Posts Tagged With: group therapy

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.

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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.

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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.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Which do you think are the strongest words there?

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

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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.

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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.

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  • You dislike cats and/or dogs.

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  • Water views make you squeamish.

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  • You avoid puns.

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  • 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.

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

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 36 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?

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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.

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

Day 1874: The Year of the Dog

Three hundred and sixty-nine days ago (but who’s counting?),  I wrote Day 1505: The Year of the ______.  In that post, I hoped that 2017 would be, among other things, The Year of the Water View.

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And it was!  That water view helped me deal with many things in 2017, which was The Year of the Cock/Rooster/Bird.

Yesterday, in honor of the first day of The Year of the Dog, I did a special mindfulness exercise in my therapy group. I asked people to focus on images and memories of dogs.  Even though I’m a cat person, I found that mindfulness exercise very helpful, relaxing, and soothing.

Vivian, the Social Work intern who helps me facilitate that group, texted me this photo afterwards:

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I texted back “Oooh!  It’s the year of that!”

I plan to practice mindfulness and look at  more great photos this year, because 2018 is  going to be

  • The Year of the Shoulder Pain and
  • The Second Year of the Trump Administration.

I doggedly hope The Year of the Dog is also

  • The Year of Personal Power.

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  • The Year of Dignity.

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  • The Year of Beating Heart Disease.

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  • The Year of Love.

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  • The Year of the Changes for the Better.

As is every year here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally,  it’s The Year of the Thanks.

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

Day 1866: Ups and Downs

Last night, in a therapy group, when I went up to the whiteboard to write down the important themes in the room, I noticed a lot of them had to do with ups and downs.  The ups and downs included people’s moods, the U.S. stock market, and perceived successes and failures.

Are you up for or down for my photos from yesterday?

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Somebody recently gave me a dreamcatcher. I’ll be hanging that up soon.

Happy thoughts bring me up when I’m down.

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Ready for some up and down music?

 

I’m up for any comments you write down below this post.

Thanks to all who helped me with the ups and downs of this post and to you — of course! — for all the ups and downs you may bring.

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

Day 1865: Abilities

Yesterday, in a therapy session, somebody was talking about her learning disability.   This disability — and  other people’s inability to recognize her strengths when she was younger — has resulted in her disability to see herself as smart enough.  Like most people, she has the ability to compare herself to other people and judge herself “less than.” Because of my ability as a therapist, I invited this person to  look at her ability to learn, understand, and do many things.

Because of my ability for falling on the sidewalk last week and injuring my dominant arm, I am now dealing with (I hope!) temporary disability.  This disability is interfering with my ability to

  • open doors,
  • reach for anything above my waist,
  • wave hello or goodbye, and
  • write on the whiteboard during group therapy sessions.

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However, this disability is not interfering in my ability to blog, read, sing, walk, talk, smile, laugh, or listen.

As always, it helps to refocus on abilities.

Orthopedics had no ability to schedule an appointment for me until Friday, so I was not able to get more information about my disability yesterday.  However, I was able  to keep an appointment yesterday with an eye doctor. On the way to that appointment, I saw somebody who had the ability to wear a great hat.

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Then, he had the ability to put that hat on my head and take these three photos:

Honestly, I wouldn’t have had the ability to put that hat on my  head without some assistance.

I did have the ability to take one more photo yesterday, in a co-worker’s office.

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That cautious co-worker and I have the ability to perform a new version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” at a Social Worker party on Friday.   I had the ability to write new words to that song and I have the ability to blog about that, too.

I also have the ability to find, on YouTube, this previous performance of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” at a social worker party three years ago:

 

I believe I now have the ability to sing that song with more confidence.

I know you have the ability to leave a comment and I have the ability to thank all who helped me create today’s post.

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

Day 1864: PAIN IS NOT A PUNISHMENT

Yesterday, in a therapy group, several people were talking about physical and emotional pain and wondering what they had done to deserve all that pain.  I quoted the helpful phrase “PAIN IS NOT A PUNISHMENT”  which led to an interesting discussion about the painful messages people got in their families of origin, the wish to make meaning of pain, self-blame, and self-forgiveness.  Somebody in the group asked me to write “PAIN IS NOT A PUNISHMENT”  on the board.

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As I wrote that, I was very aware of the pain in my left shoulder, which has been getting worse since my fall last Wednesday.   As the pain continued to increase into the night, I spoke to a doctor on call who suggested I go to the emergency room.  People there listened to my description of the pain and somebody speculated that I may have torn my rotator cuff, which is often a pain for major league baseball pitchers.  I don’t know any other group therapists who have injured their rotator cuffs, but that diagnosis might explain the pain.

As I’m writing this,  I’m reminding myself that past pain, present pain, and future pain (which might include physical therapy) are NOT punishments.

I hope it’s okay when I share my pain here and also my latest photographs:

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I also found out that taking extra-strength Tylenol over several days disrupted my INR, which is another pain.

I will know more about the shoulder pain when I see an Orthopedic Doctor, probably this afternoon. I hope the news is not too painful.

Here‘s music to remind us that PAIN IS NOT A PUNISHMENT.

Here’s a Police song about pain and the “Weird Al” Yancovic parody:

As always, gratitude reduces the pain, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

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