone to blether with.
• Comfortable, good pace for talking
• Very enjoyable, nice distance, great weather
• Enjoyed company for doing physical activity
• Look forward to another ride!
• I felt supported and guided by [staff]
• Refreshing, beautiful countryside, open spaces
• Not too hard, I knew I could stop if needed
• Beautiful scenery, stopping for rests in lovely places.
• I had good brakes and good instructions.
• Relaxing, great fun!
• Great opportunity to meet people and have a great experience
• Good fun, relaxing
• Good opportunity to exercise and meet people interested in biking with the same ability
• Great day out, would definitely recommend
• I felt refreshed, relaxed and energised!
• I’d like to say Thank You! for making the effort at having this group cycle!

Lastly, we are on a tight budget with this project, we had support from Foundation Scotland in 2018 and we are raising the funds we need to run the trips next year in the Spring/Summer 2019. If you can spare a few quid, please donate – click the link here for the donation page, thank you!


Watch some videos of the bike routes here (the videos are slightly compressed so they appear to be faster than they actually are whilst you are cycling):

The Traverse of the Gods: on the Gala loop, above the Tweed at Caddonfoot:

The cyclepath from Cardrona towards Peebles, along the Tweed:

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Stepping Stones to Recovery at the Wellbeing College

The new Wellbeing College has now launched in the Borders. The College is run by Health in Mind and Think Thrive! will be delivering training for the College.

We will be delivering our STEPPING STONES TO RECOVERY training course for the College that will run for 8 weeks from Friday 27th July. If you are interested in joining in the training please email the college:



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Oomph! Biking/Camping Trips

As always, we’ve listened to feedback and we’ve seen the opportunity to extend our Oomph! bike trips with an overnight camp.

If you like the sound of joining a longer trip – to include and overnight camp, get in touch – CONTACT US HERE

With the good weather, a group of volunteers have just got back from cycling the 4 Abbeys Cycle Route – camping along the way. It was a great experience and we’d like to put together another trip, email us with you interest and we’ll include you in the planning. 4 Abbeys Cycle Route



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The Healing Power of Mutuality – Neural Synchrony in Peer Support

Think Thrive! have teamed up with the Imagine Community, Dumfries to develop a research project. Both our organisations deliver Peer Support and we want to add to the body of evidence that supports Peer Support. We believe that the authenticity, empathy and mutuality within the relationship between Peers is a potent way to develop mutual healing.

We mean to gather data from focus groups of the lived experience of being a Peer Worker and of being supported by a Peer Worker and anlayze it to bring this experience into focus. We mean to show that within the alliance between Peer Worker and Person being supported that we can evidence Neural Synchrony – “the synchronization of neural, perceptual, affective, psychological and behavioural responses.” This is the basis for the spoken and unspoken understanding, affirmation and inspiration that is Peer Support.

We mean to present the findings to the General Adult Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Annual Conference in October 2018. We aim to make the case for the legitimacy of the Peer Support Approach to the College.



The General Adult Faculty have now published the programme for the Conference, we are delivering the first Masterclass on the Friday at 15.50.



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Oomph! Bike Project 2018

The Oomph! Bike Project is back for 2018!

In 2017 we at Think Thrive! CIC ran a bike project taking groups of people out into the gorgeous Boders Countryside on our super-comfy and easy to ride mountain bikes. Due to popular interest we are thinking of running the project again this year – WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please donate now what amount you can to help us deliver for people this coming year!


What people have said about the bike trips:
Magic day out all round, thank you’s!
Very comfortable, reasonably confident, went at a pace I could manage.
Beautiful route well chosen, friendly company!
Gorgeous scenery, trusted leader, well equipped, very nice to get out.
Feels fabulous to be back on a bike!
Bike very easy to use in comparison to what I remember, last rode 20 years ago!
Best things were a chat and the buzz of getting fit.
Extremely enjoyable, liked the security and leadership.
Loved having company, good weather lovely sights.
Joy, relaxed!


And thank you! to Frances who painted the picture/caricature of us cycling last year!

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The Oomph! Bike Project

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We’ve Renamed our  Bike Project “the Oomph Project!”

“Magic day out all round!”

…because folk who’ve cycled with us have found the Oomph! coming back! f you want to try out cycling with us, CONTACT US HERE

We’ve been running bike trips throughout the SPRING/SUMMER 2017 in the Hawick area, between peebles and Innerleithen, the Tweed Valley Cycle Route round Galashiels and along the coast from Berwick to Holy Island. We’ll keep going while the weather holds in the Autumn.

We are grateful to Cycling Scotland for funding us through the Cycle Friendly and Sustainable Communities Fund to run this project, many thanks to them!

Here are some of the things people have been saying about joining us on a bike trip:

Loved having company, good weather lovely sights.

Joy, relaxed!

Very comfortable, reasonably confident, went at a pace I could manage.

Beautiful route well chosen, friendly company!

Gorgeous scenery, trusted leader, well equipped, very nice to get out.

Feels fabulous to be back on a bike!

Bike very easy to use in comparison to what I remember, last rode 20 years ago!

Best things were a chat and the buzz of getting fit.

Extremely enjoyable, liked the security and leadership.

Really good and feeling great!

In a group together was good!

Built up my confidence gradually and feel a lot more comfortable now!

Feel myself getting fitter in a few short weeks.

Best thing was cycling together and keeping each other going.

Would you like to cycle with us again?: As often as possible! I even took my bike yesterday to the shops instead of taking the car!

Magic day out all round, thank you’s!

I’d like to say thank you, making the effort at having this cycle group!

If you want to know more about the trips or put your name on the list for a place EMAIL US HERE with a phone number and we will call you with details. I’m Graeme and will be leading on this project and I’m happy to talk through how the bike trip would work for you.

I hope you can join us, it’s great fun!!

cycling scotland logo

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How To Keep Afloat Training For Carers

“I am actually starting to believe in myself!”

How To Keep Afloat Training For Carers Series 2 Completed this week.

More Info on How to Keep Afloat Training For Carers

Thank you to all who took part and to the staff at Borders Carers Centre for looking after us so well!

If you are interested in the next training at the Borders Carers Centre, more info is available on their website HERE look under “Staying Afloat”

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ACT Training Galashiels

ACT Training Sessions – Galashiels, Beginning November 2nd

Running weekly, every Wednesday for 6 sessions until the 7th December,

2pm – 4pm, Galashiels, venue to be confirmed


The training will involve 6 sessions of exploring the ideas of Acceptance and Commitment work and how you can apply these to your own thinking and in your life. Each session will involve a short Mindfulness guided meditation that is helpful in cognitive defusion. We will begin to look at, rather than from our thoughts. And we will explore our own unique personal values and look at aligning our lives with what we value most.

Acceptance and Commitment work was developed initially as a therapy and more recently, a non-psychotherapy form has developed as Acceptance and Commitment Training. Our expertise at Think Thrive! is in learning as a Peer Group process, the group would be a simple course of experiential learning. ACT is evidenced as effective with anxiety and depression and can also help with changing addictive behaviours. For more information and evidential references, see the following article.

To book a place CLICK HERE

What is Acceptance and Commitment Training?


The paradox of acceptance

In ACT, it is understood that attempts to change or eliminate thoughts, feelings, emotions, or sensations often paradoxically amplify the very discomfort that we attempt not to experience. The willingness to fully experience thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations while pursuing valued action (behavior congruent with each individual’s unique personal values) leads to an increased sense of aliveness.

ACT is contextual.

In ACT there is no such thing as a dysfunctional or irrational belief. Rather, it’s all about context and workability. In other words, we can simply ask ourselves whether a certain belief or behaviour is in harmony with the values we hold dear. For example, if someone likes parties but chooses not to go due to a fear of not fitting in, in that context staying home would not be healthy. However, if the reason to stay home is because the individual simply values meeting with friends individually and genuinely has no interest in parties, then in that context, staying home is healthy.

It’s not about mastery of symptoms; it’s about mastery of the experience of those symptoms.

People who suffer from anxiety disorders have desperately tried to eliminate fear and anxiety by getting rid of their symptoms. Instead, ACT asks them to accept and fully experience the anxiety symptoms. This form of acceptance is referred to as an active form of acceptance. It is about acceptance and change at the same time.

Avoid the struggle by accepting fear and anxiety.

ACT is about avoiding the struggle to control unwanted thoughts and feelings by alternatively focusing on how to relate to them. It is the difference between living in a state of fear, and viewing the fear objectively. When we can objectively observe our experience rather than be fused (identified) with it, we are empowered to act in ways congruent with our most deeply held personal life values and convictions. From this new defused (dis-identified) experience, we can live authentic lives rather than be desperately trying to get rid of or suppress the truth of what we are experiencing.

Rejection of thoughts and feelings leads to self-rejection.

One of the dangers of suppression of unwanted thoughts and feelings is that the struggle to suppress them paradoxically reinforces the very uncomfortable thoughts and feelings we don’t want to experience. It’s unnecessary to actually embrace painful thoughts and feelings; we simply need to be willing to be fully present and accepting of them.

What we resist persists.

The more we resist and think about what we do not want, the more we experience it. The path of least resistance is that of learning to accept and be fully present with what we don’t want while working toward what we do want.


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FLOAT Workshops at Mental Health Recovery Camp 2016

Alison, Marilyn and Graeme from Think Thrive! joined the Working to Recovery Camp 2016 and delivered 3 FLOAT workshops for people at the camp.

The camp was an astonishing celebration of difference, inclusivity and acceptance as well as hard demanding self work and questioning in response to some brilliant and inspired workshops leaders and facilitators.

Ron Coleman and Karen Taylor again are leading the way in thinking about and working with mental health recovery – many thanks from the Think Thrive! team, great to have played a part!

The camp felt to me a little like a voyage on a ship, so here is my journal:

… this is like a voyage, a journey on an ocean liner, a ship with passengers and crew. Everyone has a part a play, working together. We set sail as nervous passengers, tip toeing around each other, looking to find our roles and meeting our needs and others needs. Each meal, each meeting, bonds are being formed, experience shared and learning happens. Inspiration happens too, accounts of awesome experiences and obstacles overcome lend courage to those taking part. Each person working, giving and receiving connected by understanding and heartfelt connection.

The tables out side the kitchen tilt with the sloping ground like on a ship pitching and rolling with the swell. We laugh as we try to keep plates on the table, some nibbling food, some in a hurry, some eating and listening and talking. In truth, each has made a journey to get here, in distance and in our emotional recoveries. The acceptance of the community here is inclusive and measured as each person is working hard. The warmth and the photos will bounce around long after this trip. Most will draw strength from this experience and for some it will be life changing. This week we are preparing, for the journey beyond will be lifted by courage and belief of action more than the words enacted here.

The days have passed and our ship has visited many islands. Each day we convene in the big tent with coffee and the crew sketch out the agenda of workshops being offered that day. The programme evolves as we flex with the feelings, how people are doing, the mood and the energy. Many reach overwhelm and then choose to go beyond to new places in themselves, new ideas and plans and hopes. Solutions are found to impossible problems and emotions here are beautifully held. Inclusivity is the key and what’s asked in return is commitment to the process, open minds and connection at heart level. The courage we’ve seen from almost all is worth eye teeth in the day to day life at home. The reward is growth, psychic and emotional. And healing. Sure feet on paths revealed in the process and hope.

4th night in we celebrate mad pride – this is not “what I am” but “who I am” – I’m me before I’m a label and we are us – sharing together and proud of the extraordinary gifts that we have that makes us extraordinary people. These qualities so often labelled as wrong are here OK tested with merit of giving and sharing and embraced as inclusive as we sail on this ship of recovery. A giddy celebration of friendship, people showing their vulnerable sides, performing songs, poems and stories for the group with fun, appreciation and a roar.

The closing ceremony is reflective in an way where each is gathered – some beyond tired in a place of new possibility. There is a brief meditation together and a blessing, a sound shower and the thank you’s seem to include everyone. The ship’s captain sets the dates for next year for the camp to reconvene and delight is released – hugs for those we have met and shared with on this journey, this voyage, this most extraordinary of weeks!

A great big THANK YOU again from us!

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