group psychotherapy

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

Day 1215: Stress

Even though I stress stress as an important topic in my work and in this blog, I’ve only stressed the word stress in three previous post titles:

Day 508:  Stress, anybody?

Day 858:  A dozen ways to melt away your stress

Day 1067:  Anxiety, depression, and stress

Now, I’d like to stress the importance of a telephone exchange I had with my boyfriend Michael, last night, at the end of a stressful day at work:

Me: Michael,  I always get more stressed at work right before I’m taking time off, right?

Michael: Oh, I can’t tell the difference, baby.

I then released some stress by laughing out loud at the thought that even though it’s soooooo obvious to me when I’m feeling more stress, it might not be obvious to others, even those who know me very well.

Laughter is good for stress.

I also released some stress by laughing out loud  earlier this week, when a beloved friend — who also stresses a lot but doesn’t show it — stressed that her husband likes to liken her to a duck: calm and serene above the surface of the water while paddling rapidly, unseen,  below.

Let’s see, what else do I want to stress about stress, in this stressful post?

Are any of my pictures from yesterday related to stress?

 

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One thing I want to stress about those photos above: I found the person who owns the yellow moped that looks EXACTLY like the one I owned and loved for decades before giving it away when I moved in 2011.  I’m afraid I may have stressed out the owner of that moped, yesterday morning:

(In a new Greek restaurant, near where the moped is always parked)

Me: Hi! I’m looking for the owner of the yellow moped outside.

Guy who works at Greek restaurant: That’s me. Why?  Is there a PROBLEM?

Note that I’m stressing the word “problem” in that exchange.  Why?  Because people tend to stress the importance of problems, and that causes stress.

After talking to the moped owner for a few minutes, I found out there is no way to determine whether that yellow moped and my moped are one and the same.  How stressed am I about that?  Not at all.

I don’t want to stress you out, but I cannot stress how much I love getting comments here. However, as I wrote in a therapy group last night, “It takes bravery to share. You need to feel safe enough to share. It’s okay to share or not share. You decide.”

I  am now deciding to share this stress-relieving music by Stevie Wonder  on my last work day before a week’s vacation.

In this stressful life, I like to stress gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create this post. And I’d especially like to stress my gratitude to you for visiting this blog today.

 

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 1203: Membership

Because I’m a member of the board for an organization of group therapists,  I’ll be attending a meeting on the topic of “Membership” today.

Because I’m a member of the three-person committee planning today’s meeting, I’ll be facilitating members sharing thoughts, feelings, and experiences of membership.

Because I’m a member of the blogging community, I’m sharing some thoughts, feelings, and experiences of membership here before I leave for the meeting.

Here are some quotes about membership (found here and here):

“Membership has its privileges.”  — American Express advertisement from the 1980s

“Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.” — Groucho Marx

“Every adult, whether he is a follower or a leader, a member of a mass or of an elite, was once a child. He was once small. A sense of smallness forms a substratum in his mind, ineradicably. His triumphs will be measured against this smallness; his defeats will substantiate it.” — Erik Erikson

“If I could get my membership fee back, I’d resign from the human race.” — Fred Allen

“I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.” —  Mia Hamm

“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” —  Mark Twain

“Coming out is a means of redefining oneself, of claiming membership in a lifestyle and a social order with distinct values. Chief among these values is honesty.” — Lance Loud

“I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” — Will Rogers

“Having cancer gave me membership in an elite club I’d rather not belong to.” — Gilda Radner

“The world of science and the world of literature have much in common. Each is an international club, helping to tie mankind together across barriers of nationality, race and language. I have been doubly lucky, being accepted as a member of both.” — Freeman Dyson

“What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind there are just four essential ingredients: Choose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of the team.” — Benjamin Franklin Fairless

“In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all be a sheep oneself.” — Albert Einstein

“What characterizes a member of a minority group is that he is forced to see himself as both exceptional and insignificant, marvelous and awful, good and evil.” —  Norman Mailer

“You are a member of the British royal family. We are never tired, and we all love hospitals.” —  Queen Mary

Here’s my own quote about “Membership,” this morning:

How I feel about membership in any group depends on whether it’s a group I have chosen or it’s a group that has been chosen for me.

Do any of my photos from yesterday relate to today’s topic of “Membership”?

Thanks to all human and non-human members who helped me create today’s post and thanks to you — of course! — for being a member of my blogging community, here and now.

Categories: blogging, group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 37 Comments

Day 1155: Winnings

While I didn’t win a chance to advance in the tryouts for “The Voice” last weekend, I did win lots of other things during my winter vacation, including:

  • Precious time spent with my long-time and true-blue  friends Jeanette, Hillel, and Barbara.
  • An amazing necklace.

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  • Lots of new images captured on my iPhone, including these from yesterday:

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That last winning photo shows my winning cat Oscar watching people winning  Oscars, last night.

What else did I win, during my winter vacation?  At the American Group Psychotherapy Association yearly conference,  I heard a new and winning definition of forgiveness. And while my winning memory can’t remember that new definition of forgiveness right now, I’m going to write the winning person who quoted it, so I can pass that winning definition on to you in a future winning post.

In the meantime, my online winnings today included these other winning definitions of forgiveness:

“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.”  — Robert Brault

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” — Paul Boese

“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive.  Forgive everybody.” — Maya Angelou

“Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior.  Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart.” —  Hemant Smarty

“Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness but because you deserve peace.”  — Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“Relationships don’t thrive because the guilty are punished, but because the wounded are merciful.”  — Max Lucado

“There is no love without forgiveness and there is no forgiveness without love.”  — Bryant M. McGill

“Life is an adventure in forgiveness.” — Norman Cousins

What other winnings are mine, today?

  1. Returning to a job I love and
  2. your presence, here and now.

Winning thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and special thanks to you  — of course! — for visiting.

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

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