Day 424: Things I learned from groups this week

I am very lucky. I get to do work I love: group therapy.

Why do I love that work so?  Well, every week, I witness people connecting and healing, in their own unique way, but also as part of something bigger.

It’s so amazing, each time. I’m never sure if I can ever really capture the experience in words.But I can’t imagine anything better.

Okay!  That’s the end of the introduction to this post.  What’s the “meat” of this post today?

I’d like to list just a few of the many things I learned2 this week, facilitating3 groups:

  •  Mindful eating — that is,  consciously focusing on taste, texture, and the experience of eating, while letting go of distracting thoughts over and over again — can be helpful and …. almost a revelation for people.



  • Feelings of shame are like …. weeds. That is, they keep springing up , they spread easily, and they are really difficult to get rid of. But we have to keep doing our best with that, or they might choke out other, more beautiful things.


  • When people expose their feelings and thoughts in the presence of others, they often realize they are not alone.

I think I’ll stop there, especially since the word “few” (which I used in the introduction to that list) means ….. three, to me.

Hmmmmm. I wonder why I’m using so many ellipses (….) in this post?

Maybe it’s because I’m trying to convey something I would do if I was speaking these thoughts out loud, right now. That is, each time I’ve used … dot dot dot … in this post, I would pause for emphasis and — perhaps — allow my listeners to fill in their own assumptions.

It’s fun to speak directly to people.  Another reason I love my work!

Thanks to Dr. Susan Albers (for the first Mindful Eating image), to my bf Michael (for the second one), to Bloom into Landscaping (where I found the weed image), to all who have the courage to be vulnerable and to heal in the presence of others, and to you — of course! — for participating today.

1  The challenge of capturing this experience in words came up for me several times this week, as I had two deadlines for doing that very thing: (1) writing an article about the way I do group therapy and (2) writing a proposal to make a presentation about that, also.

2 Actually, I re-learned many of these things, but that’s how human beings learn, people!

3  “Group facilitator” is the term most people use, these days, instead of “group leader.” I like that term. I think it does a good-enough job of capturing that experience.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “Day 424: Things I learned from groups this week

  1. Mindful eating is such a great idea… thanks for the post!

  2. Your eating chart certainly gives me a mind full, Ann. I read it slowly, shutting off the TV to fully concentrate on its meaning. Every pie slice on your plate is very true. But I would also call it “eating in the perfect world,” like when you actually have time to sit down and savor a meal like picture No. 2 (great job, bf MIchael). Sometimes, wolfing down food in a rush, I don’t have the time to really smell the McDonald’s french fries. I have to do less wolfing and more tasting. Thank you, Ann.

    • You are welcome, Mark. The inspiration for mindful eating part of this post was a mindfulness exercise I did in groups this week, when we focused on eating a cracker for about three minutes. I mention this because any amount of mindful eating is better than none. Just as any comment from you, no matter what the length, is helpful, too.

    • haha! “Smell the mcdonald’s french fries”! love it! hard to be mindful when “eating out.” I, too enjoyed the chart. May print it out and put it on the table!

  3. I love weeks when I learn! It fills me up to realize that I’ve learned something and makes me feel like a productive person – is shows me that I haven’t become stagnant!
    I’m glad that you learned something and that it filled you up enough that you had to share!

  4. The chart definitely puts a nice perspective on things, life and many aspects. I’m glad you enjoy having a rewarding job. It shows, and I’m glad to be enlightened by your posts.

  5. I enjoyed this post and the analogy to the food / mindful eating.

  6. Pingback: Day 612: Not the only one | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  7. Pingback: Day 675: Eyes | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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