Posts Tagged With: group therapy exercise

Day 2264: Choices

Exactly three hundred and seven days/posts ago (but whose choice is it to count?), I published a post titled “Choices” in which I chose to share an exercise about the topic of “Choices” from a therapy group the day before.   Today, my repetitive choice is to mention yesterday’s therapy group, wherein people made choices to focus on the topic “Choices” from all the topics discussed and to share (1) important choices from the past, (2) choices coming up for them, and (3) what makes choices more difficult or easier.

My photographic choices yesterday included these choice images:

 

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Note that a patient made the choice of “anticipation” over “hopelessness” from the feeling chart on my office door:

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Also, I didn’t make the choice to photograph my list of important life choices, which included:

  • Going back to social work school to become a therapist in the 1990s,
  • Deciding to specialize in group therapy, and
  • Developing my Coping and Healing groups.

What important life choices have you made?

Earlier this week, I made the choice to ask Nat —  a social work intern and fellow musician —  to write a song with me, which we will choose to perform together, singing close and choice harmonies, at a future open mic..  Together Nat and I have already made some choices including this one:  I write the lyrics and Nat writes the music.

My choice is to share these lyrics with you:

Nobody’s Perfect

lyrics by Ann Koplow

Nobody’s perfect

Even us two.

We try to be perfect

But that doesn’t do.

We both make mistakes,

In that, we’re like you.

Nobody’s perfect.

That’s perfectly true.

Nobody’s perfect,

Including your friends.

If you’re looking for perfection

Those friendships might end.

Your friends make mistakes,

In that, they’re like you.

Nobody’s perfect.

That’s perfectly true.

Perfectionism makes us imperfectly judgy,

Rigid, unhappy, refusing to budge-y,

It makes thoughts and feelings uncomfortably sludgey

With harsh self-flagellation even if you’re just pudgy.

Nobody’s perfect,

Even a star.

Stars may need to look perfect

But they seldom are.

They all make mistakes,

In that they’re  like you.

Nobody’s perfect

And that’s perfectly true.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

 

Nat chose to tell me he’s glad we’re writing a song together with the choice words “self-flagellation.”

Nat made the choice yesterday to send me some choice music he’s already composed for “Nobody’s Perfect.” Soon, we’ll be making  more musical choices together, including featuring the choice fiddle stylings of our talented co-worker, Alice Malone.

Other people have made the choice to write songs titled “Nobody’s Perfect” including this one:

I wonder what choices my readers will make in the comments section, below.

As always, I make the choice to end my posts with gratitude for all those who helped me create this post and — of course! — YOU, for making the choice to visit this blog, here and now.

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2250: I will never fear again

Yesterday, at the end of a day when I had feared many outcomes that did not come to pass, I texted my friend, Jenn:

I will never fear again.

I will never fear again making statements like that.  I have felt too much fear in my life and I fearlessly love the idea that I will never fear again.

I will never fear again sharing my photos with you.

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I will never fear again sharing details of my life with you, like these:

  • On my way to Disney World I got the results of my 23andme DNA genetic test, which said I had “less than the average tendency to be afraid of heights.”  After a life where I’ve been afraid of heights, I decided to believe that report and never fear heights again.
  • While my boyfriend Michael and I feared that he had seriously scratched up my little yellow car with an ice scraper, I was able to get most of them off by fearlessly and vigorously running my thumb over them while it was still cold as ice.  I will never fear again somebody doing damage to my car.
  • People in my group yesterday found it helpful to make lists of “Too Much” and “Too Little.”  I will never fear again suggesting an exercise in one of my groups.
  • One of my patients made me a beautiful red hat.  I will never fear again accepting a gift like that.

I will never fear again asking my readers a question like this: what do you think would happen if you decided to never fear again?

I will never fear disco or Panic! At The Disco again.

I will never fear again requesting comments for a blog post.

I will never fear again expressing my authentic feelings, including gratitude for all who helped me create this post without fear and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2230: What’s yours/What’s not yours

What’s your understanding of today’s post title: “What’s yours/What’s not yours”?

Yesterday, one of “my” therapy groups decided to focus on that topic after several of the participants had described challenges with other people in their lives.  The group members found it useful to make a list of what was theirs on one side of a paper and a list of what was NOT theirs on the other side.

Here are my lists:

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Because of confidentiality, I would never share a list that was not mine. However, I did “steal” some of the ideas from other people’s lists, because I found they also applied to my life.

The photos in this blog post are mine. However, they show some things that are not mine.   And once I share them, are they mine, yours, or ours?

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That microphone is not mine.  It belongs to my son’s friend, Leo, who has been staying with us.  Last night, Leo, Aaron, and Leo’s microphone helped me record all my original songs, using Apple’s GarageBand.

It was my intention to share, here and now,  the recording of my latest song, “It’s Not Me.” However, it’s not mine to share, at this point.  Instead, it’s my prerogative to share “My Prerogative,” which is not mine and is Bobby Brown‘s.

Whose turn is it to express thoughts and feelings?  It’s yours.

It’s my choice to end each blog post with gratitude, including thanks to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2224: I’m very aware of the passage of time

I’m very aware of the passage of time, as I took time to express in a therapy group exercise about time.

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Are you very aware of the passage of time?  Do you believe that you have all the time you need? Do you rush and get very anxious because of time? I’m very aware that the passage of time affects everybody.

I’m very aware of the passage of time in my other photos from yesterday.

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I’m very aware that I notice more over the passage of time.  What do you notice, during this very precious time?

I’m very aware of the passage of time that’s bringing me closer to the first Friday of the month, which means it’s time for me sing a new original song at a local Open Mic.  I’m very aware that I need to choose between “Don’t Call Me” and “It’s Not Me.”

I’m very aware that I haven’t yet shared the lyrics of “It’s Not Me.” I will, after sharing this passage-of-time song:

I’m very aware of how much time passed before I found “Time Has Come Today” by the Chamber Brothers. Feel free to pass the time by sharing your favorite song about the passage of time, below.

Before any more passage of time, here are  lyrics for “It’s Not Me.”‘

It’s Not Me

by me, Ann Koplow

It’s not me resenting

the mistakes of the past.

It’s not me presenting

why our love shouldn’t last.

 

It’s not me who’s judging,

It’s not me keeping score.

It’s not me begrudging

Saying “you should do more.”

 

It’s not me who’s hurting,

It’s not me feeling bad.

It’s not me deserting

All the good things we’ve had.

 

It’s not me complaining

From dusk until dawn.

It IS me explaining

That it’s me, moving on.

© Ann Koplow, 2018

I’m very aware of the passage of time as I ask for comments and express my thanks to all  (including YOU!) who have helped me in my blogging passages, over time.

Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2223: Be a hero.

“Be a hero” — a sign I saw yesterday —

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reminds me of a post I wrote my second week of blogging, almost six years ago: Day 11: You might as well be the hero of your own story.

As you can see from the blog title and from the post itself, being a blogging hero, back then, meant using far more words and a lot fewer photos.

I guess being a hero changes as we grow, learn, and mature.

Be a hero, to me, and check out my other photos from yesterday.

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Last night, Michael was being a hero by making our favorite vegetable lasagna for me and my son Aaron.

Because I’m feeling nostalgic today, here’s the first appearance of my hero Michael and his heroic lasagna in my blog (starting at 1:23).


Be a hero and please leave a comment, below.

Being a hero includes expressing appreciation and gratitude, so thanks to every hero who helped me create today’s blog and — of course! — to YOU, my heroes!

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

Day 2217: How to accept personal comments

How do you accept personal comments — compliments or criticism?

As we approach the end of 2018, I’m resolving to accept all personal comments the same way.

With gratitude and joy.

I’m not saying that accepting personal  comments with gratitude and joy will be easy.  Compliments and criticism can be very difficult to accept, for different reasons.

Therefore, I shall now practice this new resolution, as I imagine all sorts of people giving me personal comments.

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As I embrace the preciousness of this moment, I believe accepting personal comments with gratitude and joy will be good for my self care and for the care of others.

Also, it helps me to remember that personal comments are often the reflection of the person making the comment. In other words, it’s nothing personal.

I look forward to your personal comments on this post.

As always, I’m joyfully and personally grateful to all those who helped me create today’s post and to every person who visits this blog, including YOU.

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

Day 2202: Conclusions

My conclusion, here and now, is that the definition of “conclusion” includes two very important meanings.

con·clu·sion
/kənˈklo͞oZHən
noun
plural noun: conclusions
1. the end or finish of an event or process.
“the conclusion of World War Two”
synonyms: end, ending, finish, close, termination, windup, cessation
2. a judgment or decision reached by reasoning.
“each research group came to a similar conclusion”
synonyms: deduction, inference, interpretation, reasoning

Sometimes, people reach conclusions (judgments/decisions) that result in the conclusion  (ending/finish) of a pattern of behaviors, a way of thinking,  a relationship, a job, or something else important in their lives.

Yesterday, in a therapy group, participants concluded to write down a list of other people’s harsh and unfair conclusions about them.  At the conclusion of that group exercise, they tore up these internalized negative messages and threw them away.  One person’s conclusion was that the internalized belief that she was trash deserved to be ripped up and tossed in the trash.

Are there any conclusions about or in my photos from yesterday?

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Writing a Killer Conclusion includes many conclusions:

At the conclusion of each blog post, I express gratitude and appreciation to all those who helped me create it and to you — of course! — for reading it.

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Categories: definition, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2144: Safety

I can safely say that this is my third blog post titled “Safety” (see here and here for the previous two). Each time I’ve posted a “Safety” blog, it’s been preceded by a therapy group where we focused on safety.

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Yesterday, somebody in my Tuesday “Coping and Healing” group suggested we choose safety as the focus.  Here’s what I wrote about my personal experience of safety:

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 I do my best to create safety in these groups.  There is no such thing as complete or perfect safety. I like the phrase ‘safe enough.”

I understand why safety is such a concern for people. When the environment seems paralyzingly dangerous, I sometimes suggest the helpful phrase “It’s safer than it feels.” Sometimes, however, it’s not safer than it feels.

What are your thoughts and feelings about safety, here and now?

Do you see safety or danger in my other recent photos?

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When I search YouTube for “safety”, this is the first thing that comes up:

The California wildfires inspired the group’s discussion of safety, yesterday.

Here‘s “Safety Rap.”

Here’s the 2014 Safety Song Winner:  “I Wanna Be Safe.”

I think we all wanna be safe.

Thanks to all who helped me create this third “Safety” post  and — of course — to YOU.  Stay safe.

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

Day 2139: I Can’t/I Can

Yesterday, in a therapy group, somebody talked about waking up thinking “I can’t” and turning that into “I can.”

Because I can, I suggested that people make a list of “I can’t” and “I can.”

I can show you my lists now.

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I can’t be perfect, but I can correct mistakes.  On my “I can’t” list, the 9th entry should read “be anybody else but myself” and on my “I can” list, the 13th entry should be “show up.”

I can share all my other photos from yesterday:

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I can’t even make sense of all the gun violence in the United States.

I can share these videos (and you can find them here and here on YouTube):

I can go for some comments about this post.

I can also express my gratitude to all who helped me create this “I can’t/I can” post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2137: The House

There are several news headlines about the House today, including:

Mid-term elections: Democrats win House in setback for Trump

Democrats win control of the House in 2018 midterms, CNN projects

Meet the New Agenda Setters in the House

Coincidentally, yesterday I started writing a new song, titled “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready”, which is my first original song based on my first original t-shirt …

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… which was based on original blog posts (herehere, and here), which I wrote in the house.

Here are the lyrics, so far:

I Left the House Before I Felt Ready

 

I left the house before I felt ready,

So I’m wrinkled, distracted, and sort of bed-heady.

I don’t know where my phone is, my glove, or umbrella

And my water bottle’s probably somewhere in the cellar.

© Ann Koplow, 2018

Because my house is near Boston, those last two lines rhyme.

Only one of my photos from yesterday was taken in the house:

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Here’s “House” by Elton John:

 

What are your thoughts and feelings about any of  the houses here?

Thanks to all who helped me write today’s blog post at the house and — of course! — to YOU, for visiting my blogging house.

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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