Posts Tagged With: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

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:




Relaxing actions

One thing in the moment



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 2337: Maintaining Positive Mental Health

In yesterday’s mostly positive post, I shared this information about maintaining positive mental health:


Tip 1: Connect with others.


Tip 2: Be physically active.


Tip 3: Get professional help if needed (not pictured, but click on the link if needed).

Tip 4: Celebrate every moment.


Tip 5: Be aware of the time, so you can savor it without rushing.




Tip 6: Try not to get overwhelmed by all the data out there.

Tip 7: Observe, just notice.







Tip 8: Welcome everyone and everything.



Tip 9: Travel thoughtfully.



Tip 10: Spend time with people you love.


Tips 11 and 12: Smile and travel light.

Tip 13: Use any excuse …


… to share music you love (here and here on YouTube):

Tip 14:  Practice the helpful antidote to the cognitive distortion of mind reading by reality testing — asking for reactions from people you respect (that’s you, readers!)

Tip 15: Express gratitude, every day.


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

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?












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: , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1525: Distress tolerance

Distress tolerance is an important skill to learn because, no matter who we are, we all encounter distress we need to tolerate.

I’ve been tolerating a lot of distress lately, including

  • open heart surgery,
  • a cardiac pacemaker recall,
  • American politics,
  • rejection,
  • mistakes,
  • loss, and
  • disappointment.

Chances are that you’ve been tolerating distress lately, too.

So how do we tolerate distress?

Personally, I tolerate distress with

  • blogging,
  • music,
  • humor,
  • nature,
  • animals,
  • movies,
  • walks,
  • talks,
  • reading,
  • spending time with people I love,
  • chocolate
  • taking action, and
  • taking pictures.












Which of those photos are best for your distress tolerance?

For me, these two photos



… illustrate this important lesson: If you want a cupcake, don’t go for a cookie masquerading as a cupcake.  Get the real thing.

And this picture


is very good for my distress tolerance, because it shows me that beautiful things can turn up, even when and where you least expect them.

Here‘s Marsha Linehan talking briefly about Distress Tolerance:

And here‘s some music that helps me tolerate distress:

Here’s a joke I just found on YouTube:

Arnold Schwarzenegger works in a record shop and a customer asks him where to find the Brandenburg Concertos.

Arnold answers “Aisle B, Bach”

I’ll be back with another post, tomorrow.

Thanks to all who helped me create this distress-tolerating post and to you — of course! — for tolerating my blog, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 276: Radical Acceptance

For many years, I’ve been talking to people about the concept of radical acceptance.

Here’s Google’s definition of radical acceptance (attributed to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy):

Letting go of fighting reality. Accept your situation for what it is.

While that may sound simple, many people find radical acceptance challenging to understand, much less practice.

Here are some more attempts from me, to get at radical acceptance:

It’s acknowledging where you are, and being as aware as you can be about that.

It doesn’t mean approving or otherwise shifting how you feel about where you are.

And it has nothing to do with staying there, either.

Radical acceptance is allowing yourself to be as completely balanced and connected to where you are in this moment, no matter what the next moment will bring. (And the next moment will bring some sort of change, even if that change is imperceptible.)

I love talking — and writing —  to people about radical acceptance, because I think it’s helpful and important.

One thing I’m realizing, in this moment, is this: When I think of radical acceptance, I usually think of accepting difficult things — those situations that cause pain, fear, and suffering.

However, I’m aware of a different kind of radical acceptance, right now.

Radical acceptance of love, which can be challenging to understand, much less practice.

It’s immediately obvious to me why it takes work to accept painful situations. I wonder why love and other good things might be difficult, at times, to accept, too.

I do find it easy to accept those things that inspire love in my own heart, including natural beauty,






and music.


No matter where those things show up, I usually notice them.

However, I often do not notice the love that is out there, coming back at me.

Sometimes,  that love is more obvious. Sometimes, like this week,  it’s difficult to discount or ignore.

Radical acceptance. I’m working on it, in all ways.

Thanks to Marsha LinehanMonument Valley, Capybara Madness, my parents, Street Pianos,  Luke Jerram, radical accepters everywhere, and to you, for reading today.

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

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