group therapy

Day 1599: Bad habits and good habits

Because I’m in the habit of asking people in therapy groups to express their thoughts and feelings on paper, yesterday I asked a group to write down their bad habits and good habits. I also have the habit of reminding people that we tend to focus on the negative, so I encouraged people to make their list of good habits as long as possible. We discussed how much easier it was to identify bad habits, perhaps because we take our good habits for granted.

I have a habit of including photos to illustrate my blogging points:

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Because I have a bad habit of hastily taking pictures when I’m in a hurry, I cut off one of my good habits in the second photo above.  I have the bad habit of sometimes forgetting the good, so I can’t remember what that good habit was. I think the first word is “ask.”  I do have the habit of asking lots of questions, like this one: can anybody guess what I wrote there?

I’m trying to break my bad habit of being in a hurry, but I had a good reason for rushing yesterday: I had to get things done before signing a Purchase & Sale agreement. Soon, I’ll be developing the habit of living near the water!

I also have the habit of taking pictures that magically fit whatever topic I choose for my daily blog post.  Do you see any evidence of bad or good habits here?

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That’s Jessica, who was at Whole Foods Market last night giving free samples of Nada Moo! — a coconut milk-based alternative to ice cream.  Michael, who is trying to break the bad habit of eating too much cholesterol, bought two pints.  I’m also in the habit of including people I like in my blog and Jessica was a GREAT salesperson.

I also have the habit of sharing music with my readers.

I hope you have the habit of leaving comments for bloggers.

One of the good habits I listed above was “expressing appreciation.”  Many thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for reading it.

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

Day 1586: Messes

I don’t want to make any messes here in the blogging world, but yesterday the topic of my therapy group was “Messes.”

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That’s the mess I made last night, as we all got messes down on paper.  My mess was actually messier than it looks in that photo, because I actually spilled cracker crumbs all over it. Because I made a mess of taking that picture, you can’t read all that I wrote.  However, 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.”

Why is it important to say YES to the mess?  Because we are all messes, in ways, even though we may think we need to appear neat and organized to others.

Before the group last night, I was dealing with lots of messes related to

  • miscommunication,
  • mistakes,
  • broken promises,
  • fear,
  • worry,
  • shame,
  • guilt,
  • misunderstandings,
  • distrust,
  • anger,
  • loss,
  • regret,
  • pain,
  • insecurity,
  • health,
  • health care,
  • health care bills,
  • politics,
  • lawyers,
  • guns, and
  • money.

Here‘s another fine mess:  “Lawyers, Guns, and Money” by the late Warren Zevon.

Here are all the other messes I photographed yesterday:

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Please don’t be afraid to make messes in the comments section, below.

Messy thanks to all who helped me create this mess of a post and to you — of course! — for all the beautiful messes you bring.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1584: Yays and Boos

Yay!  It’s time for me to write another blog post!

Boo!  I only have a short time to do it before I need to leave for work.

Yay!  I love my work!

Boo!  Work can be stressful.

Yay!  Yesterday, I facilitated a therapy group where we made a list of Yays and Boos.

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Yay!  People said they found that exercise very helpful.

Boo!  People had a lot of boos to list.

Yay!  People had a lot of yays to list, too!

Boo! I haven’t been to a Red Sox baseball game in a long time.

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Yay!  I’ve been to two World Series games at Fenway Park with my sister!

Boo! I haven’t seen my sister enough lately.

Yay! I’ll give her a call today.

Boo! I’ve got a lot of tasks on my plate.

Yay! A lot of those tasks relate to my making a successful offer on a house near the ocean!

Boo! Soon I’ll have to pack and leave our current home.

Yay!  Yesterday we had a fun meeting at work where teams competed to build the tallest free-standing structure using spaghetti, masking tape, string, and a marshmallow on top.

Boo! I’m not sure if that last sentence was clear or detailed enough.

Yay!  There‘s a great video on YouTube that explains it.

Boo!  My team’s structure wasn’t very tall.

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Yay!  It still won the contest!

Boo!  I need to end this post.

Yay!  I’m so grateful for all who helped me create this post and — of course! — for YOU.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1565: Renewal

Last night, in my “Coping and Healing” therapy group, somebody suggested we focus on  the topic of “Renewal.”

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I asked, “What helps give you a sense of renewal?”  The answers included:

  • Spring
  • Gardens
  • Trees
  • Being near large bodies of water
  • Nature
  • Animals
  • Group
  • Travel
  • Friends
  • Showers
  • Good books
  • Good films
  • The movie Arrival
  • Running
  • Good memories
  • Being in the moment
  • Sleep
  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Taking action
  • Humor
  • Art
  • Telling stories
  • Listening to other people’s stories
  • Mindfulness
  • Church
  • Prayers
  • Music

Speaking of music, here‘s the first thing that comes up on YouTube for “renewal”:

What renews you?

I didn’t mention “blogging” last night at the group, but this blog gives me renewal, every day.

Do you see renewal in any of my other photos from yesterday?

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Did you know that comments from my readers are another personal source of renewal?

Every day, I renew my gratitude for all who help me create this daily blog and — of course! — for you.

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

Day 1557: Self Love

In my therapy group yesterday, we discussed self love — a topic that I, myself, love.

I loved that my social work intern, Justine, told the group about a Buddhist monk who was perplexed that people in our culture have so much difficulty with self love. The group talked about how it’s so much easier to love others than to love oneself.

I asked the group members to practice self love by writing down their positive qualities. As I expected, all the lovely and lovable members of the group found that difficult. To help the process along, I told everyone to write down the word “beautiful.”

Here’s my list of self love:

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Besides loving myself and my work, I love my Primary Care Physician, Dr. Laura Snydman.  I think Dr. Snydman loves her work; I KNOW she loves her incredibly lovable dog.

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When I saw Dr. Snydman yesterday, she told me she always checks my blog the day after our appointment.

Hi, Dr. Snydman!

Do you love yourself,  dear readers?  Do you love any of the pictures I took yesterday?

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Do you love this YouTube video about self love?

I love that I end each blog post with gratitude. Thanks to all who helped me create this self-love post and — of course! — to you!img_7828

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

Day 1551: Some of all fears

Last night in my therapy group, some people wrote down their fears, as well as ways to let go of fear.

I fear that I did not take a picture of all I wrote in that group session. However, here are some of all the fears I listed:

  • Mistakes that are irrevocable.
  • Losing out on something I want.
  • Malice.
  • Death (mine and other people’s).
  • Heights.
  • Abuse.
  • Stupid or mean people in positions of power.
  • The cold.
  • The dark.
  • Bad doctors.
  • Misunderstandings.
  • Illness.
  • Pain.
  • Shame.
  • Rage.
  • Ticks.
  • Car accidents.
  • The news.

The sum of all the fears I wrote down last night was much larger than that.

Here are some of my ways to reduce fear:

  • Take a deep breath.
  • Name the fear.
  • Self care.
  • Ask for help.
  • Take a small step forward.
  • Connect with supportive people.
  • Be in the here and now.
  • Acceptance.
  • Nature.
  • Healthy food.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Tea.
  • Humor.
  • Cats.
  • Music.

While I didn’t take pictures of anything I wrote in last night’s therapy group, never fear!  I did take the sum of all these photos yesterday:

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What might be some of your fears and ways to reduce fear?

I fear I forgot to include something important in my second list, above.

Gratitude.

My gratitude to all who helped me create the sum of this post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 1544: If …

If I were to choose a wonderful book for questions to ask during group therapy sessions, what would it be?

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If I were to share one question that was asked in a group therapy session last night, what would it be?

If you were to choose what you wanted written on your gravestone, what would it be?

If I were to create a gravestone online that showed my answer to that question, what would it look like?

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If I were to choose one person who could untangle hopelessly tangled jewelry, who would it be?

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My boyfriend, Michael.

If you wanted to see a map showing all-time readership for this blog, where might you find it?

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If I were to predict one country where my blog would never be read, what would it be?

Greenland.

If my friends on Facebook were asked to guess what that was a map of, how might they respond?

  • Alien abductions?
  • Gun deaths?
  • Ketchup countries vs. mustard countries vs. Russian dressing countries vs. mold countries?
  • Highest rate of obesity?
  • Years of Living Non-Judgmentally blog readers?
  • Places that currently have Meals on Wheels and PBS?
  • Places that have The Voice try outs?

If I were to create a customized t-shirt, what might it say?

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If I were to choose a great saying for a tea bag, what might it be?

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If I could choose an appropriate song for today’s post, what might it be?

If you could leave a comment for this post, what would it be?

If I could thank anybody in the world right now, who would it be?

Everybody who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Day 1538: Location, location, location

“Location, location, location” is something people say in the real estate biz.

“Location, location, location” is the answer to the question

What’s important to consider when you’re buying a property?

“Location, location, location” is something I said, yesterday, in the location of my office on what I call “the busiest street in America.”

“Location, location, location” was a topic in a therapy, therapy, therapy  group, yesterday.

The location, location, location of these photos are (1) on my iPhone, (2) in my blog, and (3) now appearing on a screen near you.

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The location, location, location for banana peels was that trash receptacle in the Tufts Medical Center garage.

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The location, location, location for that sign was a wall of Tufts Medical Center, where I went to get my INR blood levels tested yesterday morning.  In the location, location, location of the United States it’s been difficult, difficult, difficult lately to separate myth from fact, but the fact is that my INR levels were in the perfect location, location, location yesterday.

 

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The location, location, location for defibrillators include (1)  the wall of Tufts Medical Center, (2) many places where people might need to be resuscitated, and (3)   my body.

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The  location, location, location of that snow, snow, snow is near Fenway Park, Boston, USA.

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The location, location, location of that white board is in my office, where I do individual therapy, group therapy, and crisis intervention. Note all the location, location, locations on that board, including Ithaca, the woods, and the suburbs.

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Those are two important location, location, locations for me — the ocean and the busiest street in America.

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The location, location, location of that amazing St. Patrick’s Day hat is on Anthony’s head.

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The location, location, location of that sign is in the fax room at work.

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The location, location, location of those gel letters is outside the nurses, nurses, nurses office where I work.

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The location, location, location of that helpful, helpful, helpful saying is the white board in my office.

The location, location, location of that caterpillar roll was on my plate, at Genki Ya, our favorite Sushi Restaurant.

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The location, location, location for that St. Patrick’s Day cake was Whole Foods Market.

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The location, location, location of that saying was on a Yogi tea bag, in my mug, at home.

Since one of the location, location, locations on my white board yesterday was the woods, here‘s my favorite, favorite, favorite song from Into the Woods.

Please, please, please leave a comment in the location, location, location below.

The location, location, location of my gratitude for you, you, and you is always, always, always at the bottom of my posts.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1536: How People Change

“How People Change” is a topic  of extreme interest to psychotherapists.

“How People Change” was also  the topic that my therapy group — filled with people who are very interested in change —  discussed yesterday morning.

Therefore, “How People Change” is the topic of today’s post.

I, a person, change every day. However, I do not change certain things — like  including recent photos in my daily blog.

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Because I’m not sure how WordPress is changing the size of that photograph on your current screen, here’s what I wrote about “How People Change” in yesterday’s group:

Everybody changes in different ways.

Flexibility is important!

Changes we choose are much easier to tolerate than changes we do not choose.

We deal with change a lot in this group because people come and go.

After the group, I changed the “angel card” in that description of change, just for the sake of change.

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What do you think of that change, people?

Do you see evidence of how people change in my other photos from yesterday?

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The reality is that I recited/sang these lyrics from the David Bowie song “Changes” in group yesterday.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time

See and hear how David Bowie changed singing “Changes” as time changed him (here, here, and here on YouTube)

 

Some people have said, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Even though I change all the time, my gratitude  — for all who help me create these posts and for you, my readers — stays the same!

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

Day 1531: I miss a lot of things

In my therapy groups, after I write on the board the themes and topics I hear in the room, I say, “I miss a lot of things,” because

  • I’m inviting people to make sure that everything that’s important to them is listed on the board and
  • I miss a lot of things.

I miss a lot of things because my imperfect mind is incapable of noticing and retaining everything that happens around me.

I also miss a lot of things because, no matter what we do, people leave and things change.

Do I  miss a lot of things, here and now?

I miss:

  • my late parents,
  • our previous President,
  • people I used to work with,
  • some of my classmates, and
  • living near the ocean, as I did when I was a child.

Do you miss a lot of things?

I miss a lot of things when I take pictures.  Here’s the latest batch:

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Did you miss the bunny kisses? The soap, in two photos?  The glue? The misplaced meal? My new custom-made t-shirt?  Boston?  Something I brought home from a hotel in Edinburgh? Two cartoons I missed when I first published this post an hour ago? If you missed those things,  look again.

I miss a lot of things, but today I’m not missing music

 

… and I’m not missing the opportunity to thank those who helped me create this post and to thank YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 50 Comments

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