Posts Tagged With: CBT

Day 2245: Expendable

Yesterday, in a therapy session, somebody talked about feeling expendable.  When someone labels themselves in a painful way, I write the word up on the board, to get it out of the person’s head and so that we can look at the label with different perspectives, perhaps making the unhelpful label expendable.

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A definition of “expendable” may be expendable, but I’m sharing it anyway.

ex·pend·a·ble
/ikˈspendəb(ə)l
adjective
of little significance when compared to an overall purpose, and therefore able to be abandoned.
“the region is expendable in the wider context of national politics”
synonyms: dispensable, able to be sacrificed, replaceable
(of an object) designed to be used only once and then abandoned or destroyed.
“the need for unmanned and expendable launch vehicles”

As I read that definition, it occurs to me that many people might be feeling expendable, as the current U.S. government shutdown drags on and on.

In that therapy session yesterday, I invited the expendable-feeling person to name what is opposite to expendable.  Here’s one non-expendable word:

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Another opposite-to-expendable word was “valuable.”  Apparently a picture of that word was expendable.

Wait! I found “valuable” on this scale, which I drew on the board:

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It might be valuable and appreciated, here and now,  if I ask my readers these questions: Do you ever feel expendable?  Appreciated?  Valuable?  Where are you on that scale, as you read this?  What helps you feel less expendable and more valuable and appreciated?

I wonder if any of the photos in this post are expendable, appreciated, and/or valuable.

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It’s always appreciated when my non-expendable boyfriend Michael asks me to dance, and last night, after his very appreciated and valuable dinner (pictured above), we danced to this music, which is the opposite of expendable to me.

I really appreciate that Michael danced with me for the full eight-and-a-half minutes of that highly valued McCoy Tyner tune.

I hope you know that your comments are very valuable and appreciated.

Finally, here is some non-expendable gratitude for all who helped me create this post and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2226: Framed

One of my favorite bloggers, Christopher, included this in his comment on my “Who is It?” post yesterday:

It looks like you’ve been framed.

Soon after Christopher framed that comment, my dear cousin Lani brought over this perfectly framed house warming present:

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The cats that are framed in that cat frame gift set look like our cat Oscar and the late, lamented Milo.  I wonder what photos will be framed in those frames in the future?

Here are the rest of the photos I framed with my iPhone yesterday.

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Here‘s a photo of Lani I framed with my  iPhone over three years ago:

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That’s Lani in the frame with her late, precious kitty, Jewel. As Lani and I framed many thoughts and feelings yesterday, she said she’s almost ready to consider getting another cat.  I framed a request that Lani include me in her search for a new kitty, when she’s ready.

In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), we talk about reframes, defined here.

Cognitive reframing is a psychological technique that consists of identifying and then disputing irrational or maladaptive thoughts. Reframing is a way of viewing and experiencing events, ideas, concepts and emotions to find more positive alternatives.

I’ve also experienced people reframing events, ideas, concepts, and emotions to find more negative alternatives.  In those cases, people might feel framed, like The Coasters describe in “Framed.”

I’m looking forward to the comments framed by my readers about this post.

Now it’s time for me to frame my thanks to all those who helped me frame this “Framed” post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2203: Consider the source

Consider the source of today’s post — it’s my blog!  Is that a source you trust, know, can vouch for?  Is it a source that’s helpful, doubtful, consistent, confusing, reliable, familiar, new, or whatever for YOU?

Consider that the source of this post is a discussion earlier this week in a therapy group, where the participants were evaluating negative messages they had heard from others.   When I asked people in the group to consider one of the antidotes to cognitive distortions — Consider the Source — they considered that a helpful cognitive reframe.

Consider the source of this definition of “Consider the Source,”  which is this list of antidotes for unhelpful thoughts.

Consider the Source. If you’re receiving negative, upsetting messages, take a step back and look at where those messages are coming from. Is that source reliable? Is it usually negative? How do other people see that source?  If the source is your own internalized critic, consider that you may be too harsh on yourself.

Consider the source of today’s photos — it’s my iPhone!

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When you consider the source, you might think

  • yippee!
  • hooray!
  • way to go!
  • high five!
  • terrific!
  • you got it!
  • RIGHT!
  • too bad!
  • sorry!
  • try again!
  • not quite!
  • next time!
  • oh well!
  • WRONG!

Here‘s Consider the Source with “Many Words of Disapproval.”

 

Consider leaving a comment, below.

Consider the source of extreme gratitude for all who help create these blogs and for all who read them — it’s me!

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

Day 1876: How man learned

Yesterday, I saw a greeting card with a caption about how man learned.

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I thought it showed how man learned to golf, but it showed how man learned to do something else.

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How Ann learned to blog includes noticing messages from the universe and riffing on them. I’m now imagining future documentation of how man learned to

  • accept others,
  • prevent bloodshed,
  • let go of fear,
  • recognize and reframe cognitive distortions,
  • love,
  • heal,
  • speak up,
  • tell the truth, and
  • do the right thing.

I learned a long time ago how to take photos and trust they would work in the next day’s post.

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How my man Michael learned to cook is a long story, but I’m glad he did.

How man learns to play the piano, by Jon Batiste:

How Ann learned to thank everybody who helped create today’s post and — of course! — YOU:

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 21 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 1623: What thoughts intimidate you?

What thoughts intimidate you?

Your own thoughts?

Other people’s thoughts?

These days, I am more intimidated by my own unhelpful thoughts than I am by other people’s thoughts.

Any thoughts about my photos from yesterday?

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Do any of those thoughts or photos  intimidate you?

Yesterday, I was not intimidated by the thought of becoming President of the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy (NSGP). Nobody else seemed intimidated by the thought of that, either.

Tonight, after another full day at the NSGP annual conference, I’m going to see the intimidatingly talented jazz guitarist, Pat Metheny.  I just searched for “Pat Metheny intimidating” in YouTube, and here‘s what came up:

Please leave any thoughts in a comment, below.

Thoughtful thanks to NSGP, to Erica (a board member from the New York affiliate group therapy organization), to Steve Cadwell (who ran yesterday’s “Group Therapy as Theater” Workshop), to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to Pat Metheny,  to everyone else who helped me create this (I hope!) non-intimidating post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 1605: Guess what? I’m nuts! Really nuts!

Guess what? I’m nuts about getting my morning-blogging inspiration from a nutty snapshot.

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Guess what?  I’m nuts, really nuts because I

Guess what?  I’m nuts, really nuts about taking photos and putting them in my blog.

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Is it nuts for me to repeat the wisdom in that last photo?

It’s the strangest thing,

how happiness comes out of nowhere

and inflates your soul.

Guess what?  I’m nuts, really nuts about nutty music.

I’m nuts, really nuts about

  • getting comments from my readers and
  • expressing thanks to all with words and nutty pictures.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 36 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 1576: Knowledge

When I search for other posts I’ve written here that have “Knowledge,” there’s none to be found. Consider yourselves warned.

Recently, when I was at the building department in Quincy Massachusetts, investigating the history of a particular property, I said to one of the staff there, “Knowledge is power.”  He replied, “Not at my house.”

Yesterday, knowledge showed up on a teabag.

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I wonder what the guy at the Quincy building department would think of that.

Do you agree that knowledge is power and that your strength is your own knowledge?

Regular readers of this blog have the knowledge that I always share my photos from the day before. Let’s see if those pictures include any knowledge.

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Those last three photos demonstrate my knowledge of the usefulness of having a helpful phrase ready whenever you need it. If you want more knowledge of the “In Case of Emergency, Break Glass” technique, that knowledge is in this post.

Did you know there are DOZENS of songs about knowledge? Here‘s one I know:

You know and I know that gratitude is important, so thanks to all who helped me create this knowledgeable post and to YOU (of course!)  for all the knowledge you bring, here and now.

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

Day 1515: Jealousy

Jealousy is one of those “negative” human emotions  which can make people uncomfortable.

Yesterday, the members of my therapy group discussed jealousy  without judgment. Any jealousy about that?

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I doubt there’s any jealousy about my handwriting and drawing abilities. This is what I wrote, yesterday, about jealousy:

  1. Jealousy is a human emotion. I am afraid of other people’s jealousy — I’m afraid the feeling is going to hurt me. But other people’s feelings and thoughts cannot hurt me.
  2. What makes jealousy worse for you? Lack of self-care. Cognitive distortions. Fear. $ Money.
  3. What helps you deal with jealousy? Self care. Recognizing it’s just a feeling. Leaning back and letting jealousy go by me without hurting me.

What are your thoughts and feelings about jealousy?

Do you have jealousy about any of my other photos from yesterday?

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Comparisons — the thief of joy — can often lead to jealousy.

Any jealousy about my having a wonderful son, who is turning 19 today and whose YouTube video has  90,000 views this morning?

Any jealousy about all the gratitude I have for everyone who helped me create this post and — of course! — for you?

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Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

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