Posts Tagged With: group therapy

Day 2367: I’m a fan

I’m a fan of:

 

 

What are you a fan of?

I’m also a fan of gratitude, as I hope you know.

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Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2353: Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert!  Yesterday I saw Avengers: Endgame, the kind of movie that evokes the use of the words “Spoiler Alert!” when people write about it.

Spoiler Alert! I’m alert to the importance of not give away spoilers about a movie that

  • billions of people have not yet seen,
  • has lots of twists and turns,
  • has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes,
  • makes people laugh and cry,  and
  • says, to me, that group therapy is a very effective way to deal with trauma and loss.

Spoiler Alert!  I am not doing my usual thing of linking to the Wikipedia entry about Avengers: Endgame,  because that has countless alert spoilers in it.

Spoiler Alert!   I wonder if I’m reducing my readership for this blog post by repeating the words “Spoiler Alert”?

Spoiler Alert!  Last night I couldn’t sleep and started writing a song called “Spoiler Alert.”

Spoiler Alert! Here are the lyrics I’ve written so far:

Spoiler alert!

Things in your life are going to hurt.

Even nice people will sometimes be curt.

Some foolish words you’ll be certain to blurt.

Spoiler alert!

You’ll eat too much of a fattening dessert.

   You’ll be afraid that you might lose your shirt.

Someone you love will treat you like dirt.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

My sleepless hours  are not going to spoil my day —  I’ll be alert at work today and also tonight at the sold-out John Mulaney and Pete Davidson comedy benefit for My Brother’s Table.

Spoiler Alert! I’m going to share all my photos from yesterday, right now!

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I spoiled that last shot, obviously,  by walking and talking while I was taking it.

Spoiler Alert!  They Might Be Giants have a song called “Spoiler Alert”!

Spoiler Alert!  I’m alert to gratitude all around me, so I can share it with you!

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

Day 2348: Struck

I’m struck by how I’ve never used the word “struck” in a blog post title before.

I’m struck by how I’ve used the word “struck” in 13 previous blog posts, including Day 1966: Memorable linesDay 1875: Tipping Point, Day 1292: Seeing patients, Day 981: Righteous Numbers, Day 956: Never Give Up, Day 717: Interrupting, Day 463: Surprises, Day 367: Screen Shots, Day 364: What day is it?, Day 284: We never know how we affect people (The Ta-Da Pose),  Day 100: I Confess, Day 75: Things that make me go _____, and Day 58: Accelerated learning.

I’m struck by how …

  • long it takes me to do one of these “linking to old posts” openings,
  •  much my blog has changed over the years,
  • relevant some of those old post titles seem to me today,
  • many challenges I’ve been struck by (but not struck down by) over the years, and
  • many of my photos from yesterday connect with today’s title.

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I’m struck by how

  • long it takes me to make photo montages look right,
  • much I love being a group therapist,
  • many gates there are around Fenway Park, and
  • wonderful it is to live near the water.

Here’s the award-winning short film Struck:

 

What are you struck by, here and now?

As usual, I’m struck by gratitude for all who help me create these daily posts and — of course! — for YOU.

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

Day 2301: Exhausted

Even though I’m up for anything these days, sometimes I get exhausted, especially on Thursdays, when I

  • work from 10 to 9,
  • facilitate two therapy groups,
  • orient new people for my groups,
  • see several people for individual therapy,
  • go to a meeting of social workers,
  • have about 20 minutes for lunch,
  • try to decide whether to look at or avoid the news,
  • practice my  latest song, and
  • practice self-care.

In one of those therapy groups, a person exhausted by a major and unexpected loss shared that she practices self care by taking breaks, even if it’s a break for a moment.  I wasn’t too exhausted to hear that she had learned that skill in my groups.

I was so exhausted by the end of the day  that I added a new emotion to the emotions chart on my door:

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Here and now, I’m exhausted by the possibility that somebody might tell me that “exhausted” is not really an emotion.

Here and now, I’m NOT too exhausted to share my other photos from yesterday.

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I hope you’re not too exhausted to share what exhausts you and what energizes you, in a comment below.

Here‘s the late and great Madeline Kahn singing about how exhausted she is in Mel Brooks‘s Blazing Saddles.

I’m never too exhausted to express my gratitude for all those who help me create these daily posts and — of course! — for YOU.

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

Day 2299: Cognitive Distortions

Regular readers of this blog know I often write about the cognitive distortions described by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, including overgeneralization, mind reading, catastrophizing, personalization, comparisons, shoulds, and labeling/name-calling. Regular readers of this blog do NOT know that I soon will be performing my latest original song (titled “Nobody’s Perfect” and co-written with a Social Work intern at work named Nat) with other musicians, and we’re thinking of calling ourselves “The Cognitive Distortions.”

Last night, my boyfriend Michael and I were experiencing cognitive distortions when we were both making overgeneralizations about human beings.  Our cognitive distortions have increased since the last U.S. Presidential election as we both try to make sense of the human behavior described in the media, by cognitively debating and trying to understand what people are really like and why they say what they say and do what they do.

Do you see any cognitive distortions in this part of our discussion last night?

Michael:  I think people who say “I believe in him” or “I believe in that” know, on some level, that those things are not true.

Ann: Michael, this is the same disagreement we constantly have. I think that a lot of  people really believe what they say. How do you know what they really believe?  That’s overgeneralization and mind reading.

Michael:  How do YOU know what they really believe?

Me: I don’t really know, but I’ve encountered so many people in individual and group therapy who seem to really believe what they say they believe.

Michael: And I’ve encountered thousands of people through my work in the food industry.

Me: THOUSANDS?

Michael: Let me tell you a story that sums up my experience of people. There was this woman I used to work with. One day, somebody asked her if she believed in ghosts.  She said, “No.” And then she added, “But I’ve seen one.”

Me (laughing): I’m putting that in tomorrow’s blog.

Do you see any cognitive distortions in today’s photos?

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I just searched YouTube for “cognitive distortions” to see if any musical group already has that name.  This is what I found:

Feel free to express your cognitions and feelings about Cognitive Distortions, below.

Thanks and appreciation to all who helped me express the cognitive distortions in today’s post and — of course! — thanks and appreciation to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2211: Hanging on for dear life

If you hang on until the end of this blog post, you’ll see the photo that inspired today’s post title.

I like the title “Hanging on for dear life” because I’ve been hanging on for almost sixty-six years and life is very dear to me.    I also like that title, here and now, because life can sometimes seem precarious, especially with global warming reports, the current political situation, the stresses inherent during the holiday (and exam) season, interpersonal conflicts, and a fire alarm going off during a group therapy session.

Hang on, dear readers!  Here are all my photos from yesterday:

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Work, blogging, and important relationships keep me hanging on.

What keeps you hanging on?

Thanks to all who keep me hanging on, including you!

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2204: What the hell happened?

What the hell!  Did anybody else have a week where you asked yourself,

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“What the hell happened?”

When you’re talking to somebody on the phone and they’re suddenly not there, do you ask yourself, “What the hell happened?  Did they hang up on me?  Was it something I said? Are they angry? Did their phone lose power? Is the signal week?  Should I call back? Are they calling me back?”

What the hell happened  in these photos?

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What the hell happened in the first photo above and the last one?  First photo: We did a mindfulness exercise in a therapy group last week where we focused on a piece of paper we crumpled  and then unfolded. Last photo: a group calling themselves “Gym Class” performed Lou Reed’s “Take a Walk on the Wild Side” at an open mic last night.

What the hell happened last night when I debuted my latest original song, “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready” at that same open mic?   See for yourself:

What the hell do you think will happen if you leave a comment?

What the hell happens at the end of my blog posts?

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

Day 2188: Today is …

Today is …

  • the anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination,
  • the anniversary of my first heart surgery and my first pacemaker, at age 10,
  • the birthday of a wonderful woman named Jean who reads this blog (Happy Birthday, Jean!), and
  • Thanksgiving in the USA!

Today is a great day to give thanks and to share these photos, taken yesterday.

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Today is a day to share this: we may rant and rave at the passage of time, but it’s good to be in the moment — today and every day!

Today is the day I discovered Today is master-class:  how to paint a cat.

 

Today is a day for giving thanks to all who help me create these blog posts and to you — of course! — for reading them.

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

Day 2077: Applause

Several times in therapy groups this week, there was spontaneous applause, as people supported each other’s perspectives and progress.

I remember attending an “Opening the Heart” weekend workshop many years ago, where each one of us received thunderous, sustained applause after introducing ourselves. I still vividly recall how that applause felt, after I had revealed myself and my vulnerabilities to many strangers.

How do you respond to applause?

Last night, I was surprised by the timing of the applause to my latest original song, “Shameless Appeals for Applause.”

 

I now shamelessly appeal for applause for my photos from yesterday:

 

No matter what kind of comment you leave below, you’re sure to get applause from me.

Gratitude is a kind of applause, so I’m now clapping for all those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2041: life-changing magic

Have you heard about this book by Marie Kondo:  “the life-changing magic of tidying up”?

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Today, I want to give equal time to the life-changing magic of other things, including NOT tidying up.

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No matter how much we wish to tidy up, there are always new messes to deal with!

Would you agree that there’s life-changing magic in music?

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I look forward to the life-changing magic of your comments.

There’s life-changing magic in gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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