group therapy

Day 2146: Just beneath the surface

I’m writing this post (which will probably reach just beneath the surface) in the back seat of a car traveling on the surface of the highway to a group therapy conference in New York City. Earlier tonight, when a fierce snowstorm surfaced and obliterated any view of the road surface, the slippery surfaces almost caused us to give up the trip. Just as we were about to seek shelter from the storm at a motel (which on the surface seemed depressing and suspiciously overpriced), we decided to try navigating the road surfaces one more time. Amazingly, the surface of the roads suddenly changed from snow to rain.

When the snow was covering all the surfaces, we stopped and this surfaced beneath a slice of pizza:

Since we are now going to make it to the conference, I know we’ll be going far beneath the surface in the groups there.

Earlier in the day, I facilitated two groups where many topics came to the surface.

The topics of “gifts” and “self-forgiveness” rose to the surface in those groups.

This is what it looked like on the surface in Boston when we started our trip:

What’s going on for you, just beneath the surface?

For me, gratitude is always just beneath the surface, so thanks to all who helped me create all the surfaces of this post and — of course — YOU.

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

Day 2145: Come as you are

What does “come as you are” (which I saw in a magazine yesterday while waiting for an echocardiogram) mean to you?

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Here comes an online discussion of “Come as you are”:

Best Answer: Come as you are on a party invitation indicates that the host or hostess is having a very informal party and Dress is not important. Now, if you were thinking about going naked to the party you might want to determine if it would be the best option. Things to consider might be 1. do you look good naked,2. are you secure enough in your looks to go to a party naked,3. how much importance do you put on shock and surprise of the other guests. Generally, come as you are means, if you have on jeans and a Polo and deck shoes, or in the summer if you have on shorts, a tee shirt, and sandals, you will be in acceptable attire. It simply means what it says come as you are, no need to dress up.

Only hell mama ever raised · 1 decade ago

Come as yourself and don’t try to make any false characteristics about yourself.
♥Caribbean American Princess♥ · 1 decade ago

In my Coping and Healing groups, I often say at the end, “I’m grateful that everybody showed up exactly the way they showed up today.”  I hope that’s an invitation for people to come as they are.

It’s time for my other photos from yesterday to come as they are.

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As I’m creating this blog post as I am, this message keeps coming at me from WordPress:

A new editor is coming to level-up your layout.

I don’t know if I want a new editor coming to level-up my layout.   I’d prefer my blog posts to come as they are.

Here’s another entry from that online discussion about “Come as you are”:

it think that whoever has invited u listens to Nirvana, a lot…wear a Nirnana t-shirt or go naked.

Here comes Nirvana as they were, with “Come as You Are.”

 

If you’re coming here as you are from outside the USA, you may not be able to watch that video.

For the next two days, I’ll be coming as I am to a group therapy conference in New York. I assume I’ll come away from that experience as a better group therapist.

Here’s thanks coming from me to all those who helped me create this come-as-you-are post and — of course — to YOU, for coming as you are.

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

Day 2144: Safety

I can safely say that this is my third blog post titled “Safety” (see here and here for the previous two). Each time I’ve posted a “Safety” blog, it’s been preceded by a therapy group where we focused on safety.

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Yesterday, somebody in my Tuesday “Coping and Healing” group suggested we choose safety as the focus.  Here’s what I wrote about my personal experience of safety:

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 I do my best to create safety in these groups.  There is no such thing as complete or perfect safety. I like the phrase ‘safe enough.”

I understand why safety is such a concern for people. When the environment seems paralyzingly dangerous, I sometimes suggest the helpful phrase “It’s safer than it feels.” Sometimes, however, it’s not safer than it feels.

What are your thoughts and feelings about safety, here and now?

Do you see safety or danger in my other recent photos?

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When I search YouTube for “safety”, this is the first thing that comes up:

The California wildfires inspired the group’s discussion of safety, yesterday.

Here‘s “Safety Rap.”

Here’s the 2014 Safety Song Winner:  “I Wanna Be Safe.”

I think we all wanna be safe.

Thanks to all who helped me create this third “Safety” post  and — of course — to YOU.  Stay safe.

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

Day 2140: I can’t even

I can’t even express my enormous gratitude for my readers and for the comments on yesterday’s post, Day 2139: I Can’t/I Can.    I can’t even resist repeating this photo from yesterday

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… and sharing this online definition of “I can’t even.”

About
“I Can’t Even”is an Internet slang expression used to indicate that the speaker is in a state of speechlessness, either as a result of feeling overjoyed or exasperated, depending on the context in which it is said. Due to its incomplete sentence structure, the adverb “even” in the expression can be interpreted as a substitute verb for “manage.” On Tumblr, the phrase is often used to caption reaction images in which the subject collapses in frustration or bewilderment.

Origin
The earliest known use of the incomplete phrase “I can’t even”  was submitted to Urban Dictionary[1] by user JJFADS on January 7th, 2005, defining it as an expression used to indicate a “breaking point.”

I can’t even believe that I had to edit that online definition by adding an “even” to “I can’t” in the second paragraph.

I can’t even explain this coincidence:  yesterday, in a therapy group, we discussed how people can become speechless and stunned when encountering thoughtless behaviors from others  that are so different from what they would do in a similar situation.

I can’t even count the number of times I’m in a state of speechlessness, these days, when I look at what’s going on in the world.

I can’t even manage my photos because there are so many of them, including these:

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I can’t even say how much I love my sister Ellen, whose birthday is today. However, I could even text her that last photo yesterday.

I can’t even share all the YouTube videos there are about “I can’t even” including this one

… and this one.

I can’t even believe how that SNL skit literally focuses on how thoughtless people can be (as was discussed in my group yesterday).

I can’t even ask for more comments from my busy readers, but I will.

I can’t even express all my thanks to everyone who helped me create today’s post and to those who are reading it, including YOU!

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

Day 2139: I Can’t/I Can

Yesterday, in a therapy group, somebody talked about waking up thinking “I can’t” and turning that into “I can.”

Because I can, I suggested that people make a list of “I can’t” and “I can.”

I can show you my lists now.

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I can’t be perfect, but I can correct mistakes.  On my “I can’t” list, the 9th entry should read “be anybody else but myself” and on my “I can” list, the 13th entry should be “show up.”

I can share all my other photos from yesterday:

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I can’t even make sense of all the gun violence in the United States.

I can share these videos (and you can find them here and here on YouTube):

I can go for some comments about this post.

I can also express my gratitude to all who helped me create this “I can’t/I can” post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2138: Masks

Over two years ago, when I was in the hospital dealing with pneumonia and heart failure, I wrote a blog post titled “Masks“.

Yesterday, in a therapy group, people talked about the relationships between the masks they wear on the outside and how they feel inside.  I keep the identify of my group members masked because of confidentiality; therefore I only show what I create in group, including this mask:

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Do you see masks in my other photos from yesterday?

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Here’s “Behind the Mask” by Michael Jackson:

Here’s the “Cuban Pete” song from The Mask:

I never mask my gratitude for those who help me create these blog posts and — of course! — YOU!

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

Day 2137: The House

There are several news headlines about the House today, including:

Mid-term elections: Democrats win House in setback for Trump

Democrats win control of the House in 2018 midterms, CNN projects

Meet the New Agenda Setters in the House

Coincidentally, yesterday I started writing a new song, titled “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready”, which is my first original song based on my first original t-shirt …

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… which was based on original blog posts (herehere, and here), which I wrote in the house.

Here are the lyrics, so far:

I Left the House Before I Felt Ready

 

I left the house before I felt ready,

So I’m wrinkled, distracted, and sort of bed-heady.

I don’t know where my phone is, my glove, or umbrella

And my water bottle’s probably somewhere in the cellar.

© Ann Koplow, 2018

Because my house is near Boston, those last two lines rhyme.

Only one of my photos from yesterday was taken in the house:

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Here’s “House” by Elton John:

 

What are your thoughts and feelings about any of  the houses here?

Thanks to all who helped me write today’s blog post at the house and — of course! — to YOU, for visiting my blogging house.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, group therapy, original song | Tags: , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2133: A loud uprising

Yesterday, in a therapy group, we discussed this quote by Nikita Gill.

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To love yourself should be no quiet affair, but a loud uprising. — Nikita Gill

About a month ago, when I watched a loud uprising of men’s and women’s anger about the USA’s latest Supreme Court Justice, I wrote a song — “I’m Mad About You” — which I debuted last night at an Open Mic.

In case those lyrics aren’t loud enough in that video, here they are, uprising:

I’m Mad About You

I’m mad about you.

You make me feel blue.

You make me so angry

And that isn’t new.

The things you do to enrage me,

Cage me and disengage me

Make me scream and dream of murdering you,

And I’m mad about you.

I’m mad about you.

You’re worse than the flu.

I’m pissed that you’re out there

And that’s always true.

You make me want to annoy you,

Toy with you and destroy you,

Yell and tell the horrible things that you do.

And I’m mad about you.

You may be curious

Why I’m so furious.

I’ll try to make things plain,

As I continue to womansplain.

The things you say to inflame me,

Shame me, blame me, and maim me

Should return, concern, and burn you-know who.

Because I’m mad about you.

I’m mad about you.

No, I’m not quite through.

You make me so bullshit,

I spit this at you.

I wish I could disappear you,

Never hear or be near you,

Oy, oh boy, the joy to be rid of you,

Because I’m mad, not sad, not glad, just mad about you.

© Ann Koplow, 2018

Two people yesterday told me they believe that song could go viral, which would be a loud uprising for me. Every loud uprising starts with a small sound (especially if you have only 11 subscribers on YouTube), so I’ve quietly posted that performance here.

Do you notice any loud uprisings in my other photos from yesterday?

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The gentleman on the right in that last photo is Ben, who creates a loud and supportive uprising at the start of my performance of “I’m Mad About You”.

I’m looking forward to a loud uprising at the USA mid-term elections on Tuesday, November 6. I’m also looking forward to uprisings of any volume in the comments section, below.

Thanks to all who helped me create the loud uprisings in today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2126: I care

I care to start today’s post with links to past caring posts, including Day 2091: Open with care, Day 1809: CaregiversDay 1467: Why should anybody care about me?, Day 1279: Care,  Day 1233: Take Care, Day 672: Care, Day 578: I don’t care, and Day 195: Self care, wisdom, kindness.

I care to share this recent exchange with somebody I care about:

Me: I wonder why I’m so anxious?

Caring friend: Because you care.

Last week, I cared to apologize to a health insurance reviewer whom I had yelled at. He replied, with care: “You care about your patient.”

I care to share my photos from yesterday.

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I care to caution all those who care: Warning! If you care, make sure you practice self care.

Here‘s “I Care” by Beyonce.

Today, I care to host a retreat for other group therapists who care .  Because I care about the Red Sox, I didn’t get much sleep last night.

I care about your comments and will read them after today’s group therapy retreat.

I care to end every post with thanks to all who help me create these blog posts with care and — of course! — to you, for caring.

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

Day 2125: The truth

The truth is that I knew the title of today’s post even before I reviewed my photos from yesterday.

The truth is that when I think of the truth these days, I’m on the verge of tears.  The truth is that the truth seems to depend what side you’re on. The truth is that I can never remember people being so divided about what the truth is.

The truth is that I keep inviting people in my therapy groups to write helpful truths on post-it notes (which, in truth, I call “stickies”).

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The truth is that the post-it note above describes the Four Agreements and the truth is that you can read more about those here.

The truth is that I took more photos yesterday.

The truth is that I didn’t mean to take the last four.

The truth is that this sign …

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… includes the word “true” in it, which I just noticed.

Here’s “True Colors” by Cindi Lauper.

Is it the truth that the truth was simpler in 1986, or is that just an illusion?

The truth is that I hope you share your truth below.

The truth is that I’m always grateful for those who help me create this blog and — of course! — to YOU, for being true.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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