Psychotherapy

Day 2066: What I’m not saying

What I’m not saying, here and now, includes many things, because I still have laryngitis.

However, I’m returning to work today, where I will do my best to encourage people to share in therapy what they’re not saying elsewhere in their lives.

Here’s a partial list of what I’m not saying:

  • Some people scare me.
  • I sometimes fear other people’s anger as well as my own anger.
  • I miss my son (who is attending University in Edinburgh) and my late friend Michelle.
  • I’m glad to be home.
  • When I’m away from work for vacation, I fear  I’ve forgotten what I need to know to be a good therapist.
  • When I name my fears, they seem more manageable.
  • If I’m confused, I can take a breath and some time to choose the next right thing to do.
  • I used to have recurring dreams of not being able to speak.
  • Communicating effectively is very important to me.
  • I will do my best to say things non-verbally today.

Whenever I put what I’m not saying into words, I feel better. See how it works?

Let’s see what I’m saying and not saying in my photos from yesterday.

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What I’m not saying about that last picture includes this:

  1. I’ve had that little book since I attended Berklee in the summer when I was in high school.
  2. Those notations include the melody line and some chords for my fourth original song, “Shameless Appeals for Applause.”
  3. When I was on a boat in Iceland recently, the man standing next to me was saying that he was proud of his son, who had recently graduated from Berklee.

What I’m not saying includes the fact that in the 1990s, I helped create Berklee College of Music’s recruitment video.  What I’m not saying is that I haven’t figured out a way to share that video here.

I’m not saying which of these “I’m Not Sayin'” performances I like best.

I’m not saying that those are three different songs but I am saying that I found all three on YouTube here, here, and here.

I’m not saying who wrote that song but you can find that out here.

What I’m not saying, until now, includes saying thanks to Gordon Lightfoot, The Replacements, Nico, Oscar, Harley, Berklee, Iceland, all those who are healing the best they can, and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2041: life-changing magic

Have you heard about this book by Marie Kondo:  “the life-changing magic of tidying up”?

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Today, I want to give equal time to the life-changing magic of other things, including NOT tidying up.

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No matter how much we wish to tidy up, there are always new messes to deal with!

Would you agree that there’s life-changing magic in music?

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I look forward to the life-changing magic of your comments.

There’s life-changing magic in gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 1991: Untold stories

I’ve told many stories in this blog over the years, but many remain untold.

We all have untold stories, including Boston’s Public Garden.

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In my profession as a group and individual therapist, I hear many previously untold stories.  Because of patient confidentiality, those stories remain  untold outside the room (unless the story is mine).

Every picture tells a story, I’m told, but there are many untold stories in my pictures today.

 

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I know there are untold stories in the news these days, but hope, respect, joy, peace, kindness, patience, healing, inspiration, comfort, and love seem to be missing in the stories that are being told.

Here‘s “Untold Stories” told by Sinead O’Connor:

 

I look forward to reading some untold stories in the comments, below.

My gratitude — for all who help me create these posts and for all who read them — is not untold.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 1978: Resentment

I hope there’s no resentment about today’s topic, which is discussed by Robert Enright, Ph.D. in a Psychology Today online article “Why Resentment Lasts — and How to Defeat it.”

I hope there’s no resentment about my choosing these particular quotes over others from that article:

To psychologists, resentment over a long period of time can be an unhealthy response to injustice.

This kind of resentment can lead to unhappiness, continual irritability, and psychological compromise including excessive anxiety and depression.

I know of one person who, upon having his morning cup of coffee, would replay the injustice and feel the inner strength as a way of getting ready for the day. He did this until he realized that over the long-term, such a routine was leaving him drained before he even left for work

How do I turn off the resentment?  What path do I take to have some inner quiet?  Taking up jogging might do it……but once you have recovered your energy from the run, the anger returns.  How about relaxation training?  Same issue: once the muscle relaxation is over, there is the resentment with its perverse smile looking back at you.  “I just don’t know how to rid myself of the resentment!” is a cry I hear too often.

Try to see the inner world of the one causing the disturbance.

Commit to doing no harm to the one who is harming you.

Stand in the pain so that you do not pass that pain to innocent others.

To forgive is a way of offering goodness to the one who gave you the unwanted present of resentment.

Which is the better identity: a life lived with an unwanted inner guest or a life free to be a conduit of good toward others and yourself?

Is there any resentment about these photos?

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What is your personal experience of resentment?  What makes resentment more difficult for you? What helps you deal with resentment?

There will be no resentment about any comments you send my way.

Here‘s “Resentment” by Beyonce.

Another great antidote for resentment is gratitude.  Thanks to all who helped me create this “resentment” post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 1952: We Are One.

On Friday, when I was one of  many patients seeing a doctor at Tufts Medical Center, this was one of the photos I took:

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This morning, when I was researching the concept of Hungry Ghosts, I  became one with these words by Rumi, who believes we are one.

This is how a human being can change:
There’s a worm addicted to eating grape leaves.
Suddenly, he wakes up…
Call it grace, whatever,
something wakes him,
and he’s no longer a worm.
He’s the entire vineyard,
And the orchard too,
The fruit, the trunks, a
Growing wisdom and joy
That doesn’t need to devour.

With growing wisdom and joy, I  believe we are one.  Do any of these photos show that we are one?

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One of those photos reminds me of this one joke:

What did the Zen master say to the hot dog vendor?  “Make me one with everything.”

There are more than one “We Are One” songs (which are currently one with YouTube here, here, and here).

 

In the end, we are one with gratitude.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 1937: What could go right?

In therapy lately, several people have decided to ask themselves “What could go right?” instead of consistently focusing on what could go wrong.

I’m pulling for everyone to have success in this valiant effort to change habitually negative thinking.  Would you like to follow us and redirect your thoughts from what could go wrong to what could go right?

What could go right, here and now?

These photos could go right.

 

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For those of us who think about what could go wrong when we can’t fall asleep, it’s a relief to focus on what could go right.

There are endless YouTube videos about what could go wrong and this one about what could go right:

 

Gratitude for those who help me create these daily blog posts and  for you — of course! — always goes right.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 1936: Confused

Yesterday, I indicated on my feelings chart that I was confused.

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If you’re confused about the feelings chart, read this post and that post.

I get confused when

  • people are mean for no apparent reason,
  • bad things happen to good people,
  • people I love leave, and
  • somebody gives me directions for more than 30 seconds.

I love what U.N. Ambassador Nicki Haley said this week when Trump advisor Larry Kudlow remarked that “there might have been some momentary confusion” on her part.

With all due respect, I don’t get confused.

The media called Nicki Haley’s response a “clapback” which confused me, because I’ve never seen that word before.

Is anybody here confused about my other photos from yesterday?

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Does anybody else get confused about how to spell “cancelled”?

Here‘s #1 from ranker.com’s Best Songs About Confusion:

With all due respect, I will not get confused by any comment you might leave below.

I hope nobody is confused by my gratitude for all who helped me create this confused post and — of course! — for YOU.

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

Day 1933: Overthinking

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard several people in therapy express concerns over how they’ve been overthinking.

Overthinking (as described by a thinker at inc.com) “can cause problems. When you overthink, your judgment gets cloudy and your stress gets elevated.  You spend too much time in the negative. It can be difficult to act.”  Overthinking  also interferes with sleep and contributes to anxiety, depression, and self-medicating with food, drugs, or alcohol (there’s more about  overthinking over at thelawofattraction.com).

Last night, I called Michael over to go over my many worried thoughts about matters hanging over me. When my fitful monologue was over, Michael thought over what he’d heard and said, “Ann, the way you’re overthinking borders on the completely ridiculous.”   I realized that the way I was overthinking didn’t border on the completely ridiculous — it actually went over the border into the completely ridiculous.

Michael helps me get control over my overthinking.  However, I’m not over overthinking — it’s a habit that’s hard to get over.  I know I’m overthinking again this morning, because I’m anxious over decisions I made over the long weekend and I’m overthinking the consequences.  However, I’m not thinking that I might be overlinking  to that inc. article about “10 Simple Ways You Can Stop Yourself from Overthinking,” which includes

  • Don’t think about what can go wrong, but what can go right.
  • Distract yourself into happiness.
  • Put things into perspective.
  • Stop waiting for perfection.
  • Change your view of fear.
  • Realize you can’t predict the future.
  • Accept your best.

Yes, I was overthinking many things yesterday, but not my early morning tweeting:

After reading the latest dispatches in these celebrity/political feuds: When did “turn the other cheek” become hit them in the cheek 10 times harder?

And I wasn’t  overthinking when I took these photos:

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I don’t think I’m all by myself alone in overthinking, even though it drives people bananas. At this point, I don’t want to rethink anything, including my pretzel.

When this post is over, please bring over your thinking about overthinking, rethinking, and other kinds of thinking.

Here’s “Overthinking” by L2M:

The last recommendation in that inc. article about stopping overthinking is “be grateful.”  That’s why I don’t overthink my thanks, I just express them.

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

Day 1921: It’s a shame

When you reach out to somebody clearly expressing a wish to connect and you consistently get nothing in return, it’s a shame.  I mean,  that’s not only an unfortunate and perplexing experience, it also triggers the shame response, which (according to Google) looks like this:

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(image found here)

When I experience the shame response, I

  • feel the urge to withdraw and hide,
  • try to figure out why there’s been no reaction to my attempts to connect,
  • remember that experiencing shame in response to perceived devaluation or rejection is a universal human reaction and that there’s no shame in shame, and
  • resolve  to reconnect more effectively — if not to the same person then to others.

What do you do when you experience the shame response to perceived devaluation or rejection?

I think it’s a shame if I don’t share my photos from yesterday.

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It’s a shame that the last image shows a color copy of a 20 dollar bill and not the real thing.

Here‘s “It’s a Shame” by The Spinners:

 

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Knowing that your input is important to others helps dispel the shame response.  Questions?  Concerns?  Suggestions?

It’s a shame if I don’t remember to thank all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 1914: Commitment

Despite my commitment to creating a daily blog post for the past nineteen hundred and thirteen days (but who’s counting?), I have written only one prior blog post about commitments. That was over four years ago, when I had made a commitment to blog daily for one year. At the end of 2013, I decided to expand the commitment to blog daily for as long as I could.

When things are getting in the way of  your doing something,  it can help to make a commitment to yourself or to others. For example, I’ve been having trouble committing to doing my taxes, so last Sunday I made this commitment to myself:

From now on, I shall work on my taxes one hour every day.

Because I have a commitment to the truth, I’ll tell you that after making that commitment I decided that commitment wouldn’t start until the next day However, I have honored that commitment every day since.  And that commitment has helped me

  • work on my taxes,
  • leave room for other things in my life, and
  • let go of worry, angst, and other painful thoughts and feelings about taxes.

I’m not sure why I have a yearly commitment to feeling bad about taxes, but  I’ve committed to writing other blog posts about that here, here, here  here. here, here, here, hereherehere, here, and here.  While I made a commitment to link to those many other taxing blog posts I don’t expect anybody to make the commitment to reading all of them.

However, here’s a commitment that’s easier to fulfill — looking at my photos from yesterday. Let’s see if any of them show commitments.

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I’m so happy I made a commitment last year to moving near the water.

Here‘s a song by The Commitments:

 

If you make a commitment to post a comment, I commit to writing a reply.

Let’s end, as always, with my commitment to thank everyone who helped me commit again to this daily blog and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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