Posts Tagged With: Group Therapy with Ann

Day 2496: I helped myself feel safer

Yesterday, when I was helping people feel safer in a Coping and Healing group, I wrote and shared this:

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I helped myself feel safer yesterday by changing how I visualize a judgmental and critical person. I used to call them my personal dragon.  Which is scary!  I imagined them as a little yappy dog.  And that helped!

I helped myself feel safer, after the group, by walking around Boston during a beeoootiful day and then going to see a play with my friend and real estate agent, Jane (not pictured, because my phone was running out of juice and I wanted to conserve some power so I could feel safer when I walked back to my car). Do any of my photos from yesterday help you feel safer?

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Knowing that this is “Thinking of You Week” helps me feel safer, as does Boston’s Christian Science Center, book stores, cakes,  animals, friends, and people trying to solve world problems.

I helped myself feel safer yesterday while I was waiting for Jane at a restaurant by starting a new original song, called “Who Cares?”

Who Cares?

by Ann Koplow

Who cares?

Who dares to?

Who cares what scares you?

Who cares and shares with you?

Who cares in that rare way

from Sunday to Saturday.

Who cares, aware and true?

Do you have that someone

Who never says, “I’m done,”

Who won’t run

Even when it’s not fun.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

I’m hoping to help myself feel safer this weekend by working on that tune and three others I’ve started but haven’t finished.

Dr. Peter Levine, whose books have helped me feel safer, offers two ways to help people feel safer:

 

Expressing gratitude helps me feel safer, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2463: Incredible

Honestly, my incredible readers, it’s incredible to me that I have never before published a post titled “Incredible”  in all the two thousand, four hundred, and thirty-six incredible days I’ve been blogging.

Yesterday, on my travel day back from incredible Edinburgh to incredible Boston, I saw these two incredible signs:

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I had an incredible time at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe (described in incredible detail here, herehere, here, here, here, and here).  Here are some of the incredible highlights:

“Lovely group experience! Great to feel included during the Fringe, and to feel heard.”

“Enjoyed feeling comfortable with a group of strangers.  Thank you.”

“Great, very interesting, and unique.”

“The show should be longer.  Also be my therapist please.”

“You need some more time for your show, but I really liked your idea of making a show of this. It was like a calm moment in the middle of the Fringe chaos.  Fringe + outside.  Ann show = inside.”

“Created a safe and relaxed space to feel open to express myself.”

“More shows like this.”

“A welcome sharing space well interspersed with activities and songs to make everyone feel included. Thanks.”

“I would 1000% recommend this since it is truly something different from anything else on offer at the Fringe. I feel a lot happier after the show and had some big revelations.”

Here are my latest photos, which I took when I was feeling incredible:

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It’s always incredible to be home.

It’s incredible to me,  here and now, that I can’t share the incredible Tom Joyce’s portion of The Mail Room which I recorded on my iPhone during my incredible Wednesday at the incredible 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  I think it’s credible that I’ll be able to add that recording to this post after I publish it.

Here is the incredibly kind and talented Tom Joyce in The Mail Room:

I look forward to your incredible comments, below.

Incredible thanks to all  who help me create these posts and also to my incredible readers, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 2462: Expanding the View

On my way to Edinburgh Airport to catch my fight back to Boston, I expanded my view to notice this:

After attending the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for seven years with my son (who is now a student at University of Edinburgh and a well-established local comedian), I would say that the Edinburgh Fringe is all about expanding the view.

This year, my view was expanded by doing my own Fringe Show — Group “Therapy” with Ann — and also attending The Mail Room, the Fringe show my son shared with one of our long-time favorite comedians, Tom Joyce. Tom expanded my already favorable view of him by showing up yesterday, unasked, to help me expand the audience for my two shows yesterday by passing out flyers outside the venue.

Which ones of the many other photos in this post are expanding the view?

Expanding your time spent with this post, I will tell you that ONE of those views is NOT from Edinburgh, but rather from back home in Boston. If you can guess which one, that will expand my view of you.

Soon I’ll be expanding my view on a plane flying over the Atlantic Ocean. As usual, my gratitude for all who help me create and who read my posts is expanding. Here’s today’s final view:

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2461: Here we go again!!

Yesterday morning, after publishing Day 2460: Missing, I heard that I am going to get another go at performing my Fringe show Group “Therapy” with Ann.

Here I go again, doing two groups on a Thursday, which is how it goes for me back home at work in Boston.

It may seem like a risk to do two shows in one day with very little time to convince people to attend my show — among the thousands of shows and performances at Scotland’s Festival Fringe — but here we go again!!

When I go again today, I may sing different songs, like “I Left The House Before I Felt Ready” or “Hidden Thoughts.” Here I go again, having trouble making decisions. If necessary, I can always go again to the “coin flip” app on my phone.

Here we go again — with the rest of my photos from yesterday.

Here at the Bar Bados Fringe venue last night, my son, Aaron Fairbanks (a/k/a as “The Jail Mailman”) and one of our long-time favorite comedians, Tom Joyce, did their show — The Mail Room — again.

Here we go again with a video that Aaron’s proud mother recorded at last night’s performance of “The Mail Room.”

 

 

Here I go again, apologizing for the mistakes I made recording that. Here I go again, letting go of worry, perfectionism, fear, and self-judgment before my two performances today.

Here we go again with yet another request for comments, below.

Here we go again with gratitude, for all who help me go again, every day!!!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, theater, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 2459: The Greatest Theatrical Event Ever

While I would like to think that my first Fringe show — “Group ‘Therapy’ with Ann” — was the greatest theatrical event ever, a different show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is making a claim for that distinction, as you can see:

Even if my Fringe show was not the greatest theatrical event ever, it still went very, very well. Thirteen people showed up and seemed to get a lot out of it. I got permission from the participants for my son Aaron to tape the two original songs I performed. Here and here are two of the greatest musical events ever on YouTube:

Are these my greatest pictures ever?

Five of those photos were taken by the greatest family event ever … my son, Aaron!

I’m looking forward to the greatest comments ever.

The greatest thanks ever to all those who helped me create this post  — including the cast and creators of “The Greatest Theatrical Event (in this place at this time for this price) EVER!” — and the greatest thanks ever to the greatest readers ever: YOU!

Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism, theater | Tags: , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 2458: Immediate

My immediate reaction to checking my old blog posts, just now, is surprise that I have never written a post with “Immediate” in the title before.

My immediate thought upon waking up this morning was “It’s the day of my one-day only Fringe Festival show —  “Group ‘Therapy’ with Ann.”

I’m hoping to help the people who show up to my show to get an immediate appreciation of the benefits of group therapy. I’m also hoping that the immediate and understandable performance jitters I might be experiencing during my show will not cause me to forget the immediate words and the chords of the two original songs I’ll be sharing.

When I saw this sign yesterday on the streets of Edinburgh,

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… my immediate thought was “That’s the title of my blog post tomorrow.”

What are your immediate reactions to the many other photos I took yesterday?

My immediate urge is to let you know that you can enlarge any of those photos by clicking on it immediately.

My immediate reactions to the extraordinary show of my venue captain  …

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… Walter Michael DeForest of “Van Gogh Find Yourself” — were all  extremely positive.

When I was putting up my immediate posters for my show at the venue — The Natural Food Kafe — I asked a patron if he would come to a show like mine.  His immediate reaction was yes, if he could.  It took just a few minutes for us to realize that we had an immediate connection in our mutual love for jazz guitarist Pat Metheny.

My immediate decision is to share this live performance of Speaking of Now by the Pat Metheny Group.

To me, the Pat Metheny Group is immediate group therapy.

Please share your immediate thoughts and feelings in a comment, below.

Immediate thanks to all who helped me create today’s immediate post and to all my readers, including YOU!

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

Day 2457: Together again for the first time

Here are most of my photos from yesterday, together again for the first time:


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Five years ago (but who’s counting?), Joshua Ladgrove a/k/a Neal Portenza invited my then 16-year-old son Aaron up on the stage with him during his brilliant Fringe show. Last night, they were together again for the first time.

Tomorrow, I’ll be together again for the first time with ?? people (perhaps including some of the people in my photos above)  in my first Fringe show ever.

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Because it’s a one-time only show, I have only one chance to get it right.   Will it be a catastrophe, like a boat hitting an iceberg?

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Will I lose my head?

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Will I maintain my balance?

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Will the audience like my music?

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Will they use my mindfulness exercise to be in the here and now?

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Will anybody mispronounce my name or be a dickhead?

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Will people want to see a show from a “new employee” of the Edinburgh Free Fringe?

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Here and here are two songs that are “Together Again For the First Time.”

Which reminds me, I want to see Manual Cinema again.

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All your comments on this post will be together again for the first time, below.

And today’s expressions of gratitude are together again for the first time!

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

Day 2456: Considerate constructors

Yesterday, when I was in the considerate city of Edinburgh, continuing to construct my August 19th Free Fringe show “Group ‘Therapy’ with Ann,” I noticed this sign:

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After many years of attending the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I agree that the people who live in and visit Edinburgh are consider constructors. Thanks to all of them for their consideration!

Also, consider this poster for an especially considerate constructor of brilliant Fringe shows: Joshua Ladgrove a/k/a Dr. Neal Portenza:

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My considerate son and I will definitely attend that show, probably today.

I love being at the heart of Edinburgh …

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… which I experience as a calmed area …

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… particularly in contrast with my home country of the USA, here and now.

Here are some considerate constructors in an interview with Josh Ladgrove from the Edinburgh Fringe last year:

Before listening to that interview, I didn’t know that “Neal Portenza” was considerately constructed from an anagram of “Not a Real Perzon.”

I look forward to fetching comments …

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… from the considerate readers of this blog.

Considerate thanks from the constructor of this post to all who are reading it, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, theater | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 2455: Get in touch

Get in touch with your reactions to these two notifications I recently received from Facebook:

It’s not easy for me to get in touch with Oscar right now. Why? Because I’m at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Oscar’s back home with Michael and Harley.

I’m getting in touch with my excitement about my son Aaron and I both having shows at the Fringe.

Get in touch with these other new photos on my phone:

Get in touch with this YouTube video of Aaron performing a version of his Mail Room show.

Get in touch with me through a comment, below.

Every day, no matter where I am, I’m in touch with appreciation and gratitude for you!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2446: Recurring dreams

One of my recurring dreams is to have a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  Much to my amazement, that will be occurring on August 19 at 13:00 (1 PM) at the Natural Food Kafe basement room. I only have one show this year, but I’m hoping the show will be recurring next year.

My show — “Group ‘Therapy’ with Ann” — is loosely based on the recurring groups that I do five times a week at work. At this point, I’m staying up and having dreams about how to make that work well  since there are new and non-recurring elements I’ve never dealt with before, including:

  • it’s about half the time of my usual groups,
  • I don’t know how many people will show up,
  • several of the participants will be total strangers to me, and
  • it’s a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!

I know that I will be using some recurring elements of my real groups, like mindfulness and a check-in where everybody will have the space and time to speak uninterrupted.  In  my recurring groups, I always introduce the check-in by saying what I’m curious about in the moment, as a way to suggest what people might want to share. For the purposes of my Edinburgh show, I’m planning on curiously asking people:

  • why they came to the show,
  • how they would introduce themselves,
  • something we might not guess about them,
  • their experience in the moment,
  • what keeps them up at night,
  • what keeps them going,
  • a favorite saying and/or song, and
  • a recurring or vivid dream they’ve had.

In my check-in, I plan on singing one of my original songs and also sharing a recurring dream I have, about trying to call somebody on the phone and not getting through.

Last night, what kept me up was my indecision, at this point, about what to do at the mid-point of the show.  When I finally fell asleep, I had my recurring dream (which hasn’t occurred in years).

In my dream last night, I was trying to call Michael on my cell phone. It was incredibly difficult, because of new changes to the phone, which I couldn’t figure out.  People were trying to help me connect to him,  but nothing was working.  Eventually, I attempted the tried-and-true method of saying to Siri, “Call Michael!”  At that moment, Michael showed up. I was very relieved to see him,  but it was too late for me to get to an important appointment. (The dream had other non-recurring elements,  including a Trump supporter who kept trying to steal one of my boots as I was putting it on, but never mind.)

Do you have a recurring dream?  Would you talk about it if you came to my show? Actually, it would be a dream for me if any of my readers showed up at my Fringe show, no matter what they decided to share.

Certain recurring dreams and themes show up in my photos.  Can you spot any today?

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Here’s the original song I’m going to sing during my check-in, which has had recurring appearances in this blog:

I have a recurring dream about people leaving comments, and they often do!

Recurring thanks to all who help me create this daily recurring blog, including you!

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

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