group psychotherapy

Day 2184: 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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

 

 

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

 

 

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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.

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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

Day 1941: Threads

Three days ago, I facilitated a retreat for the board of directors of a professional group psychotherapy association. During that retreat, I invited people to identify “threads,” defined as the important issues that

  • run through the history of the association,
  • keep coming up during retreats and other discussions about the association, and
  • connect people to the association.

As I was thinking about threads in preparation for that retreat, I noticed threads everywhere, including on this pair of gloves.

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Here are some threads from the retreat:

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At the end of the retreat, everybody there had taken ownership of some threads that were important to them. The threads I chose  included resolving conflict and making the organization more accessible to current and future members.  As I become President of the organization on July 1, I hope to help people develop  the threads that are important to them and weave them together into a strong and healthy tapestry.

Today, I’m thinking about the threads that run through this blog. Five of the strongest threads are love, group work,  hearts, food, and cats.

Another thread is photography.

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Another strong thread in this blog is music, but I need to leave now to get to physical therapy on time.  Perhaps I’ll add that thread later.

What threads are important to you?

Gratitude is another strong thread in this blog, so …

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Categories: group psychotherapy, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 1872: Silver Linings

Yesterday, in a therapy group, we talked about silver linings, which are

the hopeful side of a situation that might seem gloomy on the surface. The common expression “every cloud has a silver lining” means that even the worst events or situations have some positive aspect.

The silver linings we talked about in group included the dark clouds of traumatic events which had made people stronger, more resilient, and grateful for the gifts of the present.

I found my own silver linings in that group:  I couldn’t write important themes up on the white board because of my torn rotator cuff so one of the group participants  wrote those lines instead, which meant

  • more group engagement and
  • better hand-writing.

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I was so pleased with these silver linings that I said,”Now I’m glad I hurt my arm.”  At first the group said, in unison, “No you’re not!” but that led to more valuable discussions about silver linings.

I want to underline this about silver linings:  I’m a person who can find a silver lining in my own painful injuries, but I can NOT find  silver linings in another horrific assault-weapon massacre in the U.S.  Maybe I can’t find silver linings there because nothing seems to disperse or lessen the  cloud of gun violence in the United States.

When my only child decided to go to the University of Edinburgh I easily found this silver lining:  no school shootings in Scotland.

What are your thoughts and feelings about silver linings?  Can you find any silver linings in my other photos?

 

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I have a silver lining of hope that people will change their thoughts and change the world .

There’s  a “Silver Lining” by Rilo Kiley on YouTube.

 

Here’s my silver lining of gratitude for all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1515: Jealousy

Jealousy is one of those “negative” human emotions  which can make people uncomfortable.

Yesterday, the members of my therapy group discussed jealousy  without judgment. Any jealousy about that?

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I doubt there’s any jealousy about my handwriting and drawing abilities. This is what I wrote, yesterday, about jealousy:

  1. Jealousy is a human emotion. I am afraid of other people’s jealousy — I’m afraid the feeling is going to hurt me. But other people’s feelings and thoughts cannot hurt me.
  2. What makes jealousy worse for you? Lack of self-care. Cognitive distortions. Fear. $ Money.
  3. What helps you deal with jealousy? Self care. Recognizing it’s just a feeling. Leaning back and letting jealousy go by me without hurting me.

What are your thoughts and feelings about jealousy?

Do you have jealousy about any of my other photos from yesterday?

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Comparisons — the thief of joy — can often lead to jealousy.

Any jealousy about my having a wonderful son, who is turning 19 today and whose YouTube video has  90,000 views this morning?

Any jealousy about all the gratitude I have for everyone who helped me create this post and — of course! — for you?

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Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1318: What helps you do what’s healthy for you?

Yesterday, in a therapy group, one of the members asked this great question:

What helps you do what’s healthy for you?

Do any of my photos from yesterday help?

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What helps you do what’s healthy for you?

As you might notice, humor, music and dancing are on my list.  Here’s something healthy  that includes all three:

 

 

Gratitude is on one of my lists, too.  Thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for visiting, here and now.

 

Categories: group psychotherapy, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 1271: Age

No matter what your age, chances are you have some thoughts and feelings about age.

Adults of all ages have been attending my therapy groups for a dog’s age. Yesterday, I asked people of different ages to write, draw, or otherwise express themselves about age.

I, age 63, wrote this poem about age:

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What are your thoughts and feelings about age?

When my age was a day younger, I took other photos.  Do any of them relate to age?

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As I was thinking about age yesterday, I heard two ageless songs about age — “I am a Child” and “Old Man” —  from  Neil Young (who I’ve been listening to between the ages of 15 and 63).

What song would you choose about age?

For more than a  hamster’s age, I’ve been expressing ageless gratitude to people of all ages (including you!) who help me create this daily blog.

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Soon after I published this post, I saw this age-related poll about the British vote to leave the European Union.

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

Day 1259: What Moves Us

This weekend, I’ve been attending a 3-day group psychotherapy conference called  “What Moves Us: Tuning in to the Body, Our Groups, and Ourselves.

Yesterday morning, I was moved by a workshop presented by Bette Freedson, LICSWThe Healing Wisdom of the Mind, Body, and Soul: Intuition, Compassion, and Connection in a Group Setting.

What moved me, at that workshop?

  • Bette and I move with our therapy patients in very similar, moving ways.
  • During a guided meditation, I asked my very unusually moving and confused heart what it wanted, and my heart movingly told me it needs heart valve surgery (even though it’s very frightened).
  • During a moving meditation, I visualized a beautifully colored flag moving upwards in the wind, and I was moved to a sense of safety and peace of mind.
  • Bette Freedson was moved by that flag imagery of mine.
  • She told me that whenever I see a flag moving between now and my upcoming heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic, I would be moved to remember how movingly everybody else in the workshop was moved to wish me health and success with my operation in September.

Two hours later, I moved on to another moving conference activity —Music, Movement, and Moments of Meeting: A Group Experience, presented by the moving and wonderful Suzanne Cohen — in a huge ballroom at Simmons College in Boston. As I was moving freely and joyfully among 42 other dancing and moving group therapists, I moved my head up and saw a moving sight:

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A world of flags, which moved me so.

What moves you? And which of these moving tunes would be the best theme song for this post?

I Like to Move It, Move it?

Something in the Way She Moves?

 

If you are moved to suggest another moving tune or anything else in a moving comment below, move it!

What is moving me, right now, is the realization that I’ll be participating today  in an all-day  demonstration group, SE-Informed Group Psychotherapy: Moving Beyond Trauma to Embodied Relationships.

So I’ve got to move it!

Moving thanks to all who helped me create this moving post and to you — of course! — for moving yourself here to read it, here and now.

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

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