Posts Tagged With: healing in group therapy

Day 1648: Personal Space

Yesterday,  several persons had the personal space in the group therapy space at work to discuss their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and needs regarding personal space.

Personally,  I’m glad I have the personal space to share  photos in this blogging space.




I’ll take some personal space to explain that the objects taking up personal space in the upper left corner of my personal Home for Missing Objects, above,  are socks I’m personally missing.

In the personal space of my office, persons often  discuss how fears can take up too much personal space unless we counter those old fears with helpful thoughts in the personal space of our minds.


Other people’s unsolicited advice can also take up too much personal space.


“I see how well that worked out for you!” — which is taking up personal space on my white board — is one way to assert your  personal space in response to unhelpful, judgmental advice.  I shall now take up personal space here with an example of that:

Advice giver:  I can’t believe you’re still single! You need to get married if you want to be happy.

Advice hearer: I see how well that worked out for you!

Here are some other photos taking up personal space on my iPhone:










That last photo shows a bumper sticker taking up personal space on a car in front of me in traffic.

I hope you have the personal space to express your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and needs regarding personal space in the comment space below.

My old friend Dave took up some personal space yesterday sharing new versions of two Jaco Pastorius tunes. (I’ve taken up personal space in this blog personally writing about Jaco Pastorius here and here.) The late, great Jaco and the late, great Toots Thielmans  are taking up personal space on YouTube with one of those tunes (here and here ).

I’d like to take up a little more of your personal space expressing my personal thanks to all who helped me create yet another personal post and — of course! — to you, for taking up all the personal space you need.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 877: Lulls

During a welcome lull in my day yesterday, I saw this:

With all the stress around us, we need to learn to take lulling breaks, wherever and whenever we can find them.

Here are some photos I took yesterday, during some rare lulls in my office:


Regarding that last lulling image: I observe how there are few lulls in people’s ongoing searches for healthy intimacy in their relationships — with a good balance of connection and personal boundaries.

After yesterday’s  good balance of hard work and rejuvenating  lulls, I took more photographs,  during some lulls in my journey home:


You may be so lulled, right now, that you miss what I was trying to capture in that last lulling image.  Please take advantage of this lull in today’s post to tell me what you see there.

Personally, I am thinking about these lulls:

  1. The lull before the excitement of the June 6 workshop I’ll be presenting about my therapy groups,
  2. The 3-day lull between that workshop and my audition for a local musical,
  3. The 2-day lull between now and the debut of a non-lulling one-act play which my 17-year-old son Aaron and his friend Cameron wrote and directed,
  4. The lull of  a vacation I’ll be taking in August, perhaps returning  to the lulling and non-lulling Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland with Aaron, and
  5. Hoped-for and helpful lulls in worries about the future and regrets about the past, for myself and others.

Here’s a lullaby I just found on lulling YouTube:

And after a very short lull, here’s another lullaby:

What are your favorite kinds of lullabies and lulls?

Here’s a helpful lull of gratitude for Aaron, Cameron, Doris Day, Gene Nelson, Brahms, people healing in therapy, heavy machinery, creatures obvious and hidden, healthy intimacy, expressive faces, bleeding hearts, the Red Sox, the planet Earth, lullabies on Broadway and elsewhere, those who sleep when it’s dark and those who sleep when it’s light, and you — of course! — for visiting here,  during a lull in your day.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Day 641: Lots of freakin ____

Yesterday, there was lots of freakin

  • rain,
  • pain,
  • dark,
  • doom,
  • disinterest,
  • discontent,
  • detours,
  • distortion, and
  • data.

Yes, I experienced and witnessed a lot of freakin freakin!

I don’t mean to

… but I wasn’t alone in this.

Do I have proofs about that?

Of course!  For example, I could tell you stories I heard in my therapy office yesterday (if I made sure to protect confidentiality and completely hide identities) where people talked about

  • shame,
  • jealousy,
  • challenges,
  • strengths,
  • interpersonal issues,
  • focusing,
  • interrupting,
  • choices,
  • cognitive distortions including mind-reading,
  • the antidote of reality testing,
  • taking risks,
  • being vulnerable,
  • roles and expectations,
  • self esteem,
  • safety,
  • self-confidence,
  • compliments,
  • fitting in,
  • finances,
  • isolation,
  • venturing forth,
  • fear of being alone,
  • fear of the new,
  • fear of the unknown,
  • balancing listening and talking,
  • and jealousy.

And that was just in the two groups I freakin facilitated!

Or, I could tell you about a freakin misunderstanding between me and one of the doctors I work with, in a large primary care practice in a major Boston teaching hospital. Here’s an email I sent her, before I left work:

Another misunderstanding! I wasn’t upset. I just sound that way sometimes in email when I want to make sure providers understand my limits.

Let’s talk in person!!! Email sucks!

However, I’d rather show you two photos I took, at the end of the day:




Are you experiencing lots of freakin _____, where you are? (It wouldn’t freakin kill you to tell me, would it?)

To help promote a less freakin Friday, here are two freakin disco tunes I danced to in the 1970s:

(“There But For the Grace of God” by Machine found here on YouTube)

(“Le Freak” by Chic found here on YouTube)

Thanks to freakin everybody — including you, of course! — here and now.

Note: I just re-read this post after publishing it, and I wondered if I might have miscommunicated  (like I did with that doctor).  Therefore, I would like to balance things out, with another photo I took yesterday:


It’s freakin churros with freakin chocolate (among other things) on my freakin desk!

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 524: Light

When I learn a lot — at a group psychotherapy conference or elsewhere — I feel light.

When there is absence of pain, after the experience of physical or mental pain, I feel light.

When I see unexpected candy with unusual shapes, I feel light:


When I experience anger, shame, joy, sadness, fear, love, and other feelings in the presence of others and realize I am not alone, I feel light.

When I see unusual and unexpected lighting, I feel light.


When I am surprised by fireworks, I feel light.









There was a lot of light yesterday.

Thanks to the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy for their three-day yearly conference, to the town of Winchester Massachusetts (for the lamps and the “town day” fireworks, last night), to people who bravely shine a light on their hidden feelings and thoughts, and to you — of course! — for bringing your light here, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 424: Things I learned from groups this week

I am very lucky. I get to do work I love: group therapy.

Why do I love that work so?  Well, every week, I witness people connecting and healing, in their own unique way, but also as part of something bigger.

It’s so amazing, each time. I’m never sure if I can ever really capture the experience in words.But I can’t imagine anything better.

Okay!  That’s the end of the introduction to this post.  What’s the “meat” of this post today?

I’d like to list just a few of the many things I learned2 this week, facilitating3 groups:

  •  Mindful eating — that is,  consciously focusing on taste, texture, and the experience of eating, while letting go of distracting thoughts over and over again — can be helpful and …. almost a revelation for people.



  • Feelings of shame are like …. weeds. That is, they keep springing up , they spread easily, and they are really difficult to get rid of. But we have to keep doing our best with that, or they might choke out other, more beautiful things.


  • When people expose their feelings and thoughts in the presence of others, they often realize they are not alone.

I think I’ll stop there, especially since the word “few” (which I used in the introduction to that list) means ….. three, to me.

Hmmmmm. I wonder why I’m using so many ellipses (….) in this post?

Maybe it’s because I’m trying to convey something I would do if I was speaking these thoughts out loud, right now. That is, each time I’ve used … dot dot dot … in this post, I would pause for emphasis and — perhaps — allow my listeners to fill in their own assumptions.

It’s fun to speak directly to people.  Another reason I love my work!

Thanks to Dr. Susan Albers (for the first Mindful Eating image), to my bf Michael (for the second one), to Bloom into Landscaping (where I found the weed image), to all who have the courage to be vulnerable and to heal in the presence of others, and to you — of course! — for participating today.

1  The challenge of capturing this experience in words came up for me several times this week, as I had two deadlines for doing that very thing: (1) writing an article about the way I do group therapy and (2) writing a proposal to make a presentation about that, also.

2 Actually, I re-learned many of these things, but that’s how human beings learn, people!

3  “Group facilitator” is the term most people use, these days, instead of “group leader.” I like that term. I think it does a good-enough job of capturing that experience.

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

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