Psychotherapy

Day 3537: Solutions

If you don’t know the definition of “solutions,” there’s a solution for that.

When people come to individual therapy seeking solutions, they sometimes discover they also have marital problems that have “no easy solutions” (see definition above for quote).

Do you see solutions in any of my other images for today?

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “solutions”:

I look forward to your thoughts and feelings about solutions, below.

Gratitude is an all-purpose daily solution, so thanks to all who are here now, including YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 3530: Keeping Up

I’m having trouble keeping up with many things these days, including

  • changes in technology,
  • the news, and
  • responding to all the wonderful people who engage with me through social media (here and on Twitter).

Let’s see if I’m keeping up with the latest definition of “keeping up.”

Keeping up with the first definition and with my role as a psychotherapist, I keep telling people not to keep comparing themselves with others, because that keeps them feeling bad about themselves. If you want to keep up with definitions of comparisons and other cognitive distortions (which I keep calling “automatic and unhelpful thoughts), I’m keeping those definitions here.

I’m keeping up with blogging every day by sharing my thoughts, my feelings, and the photos and other captured images I’m keeping up on my phone (which may explain why my phone is slowing down and having trouble keeping up with me these days) (but that’s not keeping me up at night).

Do you see keeping up in my images for today?

Today I’ll be keeping up with the National Days by seeking out my favorite flavor of ice cream, Rocky Road. Keeping up with National Leave the Office Early Day is challenging, since Thursdays I work late until 8, but I’m working from home (which I keep doing, except for Mondays, when I’m keeping up with work at the hospital).

Keeping up with the theme of irresistible dance music, here’s “Everybody Walk the Dinosaur” by Was (Not Was).

If you comment below, I’ll try keeping up with you by answering as soon as I can.

I’m keeping up with my tradition of taking photos of thank you’s so I can express my gratitude every day for all those who are keeping up with me, including YOU.

Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 3390: Self-consciousness

I am conscious of self and others and I’m conscious of how self-consciousness affects us all.

Here are some quotes about self-consciousness:

As I get older, I get less self-conscious, which is wonderful.

Do you see self-consciousness in my other images for today?

Today I am going take a chance and talk like Shakespeare without any self-consciousness.

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “self-consciousness”.

I hope you can overcome self-consciousness and leave a comment, below.

I am conscious of my self, here and now, being grateful for all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

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

Day 3388: Confidence

I have the confidence to state that many people I see in therapy confuse confidence with conceitedness.

That’s why I have this on hand when the issue of confidence comes up:

People often confuse those two scales of insecurity-confidence and humility-conceitedness, fearing that they will quickly tip from insecurity into conceitedness. Indeed, I have confidence in predicting that discussions about gaining confidence will result in somebody saying, “I don’t want to be obnoxiously conceited like so-and-so.”

I also notice that people I work with are very worried about being overconfident but not so worried about being under-confident. I am confident in pointing out that being under-confident is at least as harmful to oneself as being overconfident, but I am not confident that people believe me about that.

I am confident that people will get something out of my images for today.

I’m confident that I will get to know my customers today (I facilitate two groups on Thursdays) and that I will give somebody a high five.

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “confidence.”

I have confidence that I will appreciate any comment you have the confidence to leave, below.

Thanks to all who help me gain more confidence here every day, including YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Day 3323: I’m big enough to have options

In my EMDR therapy, we have identified a very powerful “positive cognition.”

I’m big enough to have options.

This helps me because when I’m lost, anxious, frightened, or helpless, I feel small — probably because (1) I was traumatized by hospital stays and major surgeries when I was a kid and (2) I’m only 5’3” tall.

Also, it always helps to know I have options.

Here and now, I’m big enough to have options about what I share in today’s blog.

I’m big enough to have options to shower with a friend, have ice cream or Nutella whenever I want, play outside or inside, pay attention to or ignore weatherpeople, and avoid bacon because (1) my parents kept Kosher and (2) I associate the smell of bacon with my childhood stays in the hospital.

Let’s see what options I find when I search YouTube for “I’m big enough to have options.”

I’m big enough to have options about how to express gratitude to all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 3259: What’s a story you tell about yourself?

Yesterday, between two therapy groups where people tell stories about themselves, I asked this question on Twitter:

Some people on Twitter pointed out that there were many ways to answer that question — is the story the truth or a lie? Is it a story you tell to yourself or to others? My story about the questions I ask is this: there is no right or wrong way to answer any of them. I deliberately made the question ambiguous, so people could answer as they chose.

Personally, I’ve been thinking a lot about the old, habitual stories we tell about ourselves and how those affect us. Many people tell negative, limiting, and outmoded stories about themselves. For example, I tell a story about myself making a mistake that might markedly harm myself and others, even though that has rarely happened in my life. This fear-filled story can make me hesitant to act and can cause me to agonize over something I might have done or will do “wrong.”

I can also get confused by the conflicting stories others tell. For example, which story should I believe: “Look before you leap!” or “He who hesitates is lost!”

What’s a story that today’s images tell?

Now I’m thinking about (1) stories that use strong language, (2) stories people tell to bartenders and (3) the unforgettable stories that movies tell us.

Also, the story I’m telling about the potato latkes Michael made yesterday …

… is that they are the best I’ve ever had.

This is what I find on YouTube when I search for “what’s a story you tell about yourself?”

I really appreciate the stories Dr. Tracey Marks is telling in that video.

What’s a story you tell about yourself?

Every story I tell here ends with gratitude for YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 3245: Radical Acceptance

Radical acceptance is

  • something I first heard about when I was facilitating DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) groups in the 90s,
  • defined online (see link, above) as “when you stop fighting reality, stop responding with impulsive and destructive behaviors when things aren’t going the way you want them to, and let go of bitterness that might be keeping you trapped in a cycle of suffering,”
  • the title of at least one of my previous blog posts, and
  • this book by Tara Brach, which was recommended to me by one of my patients.

I’ve been trying to practice radical acceptance of the past and of the present — especially the things I can’t control — which helps me feel more ready to meet the future.

Do you see radical acceptance in any of my other images for today?

I am practicing radical acceptance about differences of opinion. For example, I don’t like carbonated beverages with caffeine and I don’t like to play Monopoly, and that’s okay!

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “radical acceptance”:

What are your thoughts and feelings about radical acceptance? Whatever they are, please accept my gratitude for visiting my blog, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 3224: Improve the Moment

“Improve the moment” is a set of DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) skills, as follows:

Imagery

Meaning

Prayer

Relaxing actions

One thing in the moment

Vacation

Encouragement

If you want to improve your understanding of that set of DBT skills, see here.

Yesterday, I tried to improve the moment by posting this on Twitter:

Do any of my other images for today improve the moment?

Eating a nutritious meal on National Cat Day while planning a trip to New York City in November would improve many moments for me!

I think I can improve this blog post by including this video here:

How can you improve the moment, here and now?

Gratitude always improves the moment, so thanks to all who are taking a moment to visit this blog post, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 3202: You’re only as good as your last _______.

“You’re only as good as your last …” is a phrase I’ve heard completed many different ways. For example:

Personally, I don’t think we’re only as good as our last anything. I think our goodness outlasts and is not exclusively dependent on our most recent activity or accomplishment. As I tell people in my therapy groups, we’re human beings, not human doings. If our sense of worth is irrevocably tied to the last thing we’ve done, we’re never free from self doubt and we never get a respite from constant exertions until we die.

With that in mind, I tweeted this yesterday;

If I’m only as good as my last photo …

… I’m also in trouble, although it does match up quite nicely with the last and good Daily Bitch Calendar:

I’m not only as good as my last blog post, even if the words and images are good.

This is not from Shane Filan’s last album …

… and this is not David Sanborn’s last record

… but they’re still good.

You’re not only as good as your last comment, but please consider leaving one below.

I’m not only as good as my last expression of gratitude, but thanks to all who help me blog day after day after day, including YOU!

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

Day 3201: What can we achieve?

My late mother used to say to me, “Ann, if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything.” I think she was exaggerating, as mothers do.

I’ve noticed, as I’ve aged, that there are certain things I can NOT achieve (e.g., liking calculus, reaching the highest shelves in the supermarket, diagnosing our cats’ ailments, athletic prowess, an understanding of how politics work, and perfection in anything). I’ve achieved acceptance about that.

I have achieved this: I’ve helped people disconnect their sense of self worth from achievements, so they can accept and love themselves without needing to constantly reestablish their worthiness based on their latest accomplishments. People can achieve more if they love themselves unconditionally.

Let’s see what The Daily Bitch has to say today about what we can achieve.

I’m not sure how we can achieve a world without assholes, so I guess we’ll have to do the best we can despite them.

At this point, we need to achieve a state of civilization where we are working together to save ourselves and the planet for the future, and I sometimes doubt whether that’s achievable any more. I expect I’ll achieve more hope about this, soon.

What can I achieve by sharing my other images with you today?

What can I achieve today? Well, I’ve got my eye on National Noodle Day.

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “what can we achieve?”

What can you achieve if you leave a comment below? Let’s find out.

What can we achieve if we express gratitude to all those we appreciate? A lot, I believe.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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