Posts Tagged With: group therapy

Day 2028: Comparisons

Not to make comparisons, but I’ve written at least two previous posts about the cognitive distortion of comparisons (here and here).

Comparisons.
We compare ourselves to others, with ourselves coming out short. For example, “I’m not as smart (or good, competent, good-looking, lovable, etc.) as that other person.” Or, we compare ourselves to how we think we should be, or how we’ve been before. We might think that comparisons help motivate us, but they usually make us feel worse.

Yesterday, in a therapy group, we focused on comparisons.

fullsizeoutput_3140

I believe the human mind is built to make comparisons, in order to make meaning of what’s around us.  However, when we compare ourselves to others, the resulting blows to our self-confidence and self-esteem can be beyond compare.

I’ve been making a different type of comparison lately.  I compare the blog posts I’ve written after and before the November 2016 USA presidential election and I see differences. Less joy.  Less hope.  Less confidence in the future.  Less faith in humans to be respectful and kind.

Some might compare me to a snowflake.  Personally, I don’t mind being compared to a snowflake — each one is beautiful, intricate, and unique.

Let’s see how the rest of my photos compare to the one I’ve included above.

IMG_1487

IMG_1486

IMG_1488

IMG_1494

When I search YouTube for “comparisons,” most of the results have to do with money and wealth — not particularly useful comparisons.

If we don’t realize all animals are beyond compare, we will continue to lose more and more to extinction.  Here’s a video showing comparisons of animal size:

The most recent comment on that video includes this: “Fake news.” I now compare my life to how it was before I heard that phrase so frequently.

Here‘s one result for “comparisons music.”

I look forward to comparisons in comments, below.

Now it’s time to compare  two ways of my expressing gratitude to all who helped me create another “comparisons” post and — of course! — to YOU.

IMG_1489

IMG_1493

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Day 1993: Power

Yesterday, in a therapy group, I randomly picked this “angel card”:

fullsizeoutput_2fd6

We all have power. Soon, I will be taking on more power as the President of a professional group therapy organization. I hope to use that power well.

A few days ago, I noticed that the cafeteria in the hospital where I work had stopped including vitamin-K-rich spinach in their salad bar. Because I take the powerful medication Coumadin. I need the power to control the amount of Vitamin K in my diet, and I usually do so by taking the same amount of spinach every day from the salad bar.   I owned my personal power and asked to speak to the person who had the power to decide what items to include in that salad bar. She told me that the hospital had decided to feature local produce and had replaced the spinach with locally grown kale. I told her about my taking Coumadin, which is a very common drug, and explained that kale had too much vitamin K and that I can’t eat kale.  As I was explaining all this to her, these were my powerful thoughts, “Why am I doing this?  I don’t have any power here. They’ve already made this decision.    I’ll have to figure out how to regulate my vitamin K a different way.”

The next day, I saw this at the hospital salad bar:

IMG_0506

Sometimes we have power even when we think we don’t.  The powerful moral for me: keep speaking up, because maybe somebody is listening.

Do you see power in my other photos from yesterday?

IMG_0507

IMG_0503

 

 

IMG_0505

IMG_0504

 

 

 

IMG_0510

IMG_0511

IMG_0509

 

 

IMG_0513

IMG_0514

People have the power to decide whether they want their pictures taken.  My son Aaron was okay with that last night (and Michael wasn’t).

IMG_0515

The ocean has the power to heal, I believe.

Today, Aaron and I will be experiencing the power of “West Side Story” at Boston’s Symphony Hall.  I never get tired of the power of that score by Bernstein and Sondheim and I’m glad that YouTube has the power to provide the musical clips I need for this blog (here and here).

I look forward to the power of your comments, below.

I always end these daily posts with the power of gratitude to all who help me create them and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 1971: The If in Life

Today’s title — “The If in Life” — comes from the unexpected appearance of this yellow stickie at work yesterday:

IMG_0066

If I could, I would ask the person who wrote that why they did and what it means to them.

If I ask you what you think that means, would you answer?

If I take photos in life, I share them here.

IMG_0055

IMG_0056

IMG_0063.JPG

 

IMG_0064

IMG_0065

IMG_0069

IMG_0067

IMG_0070

 

If you were to choose a video for this post, what would it be?

 

If you watch that video about Rashad Jennings‘s book, you’ll hear how he got off the sidelines of his life, stopped blaming people, stopped making excuses, and started taking ownership and responsibility.

If you were to write a book about your life, what would the title be?

If I can find an appropriate photo, I’ll end this post with gratitude.

 

 

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

Day 1943: Celebrate National _______ Day!

Obviously, I think we should celebrate every day, no matter where we live, for our own reasons.  However, there’s a website (see here) that tells people from the United States what they should be celebrating each day of the year.

For example, today is

April 27th
National Devil Dog Day
National Babe Ruth Day
National Prime Rib Day
National Tell a Story Day
National Arbor Day – Last Friday in April
National Hairball Awareness Day – Last Friday in April
National Day of Silence – Changes Annually

Because today is National Tell a Story Day, I’d like to tell a story about yesterday.

Yesterday, I noticed hearts,

 

IMG_8584

IMG_8585

celebrated National Hairball Awareness Day a day early,

IMG_8586

 

took pictures of other people’s pictures,

fullsizeoutput_2ee5

IMG_8589

 

facilitated groups  where people expressed lots of different feelings about many different topics,

IMG_8593

 

 

fullsizeoutput_2ee9

 

IMG_8594

 

dropped and broke my mindfulness chime,

IMG_8596

realized that I had a spare  mindfulness chime (not pictured),

encouraged people to share thoughts and feelings about  significant relationships,

IMG_8600

 

and did NOT celebrate National Pretzel Day.

fullsizeoutput_2ee4

What might you celebrate today?

Even though today is National Day of Silence (because it’s the last Friday in April),  please feel free to make noise and tell a story in the comment section, below.

Rod Stewart and Ron Wood are celebrating and making noise here with “Every Picture Tells a Story.”

Every day at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally is Gratitude Day, so thanks to all who helped me celebrate today, including you!

IMG_8431

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

Day 1942: Obviously

Obviously, sometimes people are going to say things you obviously don’t want to hear.

Yesterday, somebody in therapy was obviously perturbed about people expressing unsolicited and often indirect opinions about what they obviously thought she should do.

Obviously, we  made a list of how she could reply.

IMG_8583

Obviously,  having a list of possible replies to upsetting comments can help reduce stress.

Obviously, I like to take photos and share them with my readers.

IMG_8581

IMG_8582

IMG_8578

IMG_8575

IMG_8574

IMG_8580

IMG_8579

What’s obvious about those photos, to you?

Obviously,  my handwriting is difficult to read, so it might not be obvious that we talked, wrote, and drew about dreams in a therapy group yesterday.  Obviously, it would be helpful if I typed what I wrote.

DREAMS

When I was a child, I had a dream I didn’t want to wake up from. It was so beautiful and soothing and cool.  Magical land with lots of colors — pastels.  (I was) walking or riding down a road. Not like nature, not “normal” but safe and sweet and lovely. Trees and structures

I was never able to dream that again.

However, many years later I was at Disney World on a ride about imagination and one of the parts of the ride looked like my dream.

Obviously, I enjoyed that ride at Disney World.

Obviously, “The Obvious Child” by Paul Simon is a great song to include here.

Obviously,  I’d like to know your reactions to this post

Obviously, I gather and share gratitude in this blog, even if the words aren’t always completely obvious.

IMG_8577

IMG_8576

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

Day 1926: Taking steps

Yesterday, I started taking steps for a fitness challenge where I work.  I’ve committed to taking at least 10,000 steps every day for the next month.

While I was taking steps yesterday, I was also taking pictures. Now I am taking steps to share those photos.

IMG_8147

After taking more than 3,000 steps to get to my office, I took the step to indicate my mood on my new feeling chart.  If you take a few blogging steps back, you’ll see here (in the post Day 1923: Accepting all feelings) that the feeling chart is something people created in a therapy group last week. On Monday morning,  after taking all those steps, I was feeling hope.

IMG_8148

After taking about 1,000 more steps at work, I took the step of completing a required online training  — “Security Smart: Keeping Yourself Safe in the Workplace — which included taking steps to deescalate when people are upset.

After taking steps to help many people with many problems (while taking approximately 2,000 more steps around the hospital), I took a step at the end of the day to temporarily change my mood chart.

IMG_8149.JPG

I believe that taking steps to express and share feelings helps to deescalate those feelings.

After my long work day, I took 3,000 more steps to walk back to my car. At about 9 PM while I was taking steps at home, I reached my daily goal of taking 10,000 steps!

While I was taking steps yesterday, I heard “Steppin’ Out” sung by Kurt Elling.

 

Today, I’ll be taking steps to

  • go to work,
  • provide individual and group therapy at the Primary Care Practice of a Boston hospital,
  • treat people with respect,
  • listen to music I love, and
  • gather photos for tomorrow’s blog.

If you’d like to take steps to leave a comment, please step down below this blog.

As always, I’m taking steps to express my gratitude to all who help me take the necessary steps to create this daily blog, including YOU.

IMG_7742

 

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

Day 1913: What’s getting in the way?

When somebody (including me) is having trouble doing something, I like to ask, “What’s getting in the way?”

Within the past week, I’ve asked “What’s getting in the way?” about

  • doing one’s taxes,
  • being more assertive,
  • joining an organization,
  • exercising,
  • eating better,
  • sending an email,
  • making a phone call,
  • getting out of the house,
  • attending a therapy session,
  • stating a need,
  • accepting compliments, and
  • saying what’s left unsaid.

Is there something you’re having trouble doing, here and now? Take a moment and ask yourself, “What’s getting in the way?”

Is fear part of the answer?

What’s getting in the way of us getting fear out of the way?

What’s getting in the way of my sharing my photos today?   What’s getting in the way is my fear that I have only four new photos and 25% of of them include language that might get in the way.

IMG_7884

IMG_7885

IMG_7886

IMG_7888

Nothing is getting in the way of my finding two “Gettin’ in the Way” songs on YouTube (here and here).

What’s getting in the way of your leaving a comment?

Nothing is getting in the way of my expressing my thanks to all who helped me get out of my own way to create today’s blog post and — of course! — to YOU.

IMG_7837

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1911: Strong words

Whenever I use the word “hate,” my boyfriend, Michael (whom I do not hate) says, “Hate’s a strong word, Ann.”

Hate showed up in a basket of “group therapy eggs” at a psychodrama demonstration event yesterday, but so did other strong words.

IMG_7830

IMG_7831

IMG_7828

IMG_7827

IMG_7826

Which do you think are the strongest words there?

Are there any strong words in or for my other photos from yesterday?

IMG_7843

 

IMG_7825

IMG_7822IMG_7824

IMG_7821

IMG_7838

IMG_7840

IMG_7833

 

Time flies when I’m blogging so I better wrap up this Strong Words post and go into work (where I’m sure to hear and use some strong words).

Here‘s what comes up on YouTube when I search for “strong words song.”

As always, I end  every post with strong words of gratitude.

IMG_7839

IMG_7837

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

Day 1909: Reasons Not to Read This Blog

While I appreciate every reader who visits this blog, here are some reasons not to read it.

IMG_7788

  • You dislike cats and/or dogs.

IMG_7693

IMG_7792

IMG_7795

IMG_7794.JPG

IMG_7793

  • Water views make you squeamish.

IMG_7759

  • You avoid puns.

IMG_7696

  • You are in therapy with me. If that is the case, there might be Too Much Information in this blog, which could interfere with the important work we are doing together.  If you are in individual and/or group therapy with me, I strongly recommend we have a conversation about this.

 

 

  • You find gratitude annoying.

IMG_7790

IMG_7791

Warmest thanks to all who help me create this daily blog and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Day 1888: Well … THEY WERE WRONG.

When I was in my early 20’s, somebody did something that can still paralyze me with disbelief.  When I told her where I went to school, she argued with my memories of the experience, telling me that women and men went to separate classes and lived in separate dorms. I kept trying to explain to her that her misconceptions were based on old information, but she persisted in insisting that her opinions were correct.  Finally, I said to her, “Where did you get this information?  Did somebody tell you this?”  She nodded her head.

I paused, looked her in the eye, and said:

Well …….  (eye contact)  THEY WERE WRONG.

And that stopped her.

Yesterday, I spoke with my boyfriend  on the phone, who informed me that  because of a “historic storm” off the coast of New England, he had watched flood waters come up our street and surround our home near the ocean.  While the flood waters had receded, leaving behind a few inches of water in the basement, he was particularly concerned  that, as everybody was forecasting, the upcoming high tide around midnight would be even worse.  My strong and reassuring boyfriend was panicked, believing that he and the cats would need to be removed from our home.  We agreed that I would call him after I attended a dance party at my group therapy convention in Houston — a city that is still traumatized by recent catastrophic flooding.

I called Michael shortly after 11 PM Houston time.  ringing his cell phone because the landline had been knocked out.  He answered the phone.

Me: How are things, honey?

Michael:  I’m in the basement.  I’m afraid to look.  I’m waiting for the flood waters to rush in here.

Me: Why don’t you go upstairs and see what’s happening?

(the sounds of Michael going upstairs so he can see what’s going on with the sea).

Michael:  Wow.

Me: What’s going on?

Michael: There’s no flooding.   Maybe it’s not high tide yet.

Me: Do you want me to check the time of the high tide?

Michael: Please. There’s no internet.

Me:  High tide is at 12:09  AM.

Michael: Oh my god.  It’s 12:20 here.

So, this is what I would say about all the meteorologists and news reports that the second high tide was going to be more destructive than the first one.

Well …. THEY WERE WRONG.

Has anybody told you that climate change does not exist?

Well …. THEY WERE WRONG.

Did anybody, when you were a kid, tell you there was something wrong with you?

Well …. THEY WERE WRONG.

Has anybody ever denied your own experience?

Well… THEY WERE WRONG.

Did anybody ever tell you that you didn’t have what it takes to pursue your passion and your dreams?

Well… THEY WERE WRONG.

Did anybody ever tell you that you had to squelch your feelings and live inauthentically?

Well… THEY WERE WRONG.

Has anybody ever treated you with disrespect?

Well … THEY WERE WRONG.

When I was in my teens, dealing with a heart condition, doctors told me I would never be able to have kids.

Well… THEY WERE WRONG.

Could we say, “Well … THEY WERE WRONG” about any of my photos from yesterday?

IMG_7320

IMG_7321

IMG_7322

IMG_7323

IMG_7330

IMG_7325

IMG_7326

IMG_7327IMG_7328

 

Somebody told me I wouldn’t be able to stay to the end of today’s 2 PM workshop about Group Therapy and Improv because I’d need to leave early to make it to the airport in time for my flight home to Boston.

Well …. THEY WERE WRONG.

Was anybody wrong to shoot this video? Am I wrong to post it?

Here‘s The Innovation Dance Company performing “THEY WERE WRONG” at a national dance competition in Las Vegas.

 

Has anybody ever told you that you shouldn’t comment on a blog because other people might attack you for your opinions?  Well …

Thanks to all who helped me create this “Well … THEY WERE WRONG” post and — of course! — to you, for not being wrong.

IMG_5649

 

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

Blog at WordPress.com.