Posts Tagged With: EMDR therapy

Day 1018: More positions

Four day ago, I wrote a post called “Positions” in which I took a negative position about being positioned next to medical machines at night. As I positioned in that post, my negative position about medical machines is positioned by (1) past experiences  when I was a child positioned next to cardiac monitors in the hospital and (2) recent experiences positioned next to CPAP and BiPAP machines for sleep apnea.

If you position your cursor to read that previous “Positions” post, you’ll discover the position that my being positioned in a side position is a good-enough treatment for my positional sleep apnea. WordPress reader Maureen was kind and helpful enough to position a comment after that post,  suggesting that I position a side-positioning  pillow next to me.

Because I respect my readers’ positions, I ordered and received one of those pillows yesterday. I’m glad I’m in a position, through this blog, to thank Maureen for her help in positioning me for a better night’s sleep.

Thanks, Maureen!

Yesterday, Chris  — who has been positioned before in posts including this one and this one (and who is usually positioned in the Bay Area of California ) — got into this position very close to where I hold a position as a group therapist:


Now, you might position an assumption that I asked Chris to take that position, in order to position today’s post. Actually, Chris assumed that side-plank position (also known as the yoga Vasisthasana position) on his own.  He took that position spontaneously as I positioned him in front of some chrysanthemums to take that photo.   Chris takes the position that mums position themselves everywhere in New England during the fall, so we both wanted to position Chris with mums in the picture.

While I was in the position of teacher and Chris was in the position of student when we first met at Boston University in the 1980s, I am now in a position to learn from Chris. Yesterday, he taught me  that “asana” means “position” (or “how you sit”) in yoga.

Also, both Chris and I positioned a pun as a possible caption to that photo of him, positioned above. What caption might you position there?  I’ll position our pun, later, in a comment positioned below this post.

After I saw Chris, I positioned myself, several times, to take more photos. During the afternoon, the Pat Metheny tune “Afternoon” (which has already been positioned in this previous post) positioned itself in my earphones.


IMG_5948 IMG_5949IMG_5950 IMG_5951 IMG_5952 IMG_5953 IMG_5954 IMG_5955 IMG_5956IMG_5957

After I took that last photo (which shows a position I share with William James), I positioned myself in a room with my EMDR therapist, George, to discuss repositioning my present reactions to old and difficult experiences (especially those I had when positioned in the hospital as a little girl). EMDR  (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy uses  lights to position your eyes, with a machine like this:


While we didn’t use that eye-positioning machine in yesterday’s EMDR session,  here’s an important position George and I discussed:

Sometimes it’s difficult for people  (especially women)  to be in a position to connect with their personal power. I am positioning myself — through therapy, this blog, and the work that I do — to discover, own, develop, and position what power I have.

What position might you take about any position taken in this post?  I hope you know where you can position a comment.

I can’t position enough thanks here for Maureen, Chris, George, Pat Metheny, and all the other people — including you! — who position themselves along my personal journey of discovery and growth.

Categories: personal growth, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Day 948: The Game of Life

Yesterday, George — my EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapist — and I discussed (among other things) the games of life you have to play if you’re working for a big bureaucracy, like a teaching hospital in Boston.

Immediately before that therapy session, I had snapped a few photos of the games I saw in the waiting room outside of George’s office:


I particularly noted the building block game Jenga, since George uses Jenga as a metaphor for how EMDR works: picking out old traumatic memories until an unhelpful, outdated, and intricate system of beliefs about oneself and the world …. collapses.

If you’re unfamiliar with the game of Jenga, here is the cast of the film musical “Annie” playing with a giant Jenga set on The Ellen DeGeneres Show:

For the past month, George and I have been trying to remove the building block of a particularly traumatic memory — a doctor calling me a spoiled brat at age 10 when I requested relief for excruciating pain I had after surgery and then leaving me alone, with my pain, in a hospital room.

Last week, I wrote a blog post about George’s suggestion of transforming the effects of  that old memory by bringing in a group of helpful, supportive people (including WordPress readers) to revisit that long-ago hospital room and encounter that doctor in new ways.

This transformation, which we worked on yesterday,  included:

  • The mother from Terms of Endearment (played by Shirley MacLaine) yelling at the doctor about the pain I was in,
  • Jackie Chan grabbing an I.V. pole in the hospital room, twirling it around, and bashing the doctor in the stomach, and
  • My current cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem, telling the doctor he’d better believe me about the pain and take care of things STAT, or his career as a pediatrician was over.

When it came time, yesterday, to forgive that doctor for what he did to me 52 years ago, I had to bring in some big guns, including

They all helped me hear and take in that doctor’s long overdue apology.

Here‘s  jazz bassist Stanley Clarke, with a song from the wonderful album School Days:

I recommend  playing “Life is Just a Game ” as  a musical accompaniment to some other images I game-fully captured, yesterday —  before and after George, I, and a supporting cast of dozens schooled and otherwise re-encountered that doctor from long ago:





What games of life are standing out for you? Feel free to play with me, here and now, in a comment below.


Game-of-life-changing thanks to George, Ellen, Shirley, Jackie, Dr. Salem, Val,  the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Helen Keller, Gandhi, Stanley Clarke, people who heal in groups, and everybody else who helped me revisit that old hospital room, yesterday. And special thanks to you — of course! — for playing the Game of Life as best you can, today.

Categories: gratitude, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 44 Comments

Day 920: Honeys

First thing, yesterday morning, I snapped three photos of a honey of a cat:

Then, on my walk to a honey of a job, I captured a honey of a Fenway Park mascot:

At work, as busy as a bee, I met with people —  in individual and group therapy — trying to change unhelpful thought and behavior patterns (which can be sticky, like honey).

During my walk away from work — through a warm and humid afternoon — I heard a honey of a song:

“Slow like Honey” by Fiona Apple

… also here in a live version

… which was a  sweet match for the heavy mood outside, where people moved slow, like honey.

Later in the day, I discovered this honey of a poem that Maria F. — a complete honey of a WordPresser — had written about me in the comments section of yesterday’s post:

‘Honeydew News’

“Your beautiful images of your whereabouts

Chime with details that make the difference.

Show us your journey

Your Heart’s desire

Filling our glasses with psychic elixir

To enjoy a ride

In this cyber cafe

of life-long choices

To accompany you outdoors-

and indoor’s, and meet sublime

Memorabilia of stunning voyage

Return to life just tonight…

and remind me of glittering lives

Yes, of bursting, yellow, honey beehives.

-M. Firpi

I couldn’t copy that amazingly sweet, wonderfully beautiful  honey of a poem perfectly just now, with my iPhone keyboard.

Because of the work I am doing with a honey of an EMDR therapist — where I am letting go of my own sticky-like-honey, unhelpful thought patterns — I know that sweet Maria F.  will forgive those imperfections.

Here are more Heart’s-desire photos I captured, during my day:

Most of those photos were taken at the honey of a home of my honey of a classmate, Darlene. Several of us gathered outside, yesterday evening, planning a 45th high school reunion — protected from mosquitoes, ants, and other non-honey-producing insects by some fresh basil on the table (not pictured, my honeys).

Our honey of a class president, Peter, was there at the reunion-planning meeting, visiting from the land of Michigan — 877 miles away, as the honeybee flies.

Here’s some honey-tinged memorabilia — a 1967 photo of the officers of our 9th grade class:

I’m hoping that my honey of a friend, Lawry Siskind, who lives in the Bay Area of San Francisco (3000 miles away,  as the sweet honeybee flies)  can attend our high school reunion in September.

Okay! Are you going to leave a honey of a comment about this post? Bee yourself, please!

Sweet thanks to Maria F., Fiona A., George S., Lawry S., Darlene B., Peter M., all the other reunion planners from last night (including Peter B., Butch B.,  Tom O., Karen E., Maria C., Janice P.,  and Sandy T.), cats and dogs (with or without last-name initials), and special, honeydew thanks to you — of course! — for buzzing by here, today.

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 40 Comments

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