group therapy

Day 2916: Hands

Yesterday, when the wonderful hands of Mia from MiAlisa Salon were giving me a hands-down fabulous haircut, Mia told me about a beautiful way she has been self-soothing during these hard times. She holds her own hand.

Mia said that she held and held her mother’s hand in her hand while her mother was dying, and she misses her mother. Now, when she clasps her own two hands together, she feels powerfully comforted, settled, and anchored. Mia said holding hands with herself also helps her fall asleep.

I told Mia that I have been encouraging people in my Coping and Healing groups to give themselves hugs and that I will add clasping their own hands to the self-soothing repertoire.

And I am happy to report, this morning, that holding hands with myself helped me sleep through the night for the first time in months!

My sleep is also being helped by the growing certainty that my country will soon be in better hands. For the past four years, the USA has been in the hands of a toxic narcissist.

Speaking of hands, if anyone wants to see me play the ukulele with my own hands tomorrow evening, please sign up to be in the audience before the end of the day today using this link:

https://m.signupgenius.com/#!/showSignUp/9040b4eadaa23a2f49-jamn15

As people continue to count ballots by hand, I’ll be singing “The Impossible Wait” to the tune of “The Impossible Dream.”

I took all of these photos using my hands. Can you spot the hands of Mia and my husband Michael?

Here is “Hands — A Song for Orlando” from four years ago, showing how hands can hurt and heal.

If you leave a comment with your hands, I will respond with my hands and my heart.

In this time of social distancing, please wash your hands and wear a mask. My hands go out to yours in gratitude, here and now.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, group therapy, insomnia, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2912: What you didn’t get

At the end of my Coping and Healing groups, I invite people to think about what they didn’t get, because

  • nobody gets all their needs met in a group therapy session,
  • if they identify what they didn’t get, they can think about where else they might get those needs met (perhaps in a future Coping and Healing group, perhaps elsewhere),
  • that’s my way of letting them know that all of their feelings, including disappointment, are welcome, and
  • identifying what you didn’t get (along with identifying what you DID get) are important parts of getting closure, which allows you to move more smoothly to what’s next.

Whenever there is an election or any other major transitioning point, people don’t get all their needs met. As we can see in the news, reactions to that include

  • anger,
  • fear,
  • joy,
  • sadness,
  • hope,
  • disappointment, and
  • denial.

Here’s what I didn’t get from the recent USA election: any indication that the twin threats of the coronavirus and the economic recession will be addressed effectively before the end of the year. I also didn’t get the answer to which party will control the Senate. What I DID get was relief about changes in leadership ahead.

What you haven’t gotten in this post, so far, are my photos from yesterday.

What Harley didn’t get yesterday was all the food he wanted. He seems okay with that, though.

Here’s a recent performance of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones.

You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might get what you need (and I need your comments about this what-you-didn’t-get post).

What you do get here is gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2909: Panic attacks

If you have panic attacks, you are not alone, as you can see by today’s Daily Bitch Calendar.

When people have panic attacks, they often share them with me, because I’m a group and individual therapist. When my husband Michael and I have panic attacks, we share them with each other. Luckily, Michael and I often have panic attacks on alternating days — when he’s panicking I’m usually feeling calm and hopeful and when I’m panicking he’s usually feeling hopeful and calm.

To reduce panic attacks, I breathe, blog, take long walks (masked!) , listen to music, read books, watch funny movies and videos, spend time with calming creatures, search for meaning (on the internet and elsewhere), eat delicious nutritious food, dwell on hope, and take photos.

I’m happy to report that for now, thanks to the kindness of strangers, family, and friends, I’ve stopped having panic attacks about

  • uploading my photos to WordPress,
  • using the new text editor,
  • my internet connection, and
  • the future.

Here’s “Hyperactive!” by Thomas Dolby, complete with panic attacks:

That reminds me … To reduce panic attacks over the upcoming dark and scary months, I’ll be working on something called Therapy: The Musical. Stay tuned.

Reducing panic attacks includes sharing thoughts and feelings, so I hope you share in a comment below.

Also, gratitude attacks beat out panic attacks, so thanks to all who help me attack a new blog post every day, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, gratitude, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 2903: Waiting for election results

Waiting for election results, I might as well share my most recent images.

Waiting for election results, I just checked again and things look good, but inconclusive.

Waiting for election results, I know I am not alone.

Waiting for election results, I wonder how many sleepless nights I can stand.

Waiting for election results, I can’t ignore this:

Waiting for election results, I keep adding more people to my Twitter feed.

Waiting for election results, I realize I am holding my breath, so I try to breathe deeply.

Waiting for election results, I find the wonderful music somebody shared in my Coping and Healing group less than 12 hours ago..

Waiting for election results, I am going to express gratitude and publish this blog post.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 2900: Election Day 2020

I’ve been thinking about Election Day 2020 since Election Day 2016, and now it’s here!

I’m going to spend Election Day 2020 with my fingers crossed, working and watching from home, and probably capturing images like these:

How are you going to spend Election Day 2020?

I’ve already spent part of Election Day 2020 looking for music to share in this post. Here is “Election day BIDEN HARRIS Music video: ALL ON THE LINE” by Andres Useche.

I’ll also be spending Election Day 2020 expressing gratitude for all who helped me get here, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2895: My anxiety

As we get closer to November 3, my anxiety is increasing. I know I’m not alone in my anxiety, which helps.

Can you see my anxiety in today’s photos?

Music is usually good for my anxiety. Here’s “My Anxiety” by Cal Scruby,

“Anxiety” by Anna Clendening,

“I Wrote a Song about Dealing with Depression and Anxiety” by Gremlin,

“Anxiety” by Black Eyed Peas featuring Papa Roach,

and, finally, “cute songs to help you deal with anxiety.”

My anxiety is grateful to everyone who is reading “My Anxiety” here and now, including YOU!

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 2892: Feeling blue ?

Last week I wrote a blog post about how much I’ll be feeling blue if the USA does not turn blue this next election. Yesterday, I saw this at a supermarket in the very blue state of Massachusetts:

Under that “FEELING BLUE?” headline, it says “You’re not alone” — which is one of the major healing factors of group therapy.

Michael was feeling blue soon after I took that photo when he noticed a grocery bagger wearing a mask BELOW his nose. Conflict makes Michael feel blue, but he still asked that supermarket employee to pull his mask up properly. We both feel blue when we go to this supermarket, because we almost always notice employees with their noses hanging out. When we see these kinds of behaviors, we talk ourselves blue in the face trying to figure out what people are thinking and why mask wearing isn’t better enforced in SUPERMARKETS, for heaven’s sake.

Before that blue period, I took this photo at that supermarket yesterday because these rubber ducks looked like they were feeling blue, hanging in the frozen foods section in this netting.

I didn’t know until later that Michael was feeling blue enough to buy those ducks and set them free.

If you’re feeling blue, you might enjoy some of the other images I captured yesterday near the very blue city of Boston.

Harley has not been feeling blue lately. Have you?

Here’s “Feelin’ Blue” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

… and “Feelin’ Blue” by Earth, Wind & Fire.

Whenever I’m feelin’ blue, gratitude helps, so thanks to all who are reading these daily pre-election posts, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2888: Eyes

Yesterday, in my Coping and Healing group, people told stories about eyes.

With my own eyes, I noticed people’s strong reactions to the stories about eyes, because eyes are

  • sensitive,
  • vulnerable, and
  • the windows to the soul.

At the end of the group, somebody made a commitment to turn their sensitive and vulnerable eyes away from the news for the rest of the day. The group members showed their approval and support with their eyes.

What do your eyes see in today’s photos?

Because my eyes have been hurting lately, I think I’ll watch this video over and over again instead of tonight’s U.S. President debate:

I’m so glad those people were using their eyes. Another good sight for my sore eyes would be comments from you.

I am thankful for my eyes and the observant eyes of kind people, like YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, gratitude, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2882: Scary pictures

During these pre-election times, many pundits are writing about scary scenarios, picturing uncertainty, upheaval, violence, and protracted legal battles after people cast their votes in the USA.

I hear from many people that they distract themselves, especially during this time of the year, by watching scary pictures, like the Halloween series.

Picturing scary election scenarios and watching scary pictures both make me shiver and quiver with too much fear, so I’m distracting myself by taking my own scary pictures. Which one is the scariest picture, to you?

The Daily Bitch calendar for today is scarily coincident with last night’s question for my Coping and Healing group.

Tonight, Michael will be taking pictures of my remote appearance on an Open Mic, which I hope won’t be too scary.

There are lots of “scary pictures” videos on YouTube. For scarily unknown reasons, I clicked on “Scary pictures with happy music pizza sound nature.”

I hope you don’t find pictures of gratitude scary, because I take a lot of those!

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, group therapy, Halloween, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2876: What’s missing

What’s missing, for me, is

  • good leaders,
  • courage from those with proximity to power,
  • trust,
  • kindness,
  • honesty,
  • accountability,
  • expertise,
  • sanity,
  • common sense,
  • respect,
  • owned responsibility,
  • trust,
  • justice,
  • the USA I thought I knew,
  • in-person meetings,
  • comfort,
  • hugs with friends,
  • peace of mind, and
  • Oscar the cat.

What’s missing in my latest photos?

That last photo shows a question I asked my Coping and Healing group yesterday, after making sure I wasn’t missing other important issues. What’s missing for many women are a sense of self esteem and self worth, so some members of the group had trouble answering that question. Other group members helped provide the missing answers.

What’s missing from this post is missing music,

comments, and thanks to all who support me in not missing a day of blogging, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

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