group psychotherapy

Day 3047: Worst feelings

Yesterday in my therapy group, people shared worst feelings, including disappointment in oneself and disappointment in others. At the end of the group, members said that sharing those feelings and realizing they were not alone helped them feel better.

Do you see worst feelings, best feelings, and in-between feelings in today’s images?

Are you the master of your feelings, besides being the master of your judgments, decisions, and actions? Do you let ALL feelings flow through you, without judgment?

Speaking of feelings, here is the saddest song I’ve ever heard:

As I like to say in my group, all feelings are welcome.

One of the best feelings is gratitude, so thanks to all who visit this blog, including YOU.

Categories: group psychotherapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 3030: Your calm place

Last week, in a Coping and Healing group, I did a mindfulness exercise where I invited people to go to a calm place — remembered, imagined, or where they actually were in the moment. Most of the calm places involved water.

My calm place was exactly where I was: my son’s old room, in front of a computer screen filled with group members. Using mindfulness — focusing on your breath and doing your best to be in the moment, accepting all your thoughts and constantly redirecting your attention to the here and now, letting go of judgment — your calm place can be exactly where you are.

I’m in my calm place here and now, creating this blog post for you and me. Do you see calm places in today’s images?

I’m in my calm place whenever I’m watching British competition shows like “The Great British Bake Off” and “The Great Pottery Throw Down”. Those shows, despite the constant possibility of disastrous results for the contestants, are so much more calming than American competition shows.

Here‘s what I find when I search YouTube for “your calm place.”

It’s challenging to get to your calm place when there is so much to be vigilant about, these days. Please help make this blog a calm place by leaving a comment about your calm place, below.

Gratitude helps make every place a calm place, so thanks to all who help me create this daily blogging place, including YOU.

Categories: group psychotherapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2994: This difficult time

Today’s blog post is inspired by the Daily Bitch, who helps me get through this difficult time.

During this difficult time, I will post my latest images.

During this difficult time, I’ve been facilitating five remote Coping and Healing groups each week and I’ll be adding a sixth one next Friday. In yesterday’s Coping and Healing group, I asked people who were experiencing this difficult time to use their sense of touch for a mindfulness exercise, focusing on something soft and comforting. I chose Harley’s favorite cat toy, pictured above.

I also suggested that people get through this difficult time by being especially kind to themselves.

Music helps me get through this difficult time. When I search YouTube for “Pat Metheny this difficult time,” I find this:

During this difficult time, it helps to believe that there are “Better Days Ahead.”

What are your thoughts and feelings about this difficult time?

During this difficult time, I am especially grateful for people like YOU.

For some unknown reason, I’m having this difficult time uploading and publishing this difficult time post. During this difficult time, I’ll just keep trying, while being especially kind to myself.

Categories: group psychotherapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2991: My idea of a good time

My idea of a good time is

  • blogging first thing in the morning,
  • providing group therapy to all who need it,
  • going for walks,
  • spending time with my husband Michael and other kind, loving, and funny people,
  • spending time with animals and nature,
  • balancing alone time with social time,
  • balancing my needs with others’ needs,
  • eating delicious, nutritious food,
  • accepting all feelings,
  • fighting injustice,
  • identifying next achievable steps,
  • learning new things,
  • good music,
  • good communication,
  • letting go of regrets about the past and worries about the future,
  • being in the moment,
  • longer days filled with light, and
  • capturing and sharing images.

My idea of a good time these days includes Twitter, in moderation.

Here’s “My Idea of a Good Time” by Mark Winkler:

My idea of a good time is asking you to share your ideas of a good time.

My idea of a good time is expressing gratitude to all who help me blog every day, including YOU.

Categories: group psychotherapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2874: I know things ordinary people don’t know

I know things ordinary people don’t know because I

  • was born with a very unusual heart,
  • grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household,
  • had an incredibly funny, creative, and kind father, who loved to make people laugh,
  • had an incredibly caring, kind, clean and neat mother, who loved to laugh,
  • realized I had a connection with cats when I was very young,
  • had my first major heart surgery when I was 10 on the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated,
  • have relied on cardiac pacemakers to keep me alive since that day,
  • spent a lot of time in hospitals where I met many different types of people,
  • danced in our basement to musicals when nobody was watching,
  • read voraciously when I was young,
  • learned to play the piano, guitar, and ukulele,
  • attended three schools where everyone there knew I had a heart condition,
  • travelled across the USA by bus when I was 21,
  • visited many different countries,
  • danced, danced, danced in the 1970s even though my heart rate was fixed at 72 beats per minute,
  • majored in English literature at college,
  • worked as a technical writer, marketing writer, teacher, manager, and psychotherapist,
  • volunteered for several years at a suicide hotline,
  • attended graduate schools for film studies and social work,
  • love hearing other people’s stories,
  • married two extraordinary men,
  • gave birth to an extraordinary son when I was 45 years old,
  • saw people behave at their best and their worst and everything in between (including me),
  • survived the coronavirus,
  • have kept learning from all the people I have encountered in my long life, and
  • have the Daily Bitch calendar, which knows a lot.

Can you tell that I know things ordinary people don’t know from the rest of today’s photos?

Harley knows things that ordinary cats don’t know, but he’s not telling.

It’s a good thing I know things that ordinary people don’t know, because I’ll be teaching several interns about my Coping and Healing groups this morning at 9.

Here is “I Know Things Now” from Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim, whom I’ve known I’ve loved for a long, long time.

I also know gratitude that ordinary people don’t know, every day, so thanks to to all the extraordinary people I’ve known, including YOU!

Categories: group psychotherapy, heart condition, heart surgery, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 2701: Alone in the presence of others

Seven years ago (but who’s counting?), I created and published my other lone daily blog post with the title “Alone in the presence of others.”

In the presence of others, here and now, I notice that earlier blog post

  • focuses on group therapy,
  • has no photos, and
  • has no comments.

Since then, I’ve made a t-shirt that says,”Alone in the presence of others,” which seems even more relevant during these pandemic days.

We are always in the presence of others, even when we feel alone. There’s a beautiful group intervention about that in the incredible new series GROUP on YouTube. GROUP  features scripted characters, improvised interactions, and the renowned group therapist Elliot Ziesel, PhD as Dr. Ezra, the group leader. At the end of the first episode (at 14:31), there’s this exchange:

Karina: But the thing about unconditional love is that you can lose it.

Dr. Ezra: Unconditional love?

Karina:  Yes.

Dr. Ezra: How can you lose that?

Karina: My mother died.

Karina: You don’t continue to talk to her? She doesn’t continue to live inside you somewhere?

Karina: She does.

Dr. Ezra: She’s gone, but she’s not dead.

Yesterday, when I was alone in the presence of others, I …

  • watched several episodes of GROUP,
  • thought about my late mother and my late father,
  • communicated with my lone child, Aaron, who is in the presence of others 3,068 miles away in Edinburgh, Scotland (but who’s counting?),
  • told Aaron about GROUP, and
  • took all these photos:

7wdgubm9RkS5e0pVuIl%fQ

IMG_3941

IMG_3942

IMG_3943

IMG_3944

IMG_3945

IMG_3946

IMG_3947

IMG_3948

IMG_3949

IMG_3950

IMG_3951

IMG_3952

IMG_3953

IMG_3954

That delicious toasted quinoa was alone in the presence of others on my dinner plate last night, thanks to the presence of my dear husband Michael.

Would you like to be alone in the presence of others in the comments section, below?

Today’s expression of gratitude is alone in the presence of others.

 

 

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2148: Don’t miss the drama

Yesterday morning,  before leaving our dramatic New York City airbnb to attend the second and final day of a dramatic  group therapy conference, I didn’t miss the drama of this sign on the wall:

IMG_1101

I didn’t miss the fact that  “Don’t miss the drama” was a perfect invitation for a day of learning, connection, and  participation in the human drama of group therapy.

In those groups, I learned, again, how the dramas, traumas, thoughts, feelings, and actions of all the individuals present can dramatically form and transform a group experience. I’m so glad I didn’t miss the drama of that group therapy conference, despite the drama of our traumatic drive from Boston to NYC through white-out conditions on Thursday night.

Don’t miss the drama in my other photos from yesterday.

IMG_1119

IMG_1102

fullsizeoutput_347f

IMG_1107

IMG_1108

IMG_1113

IMG_1104

IMG_1105

IMG_1100

IMG_1117

IMG_1110

IMG_1109

IMG_1112

IMG_1106

fullsizeoutput_3478

IMG_1103

IMG_1099

IMG_1121

IMG_1120

IMG_1122

IMG_1123

IMG_1118

IMG_1124

IMG_1125Did you pick up or miss the dramatic thanks I’m giving to the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society and everyone else who contributed to the wonderful drama of my days in New York? Also, don’t miss the drama of my thanks to you — of course! —  for participating in this blog.

fullsizeoutput_3483

Finally, don’t miss the drama of Marcelo Álvarez singing “Sperai, tanto il deliro” from Pagliacci:

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2147: Bravo!

At our Airbnb home-away-from-home in NYC, I noticed this on a signed photograph:

It says, “Bravo! Great voice!”

In the groups I observed and participated in yesterday (at the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society annual conference), I heard variations of “Bravo!” when people were brave, authentic, went beneath the surface, and gave great voice to their thoughts and feelings.

What helped people do all this in those groups? Perhaps it was this clear message (which I saw at the church where the conference took place):

“You are safe here.”

Bravo!

Do any of my other photos from yesterday deserve a “Bravo!” ?

Here‘s the Goedicke Concert Etude, played by Julia Bravo:

Thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — Bravo! — to YOU.

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2135: Healing factors

A week ago Sunday, I attended a wonderful talk  by J. Scott Rutan, a highly esteemed writer, teacher, and practitioner of group psychotherapy. During the talk — offered by the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy —   Scott handed out a list of healing factors, and invited everybody to rank the healing factors in order.

fullsizeoutput_344c

This was a difficult task, because all of those healing factors are very important. However, I had no difficulty identifying what healing factor I rely on the most: Hope.

I hope it’s okay if I quote from my first blog post with “hope” in the title, written almost exactly three years ago today:

I hope I can express, in my first post about hope, how important hope is for human beings who struggle, cope, bruise, and heal.

I hope you understand that I’m saying that hope is important to all of us.

Hope is:

I hope there’s hope in the three photos I took yesterday.

IMG_0941

Michael loves raccoons, so I bought him this mug yesterday.  I hoped that he’d like it and he did!

 

 

IMG_0942

I hope we all survive the coming winter and don’t swallow too much snow.

 

 

IMG_0943

I hope Scott Rutan, everyone else who helps me create these blog posts, and my readers know how thankful I am for them.

I hope this week brings good news to all who hold hope for the USA.

I hope you find hope in this:

I hope you comment about your own healing factors, below,  and accept more thanks from me.

IMG_0734

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1985: What do you do with an unpleasant person?

What do you do with an unpleasant person?

You could hide,

read a book,

take charge, wear distracting socks,

keep your distance,

take a pause,

drive away, drink tea,

appreciate yourself, honor your soul, give yourself a compliment,

be open to other people’s compliments, be the hero of your own story,

and/or write a song.

Today, I’ll be spending the day with many pleasant people for the first day of a three-day group psychotherapy conference in my pleasant birthplace of Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

I look forward to reading your pleasant comments.

Many thanks to all the pleasant cats and people who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.