Posts Tagged With: group psychotherapy conference

Day 2148: Don’t miss the drama

Yesterday morning,  before leaving our dramatic New York City airbnb to attend the second and final day of a dramatic  group therapy conference, I didn’t miss the drama of this sign on the wall:


I didn’t miss the fact that  “Don’t miss the drama” was a perfect invitation for a day of learning, connection, and  participation in the human drama of group therapy.

In those groups, I learned, again, how the dramas, traumas, thoughts, feelings, and actions of all the individuals present can dramatically form and transform a group experience. I’m so glad I didn’t miss the drama of that group therapy conference, despite the drama of our traumatic drive from Boston to NYC through white-out conditions on Thursday night.

Don’t miss the drama in my other photos from yesterday.
























IMG_1125Did you pick up or miss the dramatic thanks I’m giving to the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society and everyone else who contributed to the wonderful drama of my days in New York? Also, don’t miss the drama of my thanks to you — of course! —  for participating in this blog.


Finally, don’t miss the drama of Marcelo Álvarez singing “Sperai, tanto il deliro” from Pagliacci:

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 788: Turning bad into good

Yesterday, it was a relief for me to:

  1. attend my third and last day of a group psychotherapy conference in San Francisco,
  2. listen to one of my heroes — group therapy expert Irvin Yalom — give a down-to-earth, soulful, and moving talk,
  3. participate in a “medicinal drumming” workshop, given by Sal Núñez from City College of San Francisco,
  4. go to a very interesting  panel discussion about “Group Psychotherapy Practice of the Future,”
  5. hear from one the  esteemed panelists afterwards — much to my surprise and delight — that she considers the therapy groups I’ve developed and facilitate  at a Boston hospital a “Practice of the Future” (and that she would have described my groups in her talk yesterday  if she’d had more time),
  6. get a free, stress-relieving 10-minute massage at the conference,
  7. see and talk to other group therapists I feel I’ve connected to in  authentic and important ways,
  8. use this incredibly cool app to easily drop off the car I drove to the conference  and then miraculously get it back when I was ready to leave San Francisco at 9:30 PM, and
  9.  discover and read this amazing blog post by esteemed and admired WordPress blogger Randall Collis.

Here’s the comment I left there, in response to Randall’s gorgeous words and images:

Randall, this story and your images are so beautiful and important to me, right now. Your post is the only thing that has cut through my negative thoughts and feelings about returning home tomorrow to Boston after my two weeks in sunny, warm California. Now I actually feel strong and hopeful about what lies ahead for me. Thank you for your spirit, creativity, and talent; you make our world better with your gifts.

Here’s the last sentence of Randall’s response to me:

Thank you very much Ann, nothing like a little creativity to turn bad into good.

I have to admit that I was feeling bad two night’s ago, about

  • returning to the cold, dark, and snow of my home town of Boston, Massachusetts and
  • health uncertainties and possibly scary recommendations from doctors about my heart, which I will surely face soon after my flight home today.

However, as Randall wrote, a little creativity can turn bad into good.

Here’s just a little photographic evidence of  bad-into-good creativity, from yesterday:



Because of all the things I learned (or re-learned) yesterday, I hereby resolve to turn bad (New England weather, fears about my health, etc.) into good  (self-care,  in-the-moment acceptance and joy) by:

  • seeking out the sounds, sights, and places that sustain me (like the ocean, which — despite how cold and gray and snowy New England may be — is NEVER silenced),
  • asking for help, when I need it, from the people around me,
  • looking into a drumming class,
  • continuing to help myself and others let go of  old unhelpful messages and images from the past, and
  • facing my immediate future with hope, resiliency, and clear vision.

I hope I turned this morning’s post into something good (enough). Gotta go catch a plane back to Boston!

Before I go, here’s some good musical creativity for you (found here on YouTube):

Thanks to Irvin Yalom, Sal Núñez, all my esteemed colleagues at the group psychotherapy conference, Randall Collis, the massage guy, the local dudes who took care of my car yesterday, the Beach Boys,  everybody everywhere who has ever turned bad into good with a little creativity, and — of course! — special thanks to you, for turning things better for me today, with your visit here.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 785: Smiles

Yesterday, I spilled to my college roommate/dear friend Marcia that I probably would be writing a short blog post this morning. She said, with a beautiful smile, “I like your short posts.  Those tell me you’re going out into the world with a lot to do that day.”

I hope this short blog post makes Marcia and my other readers smile, even just a little.  I’m smiling now, because

  1. I’m going to a group psychotherapy conference today,
  2.  group therapy is my livelihood and my passion,
  3. I’m still in sunny, beautiful, and warm California, and
  4. I’m traveling to and from the conference location accompanied by my long-time friend, Lawry.

Friendship, adventure, familiarity, sunshine, warmth, hope, safety, and a sense of purpose all make me smile.

Speaking of smiles, here are some I’ve seen since I started this trip to California:

IMG_5527 IMG_5552 IMG_5600 IMG_5635 IMG_5740 IMG_5800


IMG_5845 IMG_5853 IMG_5863 IMG_5901 IMG_6032 IMG_6039

That last beautiful smile belongs to my friend Amy, who lives in the San Francisco area and whom I haven’t seen for many years. We shared some smiles (and some tears, too) when we spent time together, yesterday.

I don’t know what kinds of faces I’ll have and see at the group psychotherapy conference today. I’m assuming there will smiles, frowns, and many other expressions as people go through a range of experiences and emotions. I’m looking forward to it all.

I’d like to leave you with a musical smile, but I know I’ve used the song “Smile” in this blog post, before.

How about this?

R.E.M. and The Muppets are smiling, frowning, sobbing, and having lots of feelings here on YouTube.

Smiles and thanks to Marcia, Lawry, Amy, the Mona Lisa, R.E.M., the Muppets, all the other smiling faces who helped me create this post today, and to you — of course! — for bringing a smile (or any face) here today.

Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , | 38 Comments

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