Posts Tagged With: cognitive behavioral therapy

Day 2028: Comparisons

Not to make comparisons, but I’ve written at least two previous posts about the cognitive distortion of comparisons (here and here).

Comparisons.
We compare ourselves to others, with ourselves coming out short. For example, “I’m not as smart (or good, competent, good-looking, lovable, etc.) as that other person.” Or, we compare ourselves to how we think we should be, or how we’ve been before. We might think that comparisons help motivate us, but they usually make us feel worse.

Yesterday, in a therapy group, we focused on comparisons.

fullsizeoutput_3140

I believe the human mind is built to make comparisons, in order to make meaning of what’s around us.  However, when we compare ourselves to others, the resulting blows to our self-confidence and self-esteem can be beyond compare.

I’ve been making a different type of comparison lately.  I compare the blog posts I’ve written after and before the November 2016 USA presidential election and I see differences. Less joy.  Less hope.  Less confidence in the future.  Less faith in humans to be respectful and kind.

Some might compare me to a snowflake.  Personally, I don’t mind being compared to a snowflake — each one is beautiful, intricate, and unique.

Let’s see how the rest of my photos compare to the one I’ve included above.

IMG_1487

IMG_1486

IMG_1488

IMG_1494

When I search YouTube for “comparisons,” most of the results have to do with money and wealth — not particularly useful comparisons.

If we don’t realize all animals are beyond compare, we will continue to lose more and more to extinction.  Here’s a video showing comparisons of animal size:

The most recent comment on that video includes this: “Fake news.” I now compare my life to how it was before I heard that phrase so frequently.

Here‘s one result for “comparisons music.”

I look forward to comparisons in comments, below.

Now it’s time to compare  two ways of my expressing gratitude to all who helped me create another “comparisons” post and — of course! — to YOU.

IMG_1489

IMG_1493

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 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.

 

IMG_8411

IMG_8417

IMG_8413

IMG_8409

IMG_8414

IMG_0012

IMG_0011

IMG_0010

IMG_8419

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.

img_5602

 

 

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

Day 1925: No reason at all

Sometimes, I have judgmental and negative thoughts for no reason at all. These include

  • assumptions that other people are judging me and
  • negative expectations about the future.

I have many reasons to believe that I am not alone in having thoughts like that for no reason at all.

Yesterday, I had no reason at all for taking these photos.

IMG_8131

IMG_8135

IMG_8136

IMG_8134

IMG_8138

IMG_8143

I could think of no reason at all why those bags were hanging that way near the ocean yesterday.

Here’s an answer we can all use when there’s no reason at all:

IMG_8130

Here’s Steve Martin doing his stand-up routine in front of dogs on The Tonight Show for no reason at all.

 

Even if you have no reason to leave a comment, please do so, just because.

As always, I have lots of reasons to thank those who help me create this blog and — of course! — YOU.

IMG_8089

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

Day 1909: Reasons Not to Read This Blog

While I appreciate every reader who visits this blog, here are some reasons not to read it.

IMG_7788

  • You dislike cats and/or dogs.

IMG_7693

IMG_7792

IMG_7795

IMG_7794.JPG

IMG_7793

  • Water views make you squeamish.

IMG_7759

  • You avoid puns.

IMG_7696

  • You are in therapy with me. If that is the case, there might be Too Much Information in this blog, which could interfere with the important work we are doing together.  If you are in individual and/or group therapy with me, I strongly recommend we have a conversation about this.

 

 

  • You find gratitude annoying.

IMG_7790

IMG_7791

Warmest thanks to all who help me create this daily blog and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Day 1860: Love Never Dies

“Love Never Dies” is

  • the title of today’s blog post,
  • the name of the musical I’m seeing today with my ex-sister-in-law, Deborah (whom I love), and
  • true, because even when we die, love lives on.

I have undying love for the people who made my 65th birthday so wonderful, including

IMG_6730

Megan.  I love Megan. Yesterday, Megan and I expressed an undying wish that, before we die, we let go of worry, anxiety, overthinking, harsh self-judgments, and fears about the future. I know that love never dies, but I hope that painful and unhelpful thoughts will die (or at least become less strong).

Photos on the internet never die, so here are more photos from yesterday:

IMG_6715

IMG_6739

IMG_6742

IMG_6736

 

IMG_6743

IMG_6737

IMG_6734

IMG_6716

IMG_6741

IMG_6731

IMG_6729

My love never dies for chocolate, my boyfriend Michael (who bought me that yummy dessert), my son Aaron, my family, my friends, my work, and my blogging community.

Here’s “Love Never Dies” from Love Never Dies:

If you make a comment on the internet, it never dies.

My gratitude never dies for all who help me create these posts and — of course! — for YOU.

IMG_6592

 

Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1780: Healthy/Not so healthy

When the days turn dark and cold, I witness more people talking about healthy and not so healthy habits.

Yesterday, in a therapy group, people made lists of healthy and not so healthy things in their lives.IMG_4961

IMG_4962

IMG_4960

IMG_4958

IMG_4957

IMG_4959

Is it healthy to make lists like that?

Do you see healthy or not so healthy things in my other photos from yesterday?

IMG_4970

IMG_4968

IMG_4964

IMG_4965

 

IMG_4967

 

IMG_4966

 

IMG_4969

IMG_4956

Whenever I see a huge truck with evocative words and images like “Lost Angel,” I assume it’s full of alcohol.  Is that healthy or not so healthy?

Here’s some healthy music on YouTube:

 

Is it healthy or not so healthy to make comments on the internet?

I know it’s healthy to express gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for reading.

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1757: Don’t take it personally

Don’t take it personally, but I’m reusing a photo from two days ago to start off this blog post.

fullsizeoutput_2aea

Don’t take it personally, but I’ve personally blogged about personalization — the cognitive distortion of taking things too personally — several times before (including here, here, and here).

Yesterday, my niece Laura

IMG_4448

(on the left, next to her daughter Victoria) told me that people might take it personally when I recently blogged about a get-together at my place next weekend, because I hadn’t invited them.  I told Laura, “Don’t take it personally.  That’s a gathering for a professional organization of group therapists.”

I hope Laura and Victoria don’t take it personally that I didn’t take a better picture of them yesterday.

Don’t take it personally that I personally took all these photos yesterday and you’re not in any of them.

IMG_4467

IMG_4465

IMG_4463

IMG_4450

IMG_4458

IMG_4454

IMG_4459

IMG_4445

 

IMG_4452

IMG_4457

 

IMG_4442

Actually, don’t take it personally that I said you weren’t in any of those photos and you are, because you’re my ex-sister-in-law Deborah (who appears in several portraits above and who designed and built another beautiful home for sale), Cher,  Audrey who works at Pet Life, or Harley the cat.

Don’t take it personally that I have to rush and finish this post before I go to work.

Don’t take it personally that I’m using Michael Brecker’s tune “Nothing Personal” again in this blog.

Please take it personally that I’m thanking everybody who helps me create these blog posts and — of course! — YOU.

IMG_4441

 

 

Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 15 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:

IMG_1760

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.

IMG_1756

The law matters, every place.

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

IMG_1751

IMG_1752

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?

IMG_1758

IMG_1757

IMG_1761

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 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:

IMG_0871

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?

IMG_0860.JPG

IMG_0861

IMG_0862.JPG

IMG_0863

IMG_0864

IMG_0865

IMG_0867

IMG_0868

IMG_0870

IMG_0873

IMG_0874

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 1579: Action

When people take the action of joining my therapy groups, I recommend these weekly actions:

  1.  Do something mindfully, using your senses to stay in the moment.
  2. Take one action you think would be helpful.
  3. Notice and challenge an unhelpful thought.

For example, I am writing this blog post mindfully, using my senses to stay in the moment. I just took the helpful action of writing an email to my realtor, expressing my thoughts and feelings about a property.  My next action is to notice unhelpful thoughts about an action I took yesterday:

I’ve made another mistake.  I should have known better.

Here’s the action of challenging that unhelpful thought:

 Everybody makes mistakes.  I’m doing the best I can. Every mistake is an opportunity for me to learn and grow.

Yesterday, my actions included:

  • Voting for myself to be the next president of a group psychotherapy organization,
  • Putting an offer on a house near the water,
  • Expressing appreciation for the departing interns at work, and
  • Facilitating two therapy groups.

Every day, I take action shots and share the action here.

IMG_0458

IMG_0460

IMG_0459

IMG_0461

When I show up at YouTube and gently search for “action” there, it’s true that I find this:

If you think it would be helpful to make a comment below, please take action.

My final action in this post?  Expressing gratitude to all who helped me create it and to you — of course! — for your action of visiting this blog today.

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

Blog at WordPress.com.