group therapy

Day 2427: I’m curious about …

I’m curious about …

  • everything that’s happened to you since the last time I saw you,
  • how you’re doing in this moment (including thoughts, feelings, and body experience),
  • everything that you’re aware of that might be contributing to how you’re doing in this moment,
  •  how other people have been affecting you,
  •  how you’ve been affecting other people,
  • how the weather’s been affecting you,
  • how the news has been affecting you,
  • how you would introduce yourself to somebody who is meeting you for the first time, and
  • what you’re curious about.

If you’re curious about my Coping and Healing groups, I introduce the check-in portion of the group by saying what I’m curious about.  What I’m curious about often includes the curious list above.  Because I don’t want my curiosity to be too important, I always conclude my list of curiosity with this:

Feel free to ignore everything I just said, because it’s YOUR check-in.

I’m curious about this:  even people who have been coming to the group for years often smile at that line.

I’m curious about how these photos affect you:

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I’m curious about whether you’ve heard the song “Curious” by Midnight Star.

 

I am curious about what you would say in a comment below, but feel free to ignore everything I’ve just said, because it’s your comment.

Thanks to all who helped me create this curious post and — of course! — thanks to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 2426: Say YES to …

Yesterday morning, after saying YES to sharing another daily blog post, I looked at a previously published post, also titled “Messes,’ and found this:

I will tell you that I messily shared at the end of the group session my inspiration to make a new t-shirt that says, “Say YES to the mess.”

Over two years later, I am belatedly saying YES to that intention by designing and ordering this t-shirt:

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I said YES to that typestyle of “Say YES to the Mess” because it’s called “Unkempt.” YES!

Here on this blog, and also in my therapy groups, we often discuss how and when to say NO, but it’s equally important to know how and when to say YES.

Say YES to …

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… listening to music you love.

Say YES to …

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… being mindful and non-judgmental of your moods.

Say YES to …

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… observing what’s around you.

Say YES to …

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… long life by practicing good habits.

Say YES to …

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… the most valuable people in your life.

Say YES to …

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… creating your dreams, even if it’s just one.

Say YES to …

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… welcoming all.

Say YES to …

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… whimsey.

Say YES to …

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… the dress (I THINK that’s what that is).

Say YES to …

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… beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Say YES to …

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… staying in touch.

Say YES to …

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… curiosity, partnership, empathy, apology (when appropriate), reflection, legitimization, support, and wellness.

Say YES to …

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… sharing what’s important to you with other people.

Say YES to …

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… feelings.

Say YES to …

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… flowers.

Say YES to …

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… safety.

Say YES to …

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… love.

Say YES to …

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… healthy hearts, fewer worries, and good sleep!

Say YES to …

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… group support.

Say YES to …

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… taking the stairs.

Say YES to …

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… Yoko, a valued member of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy executive board, who says YES to fresh fruit in her drinks and who also says YES to sitting with Oscar.

What do YOU say YES to?

Here‘s “Ascent” by Lyle Mays (featured, yes, in this post).

I always say YES to gratitude at the end of these posts, so thanks to all who helped me create this one and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 2425: Messes

Yesterday, somebody who was trying to make sense of life’s messes showed me this:

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Because I’ve witnessed a lot of shame about messes in my life, I loved that mess by artist David Shrigley.

Later, in a therapy group, messes showed up again.

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The group focused on “Self-Worth” and we worked on experiencing unconditional self-worth, despite inevitable messes.

Here are some quotes about messes:

Beginnings are always messy. — John Galsworthy

People are messy; therefore, relationships will be messy. Don’t be surprised by messiness. — Timothy Keller

Surely it’s better to love others, however messy and imperfect the involvement, than to allow one’s capacity for love to harden. –Karen Armstrong

A problem is only a problem when viewed as a problem. All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.  — Robin S. Sharma

Life itself is a haphazard, untidy, messy affair. — Dorothy Day

Messy is a word we use to explain a conflict with an expectation we had. Eliminate the expectation, and you eliminate the messy. — Steve Maraboli

It’s good to leave your room super-messy when you’re away. Whoever tries to break into your room will think it has already been ransacked. — Douglas Adams

The truth is messy. It’s raw and uncomfortable. You can’t blame people for preferring lies. — Holly Black

A messy kitchen is a sign of happiness. — Anonymous

Do you see any messes in my other photos from yesterday?

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Here’s I Have Made a Mess by They Might Be Giants:

David Shrigley and Chris Shepherd have made a fine mess with Who Am I and What I Want.

Don’t worry about making a mess in the comments section, below.

Messy thanks from me to all who helped me create this post about messes and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 2424: Getting your needs met

Have you been getting your needs met? If so, how do you do that? If not, what gets in the way?

Yesterday, as I was getting my needs met at work, I found this:

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I wrote “Getting your needs met Group” on that manilla folder years ago, probably when I was getting ideas about how to help people get their needs met in group.

These days, I’m  doing very well at getting my needs met, except my need for sleep.  I wish I didn’t need to sleep, because there are so many exciting things to plan for and do!

Do you see anything about getting your needs met in these other recent photos?

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Cats are very good at getting their needs met.

When I search YouTube for “Getting your needs met song,” YouTube tries to meet my needs with “The Muffin Song.”

Apparently that song is meeting people’s needs, because it has over 126 million views. I suspect those characters need a good therapy group.

I’m getting my needs met by sharing these songs (here, here, here, and  here, if you need links) about needs:

 

If sharing your thoughts and feelings in a comment might help get your needs met, please do so.

Every day, I get my blogging needs met here, so I need to thank everybody who helps with that, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2421: I Need Your Help.

Yesterday, in a therapy group, we talked about how difficult it is to ask others for help.  I wrote this up on the white board to remind people about how to ask for help:

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Today, I need your help.  I have to submit a 340-character blurb and a photo about  my Edinburgh Free Fringe show — Group “Therapy” with Ann — tomorrow at the latest, so it can be included in the published version of the Wee Blue Book, listing all the Free Fringe shows. (Here‘s a link to the current listings in that book.)

Here’s what I’ve got, so far, for my blurb:

If you want a taste of group therapy with a trained professional who writes songs like “Everybody’s Somebody’s A**hole,” don’t miss this ONE TIME ONLY show. Find out just enough about yourself and others to feel better. “This could work.” – Scottish comedian Raymond Mearns. “That’s my mother.” – award-winning comedian Aaron Fairbanks.

If you saw that amongst hundreds of other show descriptions, might you attend that show?

The accompanying photo has to be small and square, and I’m considering one of these, taken last year during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival by my son Aaron’s friend Camilla:

Photo 1:

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Photo 2:

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Photo 3:

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Photo 4:

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Photo 5:

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I need your help in deciding which of those photos might be best.

When I have lots of choices and am under a deadline, sometimes I feel like this:

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Here‘s an appropriate song for today:

Many thanks to all those who help others, here, there and everywhere, including YOU!

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 2420: Expect the unexpected

Yesterday, I got this unexpected email:

Dear Ann Koplow

We have been looking at the database of shows who still want something, either runs or infills.

We would like to offer you the slot(s) below:

Show number 306 provisional title Group “Therapy” with Ann

Mo 19 13:00-14:00 Natural Food Kafe Basement Room

If you accept, please email this address immediately.

If these are extra performances, you will already have sent a picture and blurb. If you have not sent a picture and blurb, please immediately send one via the form. Full instructions are attached.

If you don’t want what’s offered but want something else, please email back saying what. Be as precise as you can.

If you don’t want this at all, please email back and say so. Make things as clear as possible. For example, if you’ve asked for extras but now don’t want extras, but want to keep your main run, say that. We don’t want any mistakes.

All offers are immediately void if you have breached the Ethos and Rules by applying to any other free-admission promoter, including pay-what-you-want and pay-for-priority-admission-otherwise-free. Or breached them in any other way.

Please reply as soon as you can so that we can fill the spaces as well as we can, and get your show in the Wee Blue Book.

Thank you

Free Fringe Team

I didn’t expect that!  I expect that email means that I will have a show at the Free Fringe in Edinburgh on August 19 at 1 PM, unless my responding back six hours later wasn’t immediately enough.  I expect it was, but I never seem to expect anything for sure.

With my life (see as many posts in this blog as possible), I’ve learned to expect the unexpected. I expect good things will come my way and they often do! I also expect I’ll have trouble sleeping trying to anticipate and plan for the unexpected.

I expect I’ll have to market the hell out of this Edinburgh Fringe Festival opportunity, especially because of the time and location of my show.  Expect to read more about this, here, in the month ahead.

I just posted this unexpected news on my Facebook page:

I GOT A SHOW AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE! August 19th, 1 PM, The Natural Food Kafe. Consider making this part of your vacation plans.

Unexpectedly, somebody already has replied that they’ll be going.

Expect the unexpected photos.

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Expect an explanation of at least one unexpected photo.  That little fishing dude, directly above, reminds me of the old saying “Give someone a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach someone to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.”  I expect you’ve heard that one before.

Expect the unexpected video:

I expect that no one will watch or listen to that whole thing.

I expect the unexpected comment, below.

Expect gratitude here, every day, for all who help me live each unexpected day, including YOU!

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 2419: Keep doing what you’re doing

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“Keep doing what you’re doing” is

  • something I’ve written on my white board and on prescription pads at work,
  • often a validating, supportive, and encouraging phrase,
  • a non-judgmental acceptance of habitual behavior, and
  • a new title for this blog.

Because WordPress and my laptop keep doing what they’re doing,

  • I can’t save a post while I’m writing it and
  • only some of my photos are loading today.

Keep doing what you’re doing, including smiling,

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scanning,

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welcoming,

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watching,

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noticing signs,

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celebrating,

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avoiding danger,

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and focusing on what’s important to you.

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I keep doing groups and I keep doing rhymes.  Yesterday, I wrote this rhyme in a group focusing on “the unexpected.”

The unexpected

Needs to  be respected

And not neglected

And definitely accepted.

People keep listening to this podcast interview about my heart keeping on:

https://tinyurl.com/y43gqqvf

I keep sharing what I’m sharing in this blog, including this song by Anita Wilson:

Keep doing what you’re doing and if that includes commenting on this blog, thank you!

I keep expressing gratitude every day for the help I receive from others, including YOU.

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

Day 2418: Big Fear

Here and now, what’s your big fear?

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Take a moment.

Breathe, close your eyes, and allow your mind, body, AND soul  to respond to that question.

Again,  here and now, what’s your big fear?

Does your big fear have to do with …

  • money?
  • people’s responses to you?
  • being judged?
  • the unknown?
  • changes you’ve chosen?
  • changes you have not chosen?
  • stagnation?
  • being trapped?
  • betrayal?
  • abandonment?
  • authority figures?
  • being misunderstood?
  • being manipulated?
  • being ignored?
  • time running out?
  • being forgotten?
  • forgetting things?
  • feeling too much?
  • feeling too little?
  • knowing too much?
  • knowing too little?
  • having too much?
  • having too little?
  • loss?
  • anger?
  • guilt?
  • shame?
  • being hurt?
  • hurting others?
  • turning out just like so-and-so?
  • family?
  • strangers?
  • people?
  • animals?
  • bugs?
  • not knowing what to say?
  • saying the wrong thing?
  • not being seen?
  • being seen?
  • your behaviors?
  • other people’s behaviors?
  • order?
  • chaos?
  • limitations?
  • failing?
  • succeeding?
  • heights?
  • depths?
  • violence?
  • the past?
  • the future?
  • aging?
  • pain?
  • death?
  • fear itself?

Do you see big fear in my other big photographs from yesterday?

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What helps you deal with big fear?

  • Naming it?
  • Sharing it?
  • Calculating the possibility that it will come true?
  • Accepting it?
  • Letting it go?
  • Self care?

When I search YouTube for “big fear” I find this 

this

… and this:

 

Fear not! All comments about big fear are welcome, below.

Big thanks to all who help me create this big blog and all who read it (including YOU).

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2407: Tell me about it

I’m going to tell you about Merriam-Webster’s definition of “tell me about it.”

tell me about it (idiom)

Definition of tell me about it
informal
—used to say that one understands what someone is talking about because one has had the same or a similar experience
“Something is wrong with that computer.” “Yeah, tell me about it. I can never get it to work properly.”

I don’t know if something is wrong with my computer, but I can’t post a shortened version of this video (in which I seem to be saying “Tell me about it” for 18 minutes) (and which I first told you about in this post) to YouTube.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xTT1B5mT6uiWAp_Z-k4MB9fcDFDGg8Mb/view?usp=sharing

Let me tell you about what happens when I (and perhaps you)  click on that link.  I receive a message that says “Unable to process this video.”  However, I could still download it, although I got a message that told me “Google Drive can’t scan this file for viruses. Free.mp4 (1.4G) is too large for Google to scan for viruses. Would you still like to download this file?”

Too complicated or too much trouble?  Tell me about it.

Once my son returns from teaching English in Jordan, maybe he can tell me about how to post that video (which he shot in our gazebo two weeks ago) to YouTube.  If you do look at the video, tell me about which title you prefer:

  • “Tell me about it.”
  • “Free therapy with Ann.”
  • “I’m listening.”

I can also tell you about the original, unedited, noisy, uncentered version of that video, which is here:

At this point, when I’m looking at a preview of this post, I’m telling you that video has this message: “Please wait. We are converting this video.”

Tell me about it.

In the meantime, I’m going to tell you about these recent photos I haven’t told you about before.

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Which is your favorite photo?  Tell me about it.

Tell me about your reactions to this music in the air:

 

I want to break free of more technical problems, but I won’t tell you about it.  Instead, I’ll tell you about my gratitude to all who support my telling you about it, every day, here on WordPress.

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Thoughts about those ways of expressing gratitude?  Tell me about it.


YouTube now tells me that this very abbreviated, silent version of “Free Therapy with Ann” has shown up there.

My expression in that still shot, above, seems to say, “Tell me about it.”  If I manage to post a longer version, I’ll tell you about it.

Categories: blogging, definition, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2406: The conversations you didn’t know you needed

“The conversations you didn’t know you needed” could be part of an advertisement for group therapy.

It’s also a phrase I photographed between my two “Coping and Healing” groups yesterday.

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Did you know you needed these conversations?

 

What about these conversations?

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If you need another look at my “poetic”  conversation about family (pictured a few conversations above), here it is:

I’m going to try to write a poem about family,

It’s probably not going to be very grammarly,

Families are where we are born,

They can make us happy or forlorn,

You can pick your nose but you can’t pick your family.

Here’s a recap of some other important conversations photographed above:

Ignore the environment, it will go away …

The best things in life aren’t things …

Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.

Never worry alone.

If you need important conversations about this blog post, please participate below.

I don’t know about you, but I always need conversations about gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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