Psychotherapy

Day 1762: Different parts

I talk to people, in therapy and elsewhere, about accepting all the different parts of themselves.  Sometimes, people use the healthiest, most loving parts of themselves to nurture and comfort the frightened and wounded parts of themselves.

Today, I’m meeting with many skilled and experienced group therapists during a day-long retreat at our new home. I’m sure we’ll be sharing different parts of ourselves. I hope all the different parts of  our home work well throughout the day.

What different parts do you see in today’s different photos?

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Here is one of the different parts of jazz pianist Lyle Mays‘s Alaskan Suite.

All the different parts of Alaskan Suite are here, live, in Boston.

Feel free to express different parts of yourself in a comment, below.

Thanks to all who helped me create the different parts of this blog post and — of course! — to YOU.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1716: You’re doing the best you can

Has anybody ever told you “You’re doing the best you can”?  What’s your best reaction to that?

Yesterday, I found this prescription on my desk:

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I’ve written that prescription for many people over the years. Yesterday, reading that helped me, as I was in the middle of trying to solve complicated billing problems at work.

Was I doing the best I could when I took these other photos?

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Michael’s doing the best he can to cook delicious meals and I’m doing the best I can to eat them outside while the weather is still nice. Oscar’s doing the best he can, too.

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As usual, I’m dong the best I can to find a good enough YouTube video for today’s post.

Also, I’m doing the best I can to thank people at the end of each post, including YOU.

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Is that the best thank you for today’s post?  How about this?

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

Day 1683: Blending

I’ll be blending several elements in this post, as usual.

My therapist, George, tells me I’ve been blending my traumatic past  experiences as a child in the hospital with my present experiences as an adult.  This blending results in heightened and often inappropriate anxiety,  fear, and hypervigilance.

Yesterday, George and I were blending our wisdom and our commitment to healing in a therapy session, separating out the experiences of  my frightened, wounded, and powerless  10-year-old self.

Here and now, I’ll be blending my photos from yesterday.

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That last image shows people in my Wednesday morning therapy group blending their experience, hope, and love to create a list of coping strategies during difficult times.

At the end my therapy session with George, yesterday afternoon, I told him I’d be blending my love for music into today’s post with this song for him.

I’m blending my thanks to all who helped me create this post with my thanks to all my readers, including YOU.

 

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

Day 1681: Everything that irritates us about others

Will it irritate you if I start off this post with a quote from Carl Jung?

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“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” — Carl Jung

Whenever I share that quote with others, they understand.

If you find any of  my photos irritating, that can lead you to an understanding of yourself.

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This is what comes up on YouTube when I search on “irritating Elvis.”

If you are too irritated to comment, I’ll understand.

Nothing in this post irritates me, so thanks to all, including you — of course! — for understanding.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1634: Warnings

WARNING:  This post has warnings in it.

Yesterday, my EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapist, George, talked to me about my over-developed mental warning system.

WARNING: I keep forgetting what “EMDR” stands for and I have to look it up every time I write about it (like here and here).

George gave me an important warning, yesterday, in our therapy session. He warned that I give myself this warning way too much:

I have to hyper-vigilantly protect myself against the world’s incompetence, ignorance, hostility, lack of understanding, ambivalence, negligence, etc.,  in order to get my needs met and to survive.

WARNING: I write important warnings down so I can remember them.

George warned me that these constant warnings are probably bad for my health. He suggested I tell myself this instead:

I am safe. I have everything I need.

Do you see any warnings in my photos from yesterday?

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WARNING: If children scare you, be warned that The Warning is a hard-rock band of three young sisters from Monterey, Mexico. Here‘s The Warning’s TED talk (and play):

 

WARNING: This writer loves comments on her posts, which you can leave below.

WARNING: I have everything I need, here and now, thanks to all who helped me create this post with warnings and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1632: This place matters

This place matters, because we’re here, now.

Your place matters, no matter where you are.

This place in downtown Boston matters:

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The place where I’m writing this blog matters, even though we’re leaving it this summer. Yesterday, I took care of legal matters in selling this place.

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The law matters, every place.

My office —  where people learn to recognize and reduce  cognitive distortions — matters.

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I placed that sign back up on my office wall yesterday, because those cognitive distortions matter. Does it matter that I’ve placed parentheses around the feelings caused by those all-too-common human and automatic thoughts?

Do these photos of other places matter?

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The meals that Michael places on our plates matter, because they are SO delicious.

Searching “this place” on YouTube matters.

When I was in a difficult place as a kid, seeing David McCallum on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. mattered a lot to me.

Your comments make this place matter much, much more.

Gratitude matters!  That’s why I place it at the end of every post.  Many thanks to all who help me place my daily blog on WordPress and — of course! — to you, for placing yourself here.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 1627: Love, Validation

As I was reading the news online this morning, I felt many painful emotions. Then, I saw this headline:

Two-Headed Porpoise Just Wants Love, Validation

And I thought, “That two-headed porpoise is just like us.”

I just want love, validation for these photos I took recently.

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Did you notice any love or validation in those pictures?

I looked for love, validation on YouTube and found this

and this:

I wonder: will there be any love, validation in the comments for this post?

Love, validation, and thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 1606: Self conscious

I am very conscious that many selves have shared being self conscious this week, in individual and group therapy.

Yourself, are you conscious of the meaning of “self conscious?”

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adjective
feeling undue awareness of oneself, one’s appearance, or one’s actions.
“I feel a bit self-conscious parking my scruffy old car”
synonyms: embarrassed, uncomfortable, uneasy, nervous

Why do so many selves feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, uneasy, and nervous about awareness of oneself?  This week, self conscious people described pain, mind reading, personalization, paranoia, projection, isolation, and a drastic restriction of activities.  This self is conscious of a wish that consciousness of self could lead to  self-confidence and self-worth, not self-judgment.

Should I feel self conscious about today’s photos?

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I don’t think cats are particularly self-conscious.

Here’s Ellen being self conscious:

I am conscious that I, myself,  love comments from my readers.

Conscious gratitude to all who helped me create this self-conscious post and to you — of course! — for being yourself, here and now.


Minutes after I published this post, I became conscious of today’s New York Times piece on being self conscious.

Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1591: Helpful

If you read any of my helpful posts on this blog, you’ll see that I use the word “helpful” a lot.

I shall now provide helpful links to my four previous helpful posts with “helpful” in the title (here, here, here, and here).

I wonder if it’s helpful for me to remember that the last time I wrote a blog post about a word I use frequently (Day 734: Actually), somebody actually tried to be helpful by advising me about how to use that word less. Is it helpful for me to confess that I don’t want to use the word “helpful” less, because I like the word “helpful”?

Is it helpful for me to speculate why I like the word “helpful” so much?

I guess I like to be helpful to other people, especially in my work as an individual and group therapist. I also think it’s helpful for me to remember that people I want to help are in control of any helpful changes I might wish for them. Perhaps it would be helpful to quote this helpful lightbulb joke right now:

How many psychotherapists does it take to change a lightbulb?

One, but the lightbulb has to really want to change.

Here’s my first helpful photograph from yesterday:

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It might be helpful if I explain that photo. “Is that a helpful thought?” can be a helpful challenge to any cognitive distortion, including shoulds, fortune-telling,  catastrophizing, mind-reading, blaming, labeling, comparisons, and overgeneralization. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a helpful book by Mark Manson.

Are any of my perhaps inexplicable photos from yesterday helpful?

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Since people liked the octopus cookie in yesterday’s post, I thought it would be helpful to take and share that last picture.

Here‘s a helpful video from YouTube:

I always find comments from my readers very helpful.

Helpful thanks to all who helped me create this post and — of course! — to helpful you.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1572: What’s the worst that could happen?

What’s the worst that could happen?

That’s something I ask my patients, to invite them to face their fears and to consider how likely it is that those fears will come true.

What’s the worst that could happen to you, here and now?

Is the worst that could happen to you related to

  • money?
  • harm coming to somebody you love?
  • work?
  • technology?
  • people in power?
  • illness?
  • legal issues?
  • family?
  • friends?
  • strangers?
  • time?
  • transportation?
  • the weather?
  • sports?
  • food?
  • expectations?
  • language?
  • the media?
  • the internet?
  • local politics?
  • national politics?
  • global politics?
  • natural disasters?
  • man-made disasters?
  • fire?
  • water?
  • change?
  • taking risks?
  • going outside?
  • staying inside?
  • accidents?
  • making mistakes?
  • misunderstandings?
  • malice?
  • something else?

What’s the worst that could happen, at this point, in this post? Would it  be my defining “catastrophizing” AGAIN?

Catastrophizing.
This is a particularly extreme and painful form of fortune telling, where we project a situation into a disaster or the worst-case scenario. You might think catastrophizing helps you prepare and protect yourself, but it usually causes needless anxiety and worry.

Would the worst that could happen in this post be seemingly random pictures?

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I hope that the worst that could happen to my son today will be his mother posting a picture of him on her blog.

Here’s  “The Worst that Could Happen” music from YouTube:

 

The worst that could happen, right now, would be my forgetting to thank all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.

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

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