Psychotherapy

Day 2875: The expert on crazy

When my non-crazy patients worry out loud about being or seeming crazy, I often say, “You’re not crazy, and I’m the expert on crazy.”

The expert on crazy thinks the President of the United States is crazy.

The expert on crazy thinks this is driving many people crazy, including me.

The crazy expert on crazy, in attempts to remain sane, captured these images yesterday.

The expert husband of the expert on crazy made a crazy good risotto yesterday. I would have been crazy not to marry him last December, before things got really crazy.

Here’s the expert on “Crazy” — Patsy Cline.

The expert on crazy is crazy about your comments, so please leave one below.

The expert on crazy is grateful to be alive, even during crazy times, and she is very grateful for you.

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

Day 2870: Healing ?

Here and now, there are many questions out there about whether people are healing or getting worse.

Yesterday, while I was taking a healing walk outside, I noticed this:

In today’s photo gallery, do you see healing ?

What is the most healing image, for you? What’s the most painful one?

Lately, I’ve been healing from painful experiences by doing Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. That reminds me of my original song “Triggers,” which I hope will be healing to share.

That’s from my hopefully healing Edinburgh Festival Fringe show, August 2019.

Any comment you leave below will be healing for me. And as I like to say, “All healing is mutual.”

Gratitude is always healing, so thanks to all who are healing and helping others heal, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2852: Other people’s stories

As a psychotherapist, I love listening to other people’s stories.

What I DON’T love is other people who act like only their story is:

  • real,
  • legitimate, and
  • worth listening to.

These days, more than ever, it’s important to make room for the stories that are not being heard. Why aren’t they being heard? Because people with power/the spotlight are

  • loud,
  • disrespectful of others,
  • disinterested in the facts,
  • obsessed with their own grievances,
  • trying to hold on to power, and
  • apparently not interested in other people’s stories.

If you do not leave room for other people’s stories, the dominant story becomes strident, repressive, demoralizing, inaccurate, and eventually obsolete. Personally, I am fighting for other people’s stories (including my own!) to be heard, so we can all survive together.

Here is one person’s photographic story for the day:

In my story, there is always room for the the Daily Bitch, love, AND your stories (in the comments section below).

Yesterday, when I was creating today’s photographic story, I heard the Prologue to Stephen Sondheim‘s Into the Woods, which includes lots of other people’s stories.

My stories always include gratitude for all who help me create these daily stories, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, politics, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2844: It’s a beautiful day

It’s a beautiful day to

  • blog,
  • return to my work as a group and individual psychotherapist after a long staycation,
  • let go of worry about the future,
  • let go of regret about the past,
  • be in the moment,
  • show up,
  • be gentle,
  • tell the truth,
  • take achievable next steps,
  • stay safe,
  • look up,
  • look down,
  • look all around,
  • listen carefully,
  • trust myself to figure things out,
  • accept all feelings,
  • recognize that I cannot change others but I can change myself,
  • lose my investment in the outcome,
  • stay committed to the process,
  • recognize and use my personal power,
  • be aware of internalized and unconscious messages,
  • do more of what helps,
  • do less of what doesn’t help,
  • just be,
  • make long lists, and
  • share these photos.

It’s a beautiful day to hide in my office at home (which I’m doing right now as I’m creating this blog).

It’s a beautiful day to share “It’s a Beautiful Day” by Tohpati (featuring Moonlight Project).

It’s a beautiful day when I find out about an Indonesian jazz guitarist and songwriter whose “most significant influence came from Pat Metheny.”

Is it a beautiful day to comment on a blog?

It’s a beautiful day to express gratitude, so thanks to all those who make my days more beautiful, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2644: Fun with Phobias, Part 5

I have no phobias about sharing these links for my previous “Fun with Phobias” posts:

Day 416: Fun with Phobias

Day 417: Fun with Phobias Part II

Day 496: Fun with Phobias (Part III*)

Day 1594: Fun with Phobias, Part 4

Yesterday, somebody expressed surprise about other people’s fears and phobias being different from theirs.  Because I don’t have Googlephobia, I searched for a list of phobias and took this photo:

IMG_1826

Because I don’t have Facetime-o-phobia, later in the day I communicated with somebody who had Trypanophobia when he was young:

fullsizeoutput_429e

It’s a good thing that my son Aaron doesn’t have Kosmemophobia (fear of jewelry) because his mother’s earrings are HUGE.

I  don’t have pun-o-phobia, as you can see in this subsequent communication between Aaron and me:

fullsizeoutput_429d

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

IMG_1825

 

IMG_1833

IMG_1832

IMG_1835

When I was a kid, I had a fear of the dark.  My Phone, which keeps taking pictures like that last one,  seems to have no Achluphobia, Nyctophobia, or whatever you want to call it.

Even though Politocophobia is a real thing,  here’s a limerick about one of the  2020 Democratic candidates for President:

My choice at this moment is Pete
And it’s not only because he is neat.
At Harvard, the Navy, South Bend
He had many an appreciative friend,
Plus his deep thoughts won’t fit in a tweet.

Here’s “The Phobia Song” by Pushing Daisy.

Fear of comments is a thing,  but consider leaving one anyway.

Do you have fear of gratitude?  I hope not.

IMG_1827

 

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2639: Metaphors

As an English literature major and a clinician practicing narrative therapy, I often notice metaphors, including thinly veiled ones:

If you read carefully that comic strip by Levni Yilmaz, you’ll also discover cognitive distortions including shoulds, emotional reasoning, labeling, and blaming.

Do you see any metaphors in my other captured images from yesterday?

img_1737-1

img_1741-1

img_1742

I wonder if it’s a metaphor that on this Presidents’ Day weekend my phone and my laptop are not communicating and are refusing to share images with each other. Maybe it’s a metaphor that I’m working harder to create these posts, starting on my phone and then completing my daily blog on my laptop.

Nevertheless, it’s easy enough to share this metaphor-filled song, performed by The Temptations and UB40:

I look forward to any metaphors, similes, or other figures of speech in your comments, below.

Thanks to all who helped me create this “Metaphors” post, including YOU!

img_1711

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2631: Attempts to be super

My attempts to be super at blogging this morning resulted in my finding this headline:

Moon attempts to be ‘super’ on Saturday night, settles for mediocrity

I think this is a super example of anthropomorphism (ascribing human characteristics to  non-human objects).

It might also be a super example of projection.   In attempts to be super in psychotherapy, we notice that when people see characteristics in others, that’s often a reflection of themselves.  Hence my super response to compliments: “It takes one to know one.”

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m trying to suggest that perhaps the writer of that headline attempted to be super and settled for mediocrity.

Let’s see if there are any attempts to be super in today’s photos.

Harley and Oscar sometimes attempt to be super tolerant of each other.

Here‘s super Stevie Wonder with “Superwoman.”

I’m looking forward to your super comments, below.

Here’s today’s attempt to show my super gratitude for YOU:

 

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2557: How to be more self-confident

Yesterday, people in a therapy session started a list of how to be more self-confident.

IMG_9770

I’m self-confident enough to

  • ask if you know other ways to be more self-confident and
  • share my other photos from yesterday.

IMG_9771.JPG

 

IMG_9775.JPG

IMG_9778.JPG

IMG_9779

IMG_9780.JPG

IMG_9781.JPG

IMG_9782.JPG

IMG_9783.JPG

IMG_9784.JPG

IMG_9785.JPG

IMG_9786.JPG

IMG_9787.JPG

One of those turkeys looks more self-confident than the other. Do you see more self-confidence in any of those other photos?

I am confident that YouTube will have a video about “How to be more self-confident.”

Since #5 is “Play Music,” here’s me playing two original songs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe three months ago:

That helps improve my self-confidence about applying to do more shows at the 2020 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Are you self-confident to leave a comment? If not, how might you be more self-confident about that?

Gratitude helps me be more self-confident, so thanks to all who help me be self-confident enough to share this daily blog, including YOU!

IMG_9773.JPG

IMG_9774.JPG

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

Day 2555: It’s safer than it feels

When people with a history of trauma (which seems to include everybody, these days) are feeling shaky, anxious, and fearful, I often encourage them to focus on this helpful phrase:

It’s safer than it feels.

Yesterday, our scaredy-cat Harley was safer — even if he didn’t feel like it — when our new vet, Dr. Jo, came for a house call.

IMG_9740.JPG

Michael, who wanted everybody to feel safer, had spent days developing a plan for how Dr. Jo could safely examine Harley and give him his shots.  When Dr. Jo arrived, Michael was closed up in Aaron’s bedroom with Harley, having set up the room so there was (as Michael said), “Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.”

IMG_9752.JPG

Dr. Jo helped us all feel safer as she quickly, efficiently, and kindly examined Harley and gave him his yearly shots, declaring our “chunky” cat safely healthy.  Miraculously, Harley felt safe enough to be in plain sight minutes after we allowed him to escape from that safe room.

IMG_9738.JPG

In the past, when Harley felt unsafe, we would see neither hide nor hair of him for hours, if not days.

Now that we have a great vet who makes house calls, we all feel safer. Can you tell that I was feeling safer when I took the rest of the photos in today’s blog?

IMG_9741

 

 

IMG_9749

IMG_9750.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3ef2.jpeg

IMG_9751.JPG

Who feels safe enough, here and now, to dance to “Nowhere to Run” by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas?

I hope it feels safe enough for you to express your thoughts and feelings about this “It’s Safer Than It Feels” post, below.

Thanks to everybody who makes this world feel safer, including YOU.

IMG_9712

 

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy, recommendation | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2550: Narrative

Because of the kind of narrator I am, I’m going to start today’s narrative with a definition of “narrative”.

NARRATIVE

noun
1. a story or account of events, experiences, or the like, whether true or fictitious.
2. a book, literary work, etc., containing such a story.
3. the art, technique, or process of narrating, or of telling a story:
“Somerset Maugham was a master of narrative.”
4. a story that connects and explains a carefully selected set of supposedly true events, experiences, or the like, intended to support a particular viewpoint or thesis:
“to rewrite the prevailing narrative about masculinity”; “the narrative that our public schools are failing.”

Because I’m a psychotherapist who uses narrative therapy, I’m going to add to the narrative here with a description of that.

Narrative therapy is a form of psychotherapy that seeks to help people identify their values and the skills and knowledge they have to live these values, so they can effectively confront whatever problems they face. The therapist seeks to help the person co-author a new narrative about themselves by investigating the history of those qualities. Narrative therapy claims to be a social justice approach to therapeutic conversations, seeking to challenge dominant discourses that it claims shape people’s lives in destructive ways.

Yesterday, I noticed some self-destructive, outmoded, and fixed narratives, including

  • I am worthless.
  • I cannot trust anyone.
  • I am stuck forever.
  • I am weak.
  • If people knew the real me, they would reject me.
  • I am worthwhile only when I’m at my best.
  • People don’t want to listen to me.
  • Speaking up is dangerous.
  • Not speaking up is dangerous.
  • People who dislike me can ruin my life.
  • I am helpless.
  • If I ask for help, I won’t get it.
  • People, including me, are not capable of change.
  • There is no hope.

I always have hope that people can change their narratives.  After all, there are so many different ways to tell a story, even the story of your life.

Do my photos from yesterday create a narrative?

IMG_9616.JPG

IMG_9617.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3edb.jpeg

IMG_9623.JPG

 

 

fullsizeoutput_3edd.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_3edf

fullsizeoutput_3ede

fullsizeoutput_3eda.jpeg

IMG_9643.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3ed9.jpeg

The people at SoundBot are sharing the narrative, above, that every moment deserves a song. Here‘s a song — which intertwines lots of narratives — that I was listening to yesterday with my new SoundBot wireless musical earmuffs:

We all have a different, personal narrative of the events of September 11, 2001, but we all share elements of that painful narrative.

I look forward to the narratives in the comments, below.

I end every narrative here with gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.

IMG_9614

 

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.