group therapy

Day 1719: Distractions

I will try to avoid and ignore distractions as I write this blog post on “Distractions.”

Actually, aren’t writing and also reading blog posts distractions themselves?

Last night, in a therapy group, people who were somewhat distracted focused on the topic of “Distractions.”




I wrote more, last night, about distractions, including compiling a distracting list of “bad” and “good” distractions.  I’m not too distracted to remember that my list of good distractions included taking photographs.







Phones appeared on most people’s descriptions of distractions.   I wrote that any “good” distraction can turn into a “bad”distraction if we can’t control it.

Music was also on my list of “good” distractions. When I walk to and from work, I distract myself by listening to music.  This distracting music showed up yesterday:

Distractions can help relieve AND also add to anxiety.  Sudden endings can be distractions, too.

Also, I tried to record the sounds and sights of the ocean last weekend and then was too distracted to share that brief clip.  I hope this is a good distraction.

If you’re not too distracted, consider sharing your thoughts and feelings about distractions below.

Nothing can distract me from thanking all who help me write these distracting blog posts and — of course! — YOU.


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

Day 1717: Worries, wishes, and prayers

I wish to tell you about yesterday’s therapy group, where people shared wishes and prayers as well as worries.

While I may wish my handwriting were better, I’ll do the best I can sharing what I wrote yesterday in that group.



I had more worries and wishes, but those are the ones I wished to capture with my camera.

Now I wish to share my other photos from yesterday. Do you see any wishes, prayers, or worries here?








Michael and I were worried about that bird last night, which was standing in the road.  It seemed sick and we wished to help. We tried to get it off the road, but it kept walking back into the street.  We did our best, walked away, and prayed and wished that bird would be okay. We worried that sometimes your wishes and prayers come true, but other times they don’t, which is for the birds.

If you wish, please share your worries, wishes, and/or prayers.

I now wish to share this song:


Don’t worry, I won’t forget to thank all those who helped me create today’s post and you — of course! — who I wish and pray will have a good day.



Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 1712: Legacies

Earlier this week, I witnessed a discussion about legacies in a therapy group.  People spoke about the legacies left them by their families and also the legacies they hope to leave behind.

I’ve established a legacy here of defining my terms, so …

noun, plural legacies.
1. Law. a gift of property, especially personal property, as money, by will; a bequest.
2. anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor:
“the legacy of ancient Rome.”
3. an applicant to or student at a school that was attended by his or her parent.
4. Obsolete. the office, function, or commission of a legate.
5. of or relating to old or outdated computer hardware, software, or data that, while still functional, does not work well with up-to-date systems.

The discussion of legacies in the group focused on the second definition (although I’m now thinking about old or outdated computer hardware, software, or data, which seems to be an ongoing legacy of the information revolution).

Here’s what I wrote about legacies in the group:



Just to be clear, I’m not hoping to leave behind the legacy of a broken heart.   That drawing illustrates something else the group discussed: when something is broken, there can be great strength at the places of mending and healing.  Ernest Hemingway, who left behind a legacy of great literature, said it this way:

The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places.

Actually,  Hemingway’s legacy in A Farewell to Arms was in the context of this:

“If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”

I’m hoping one of my legacies to my son will be this view from our new home:


… but who knows what that legacy will look like by the time I’m gone.

I’ve tried to leave behind a legacy of great music in this blog. Here‘s The Legacy Trio playing Pat Metheny’s “Question and Answer.”

What do you think about the legacies in the post?  You could leave a comment behind, below.

I also try to leave a legacy of gratitude.  Thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog and — of course! — to you and all your legacies.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 1710: Rage

Yesterday, in a therapy group, people spoke about rage without rage but with sadness.  Somebody had witnessed a shooting on the way to group. Another person spoke about rage dividing siblings.  The group discussed the destructive forces of rage in families and also on the world stage.

Despite the focus on rage, the members ended the group with hope and gratitude for human resilience.

What are your thoughts about rage?  How does rage affect you?

I’m not sure what images to share today, since I took no photos yesterday. I shall look through my recent pictures for something that seems relevant.


There will be no miracles here, regarding rage.  We will continue to encounter rage, even though we may wish it away. However,  we can still do our best to connect, understand, learn, and grow.  And maybe, just maybe …


everything is going to be alright.

Check out this “Rage” that’s raging on  YouTube.


Thanks to Guy Collins Animation, to the National Galleries of Scotland, to people who heal in groups, and — of course! — to you, for reading this “Rage” post today.



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

Day 1691: Matters of life and death

Yesterday, people in my therapy groups talked about life and death matters, because that mattered to them.  They asked each other life-and-death questions, including the following:

If you were immortal, how would that change how you live your life?

If you had control over how you would die, what would you choose?

They found those life-and-death questions — and questions  about other matters (like the sources of fear) —  in the book “If … Questions for the Soul.”

When I answered the second question in last night’s therapy group, I referenced a memorable scene from the TV show St. Elsewhere, where an old man, dying alone in the hospital, asks to be held by an orderly in the middle of the night.  When the orderly lifted the man off the bed and held him in his arms as he passed, that mattered so much to me.

How might you answer those life-and-death questions? I hope you know your answers matter.

I wonder if there are any life-and-death matters in my photos from yesterday. Let’s see ….




Was losing and finding my wallet this week a matter of life and death?  My next step is quoting Shakespeare:

He who steals my purse steals trash. ‘Tis something, nothing: ‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands. A good reputation is the most valuable thing we have—men and women alike.

I took one other photo yesterday.


Is being calmer a matter of life and death?

Does this YouTube video about a St. Elsewhere cast reunion include matters of life and death?

I have some important matters to deal with today, including getting an INR blood test before I leave for Scotland tomorrow. But what matters most to me, here and now, is thanking all those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 1689: What is your personal experience of love?

In your personal experience, has anybody asked what your personal experience of love is?  If they did, would you love that?

Yesterday, we asked that question in a therapy group.


People had many different personal experiences of love.  We also discussed the obstacles to love and ways to increase love in our lives.

What is your personal experience of the other photos I took yesterday?









Personally, I love all those photos.

What is your personal experience of this YouTube video about 36 questions that make strangers fall in love?


What is my personal experience of comments from my readers?  I love them.

When we discussed ways to increase love yesterday, we agreed that gratitude promotes love.  Thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.



Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1688: Killing two birds with one stone

I don’t like killing, I don’t like killing one bird (much less two), and I don’t like throwing stones, but I’m using this title today because

  • it means “achieving two aims at once” and
  • I’m killing two birds with one stone right now.

The two “birds “are (1) an article I promised to write for a professional group therapy organization’s newsletter before I leave for a two-week trip to Scotland on Saturday and (2) today’s blog post.

The “stone” is the following:

When the intrepid editor of this newsletter asked me to write a 600 – 800 article about what it’s like to be the President Elect of NSGP, I thought that would be a relatively easy assignment. I mean, I write a blog post every day, I used to be a professional writer before I changed careers in the 1990s, and — most importantly — I AM the President Elect of NSGP, so that perspective is immediately accessible.

However, I’ve been working on this article for days, and it’s been remarkably difficult. Perhaps it’s difficult because in all the years I’ve been a member of this wonderful organization, I never dreamed I’d be writing an article like this one. Indeed, when a nominating committee member called me earlier this year to ask if I would consider being president, I asked, “president of what?”

Perhaps I’m finding this assignment difficult because I’m not sure how to separate out the perspective of an NSGP President Elect from all my other perspectives as a human being who

  • has a passionate belief in the healing power of groups,

  • kept changing careers until she found the right match for herself,

  • lives to communicate with others in a meaningful way,

  • loves her work providing open-access therapy groups at the Primary Care Practice at a major teaching hospital in Boston,

  • appreciates every opportunity to learn and grow,

  • maintains hope for the future even during difficult and challenging times,

  • has faith in people’s and organizations’ ability to adapt and survive,

  • is sustained by “personal medicine” including family, friends, music, good food, the ocean, travel, singing, cats, and NSGP,

  • was born with an unusual heart,

  • is sometimes intimidated by brilliant colleagues,

  • has learned to overcome fear in many aspects of her life,

  • tries to keep her sense of humor no matter what, and

  • is aware that she needs several hundred more words to complete this article.

Perhaps I can fill out the rest of that newsletter article with photos …





… and a YouTube video:


I’m thanking lots of birds with one sentence  — those who helped me create this post and those who are reading it, here and now.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1684: What’s the difference between a bad day and a good day?

In last night’s therapy group, somebody was having a good day and somebody was having a bad day. I suggested we all think about and share the differences between a good day and a bad day, which included:

  • perspective,
  • mood,
  • hope,
  • helplessness,
  • action,
  • rest,
  • shame,
  • awareness,
  • self-judgment,
  • faith,
  • doubt,
  • gratitude,
  • expectations,
  • assumptions,
  • self-care,
  • isolating,
  • connecting,
  • the weather,
  • the news,
  • worry,
  • patience,
  • anxiety,
  • nature,
  • guilt,
  • technology,
  • other people,
  • acceptance, and
  • being in the moment.

What’s the difference between a good day and bad day for you?

I am now trying to share yesterday’s photos in this post, but it’s no good.  Does that make today a good day or a bad day?  I am choosing to see it as a good day, especially because I’m seeing Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor tonight at Boston’s Fenway Park.

Because my son and I are leaving for Edinburgh, Scotland, a week from tomorrow to share several good days together, I shall try to resolve these photo-loading issues a good day before then.

Here are Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor sharing a Goode song with thousands of people:

Good thanks to all who helped me create today’s good-enough post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 1670: Which way peace?

I have a peaceful way of choosing my post titles: I look at my pictures from the day before.

Yesterday, I facilitated a therapy group, listened, talked, walked, observed, and  settled in to our new home.  As always, there were ways to peace in every moment.














Somebody in last night’s therapy group suggested that the way to peace was “forgiving self first.”

Which way is peace on YouTube?

Peace and thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to you, for finding your way here.

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

Day 1669: Concerns

Yesterday morning, people with concerns talked about them in a therapy group. There were concerns about

  • themselves,
  • each other,
  • health,
  • health care,
  • the health care bill,
  • money,
  • housing,
  • nature,
  • the country,
  • the world, and
  • the future.

When those concerned people shared their concerns, we also discussed what we do when we’re concerned.


I’m concerned that list might be difficult to read, so here it is:

What do I do when I’m concerned?

Sit with the concern





Take a break


Consider changes

Accept (in the terms of the Serenity Prayer)


Be creative


Take what power I can

Seek and tell the truth

See the opportunities in problems

I see the opportunity, here and now, to ask what you do when you’re concerned.

Any concerns about my other photos from yesterday?









Here‘s some music about concerns  from Chris Andrews.

To whom it concerns: consider expressing your concerns in a comment.

Concerned thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog post and I am especially grateful concerning you.

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

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