Posts Tagged With: healing in groups

Day 1208: This is what it sounds like

This is what it sounds like when doves cry.

This is what it sounds like when humans cry.

That’s weak!

Grow up!

Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.

Don’t be a baby.

Man up!

Get over it.

This is what it sounds (and looks) like when an amazing musical artist dies.





This is what it sounds like when a surviving blogger expresses gratitude for all she has.


Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1116: What is the theme of this post?

Almost exactly 600 days ago (but who’s counting?), I wrote a blog post with the same title as this one.  Perhaps because of the blog post I wrote yesterday, it’s easy for me to let go of embarrassment about re-using the same title. Also, I’m glad  I’m following my own advice from Day 801: How to ask for what you need by asking for what I need now — help in identifying the theme of this post.

So how can you help me identify the theme of this post?

Well, maybe we can use the process I use in the therapy groups I facilitate, in order to identify a theme.  In those groups, I also ask for help from the group members to identify an important theme that’s come up in the group discussion, so we can all explore that theme in further depth.  For example, in yesterday’s group,  I wrote themes up on the group room whiteboard  as the participants were sharing their thoughts, feelings, and experience. These themes included exhaustion, tasks, motivation, anxiety, stress,  triggers, self care and many more, as you can see in this portion of yesterday’s whiteboard:


Yesterday, the theme we chose together was “Energy”:


Could “Energy” also be the theme of this post?

Let’s examine all the other photos I took yesterday, to see if there’s another possible theme we can identify for today’s post:






If you can identify a theme for this post, please share it below, in a comment.

Many thanks to all those who heal in groups, to Amanda Curtin (a wonderfully talented group therapist whose office I visited yesterday), to PetSmart, to  Whole Foods, and to all the people, places and themes that helped me create this post. Special thanks to you — of course!  — for whatever you bring here, today.

Categories: blogging, group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , | 31 Comments

Day 1110: Life as a work of art

If somebody asked you to write, draw, or otherwise express your thoughts, feelings, and associations about “Life as a work of art,”  what work of art might you create?

Last night, in a therapy group — after we discussed many  topics including life, death, school, work, parents, what other people think, music, painting,  injury, healing, routines, miracles, safety, self-care, imperfection, immortality, wishes, Alan Rickman, and David Bowie —  I asked people to do just that.

Now, I shall attempt to turn my thoughts, feeling, associations, and other aspects of my life into a blogging work of art. Here are some artless and artful photos I took at work,  yesterday:

How do you judge or create works of art?

Yes, thou art being asked to work your responses into a comment, bringing more life and art into this post.

Lifetime-work-in-progress thanks to all who helped me create today’s work of art and special thanks to you — of course! — for the living art you practice, every day.

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

Day 1094: If you are lost or need assistance

Yesterday morning, I felt lost and needed assistance,  because snow had returned to Boston:


Why did I react to the first snowfall of the season that way?

  1. I’ve lived in Boston for 62 years and, at this point,  have seen enough  snow.
  2. Last year’s record snowfall was so overwhelming and painful, I was considering titling this post “PTSD: Post Traumatic Snow Disorder.”
  3. Now that I’m on anti-coagulants for the rest of my life, it’s very dangerous for me to slip and fall while walking, and I LOVE to walk, no matter what the weather.

Anyway, no matter what the weather, we can all feel lost and need assistance, at times.  That’s why I noticed this sign at work:


It’s wonderful to know there’s a service ambassador on call, happy to assist me.

Which reminds me of how happy I am that, starting next Monday, thanks to our new “Quick Response” service, I will be there to assist doctors and patients who feel lost and need assistance, immediately.



What do you do when you are lost and need assistance? Personally, sometimes I take photos of my surroundings to ground myself, like these:









Often, when people are lost and need assistance, they fear they are a bother to other people.  They’re not.

Today, I look forward to meeting with people who might feel lost and need assistance, in group and individual therapy.

Here’s another thing that helps me when I’m lost or need assistance: connection to others.  If you think that means I’m hinting that you leave a comment below, you are NOT lost and in need of assistance.

Thanks to all humans who have ever felt lost or have needed assistance, which — I assume — includes you and everyone else reading this post, here and now.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 66 Comments

Day 1092: Dreams

Here are some of my associations with “Dreams” on this Monday of the week between Christmas and the New Year of 2016:

  • This time of year feels particularly dream-like to me,
  • I think and talk a lot about dreams, at work and elsewhere.
  • One of my favorite books is Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill, about the amazing healing that happens when people share dreams in groups.
  • Even though I’ve been living the dream of blogging daily for (almost) three years, I’ve written only four previous posts with “Dreams” in the title (here, here, here, and here).
  • When I got my first cardiac pacemaker at age ten in 1963, my being alive and well over fifty years later was just a dream.
  • I’ve had several dream jobs — including creating the recruitment video for Berklee College of Music in the 1990s — but nothing more satisfying than my current work as a psychotherapist.
  • When I was 44 years old, I consciously gave up the dream of ever having a child.
  • One month later, I found out I was pregnant with my dreamy son, Aaron.
  • Two nights ago I had a dream when I was falling from a great height to certain death, but because I knew I was dreaming, I wasn’t afraid, at all.
  • If a dream comes true and I get a call-back when I try out for The Voice on February 21, I’m going to sing  Mad World, which has this line:

The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had.

Because I was dreaming so much yesterday, I forgot to take many photos. Which of these images seems the most dream-like, to you?

It’s always a dream for me that people feel safe enough to share their dreams,  here and elsewhere.

Dreamy thanks to all who helped me create this post and to all those who read it, here and now.

Categories: Dreams, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

Day 1082: Sound

What is the sound of

  • silence?
  • one hand clapping?
  • peace?
  • distraction?
  • connection?
  • technology?
  • thoughts?
  • feelings?
  • time?
  • a sound body?
  • a sound mind?

Sound is on my sound mind right now because last night’s therapy group soundly picked “sound” as a topic to explore.  Two  hours earlier, I had heard the sound of a different therapy group soundly choosing  the sound topic of “Wisdom.”

As we explored sound in that second therapy group, people soundly requested some  sounds of the season (which I soundly played on my sound iPhone):

What do those sounds do for you?

What sounds are evoked by these images on my sound iPhone?











What sounds do you hear, here and now?

Please soundly express the sounds in your head and your heart, in a comment below.

What is the sound of gratitude?  Thanks to all.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 1074: The Head and the Heart

Yesterday,  people in a therapy group decided to explore this topic:

What’s in your head and what’s in your heart?

I suggested that we draw our heads and our hearts and fill them with words, images, and whatever else we chose.



For the rest of the day, I noticed things in my head and/or my heart.

What do you hold, now, in your head?  What’s in your heart?

Thanks, from my head and from my heart, to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for bringing your head and your heart here, today.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 50 Comments

Day 1059: Awesome Sauce

Yesterday, during group therapy, somebody said

Awesome Sauce

to express positive feelings.

Awesome Sauce

quickly went viral within the group.  Every time somebody said

Awesome Sauce

people felt better.


Awesome Sauce

to me, how two little words can cheer up an entire room.

Throughout the day, I took these awesome sauce pictures.

In case you’re wondering, the awesome sauce on that swordfish is made with mustard, horseradish, and cranberries.

Awesome sauce!!

After I publish this awesome sauce post, I’m doing some awesome sauce work and then I’m seeing an awesome sauce play with some awesome sauce people (one of whom made the awesome sauce in that last picture).

Awesome Sauce!

What makes you say “Awesome Sauce”?  What simple words or action do you think might cheer up an entire room?

Thanks to everybody who said “Awesome Sauce” yesterday and thanks to you — of course! — for being so awesome sauce, today.



Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 47 Comments

Day 1058: Is that normal?

Yesterday, somebody interested in joining my therapy groups  was describing her life, her feelings, her past, and her behaviors, when she asked me

Is that normal?

Is that normal that she asked that question?   In a normal week, somebody — struggling through pain, who has survived amazingly challenging experiences — will ask me

Is that normal?

I guess it’s normal to worry about whether you’re normal.

My normal response is often this:

I hear that you  want to feel better and move on. That sounds normal to me.

Is that normal?

Is that normal to take pictures intuitively, not knowing how I’m going to use them in a post?

Is that normal for WordPress to arrange those pictures that way? Is that normal to wonder whether some of those pictures seem more normal to you?

Normally, I share music in my blog posts. My new normal is to wait for others to share music with me.

Is that normal to feel and express gratitude?  Per normal,  I’m thankful for everything here AND I’m thankful — of course! — for you.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 1017: Just one

Yesterday, because there’s just one of me and I had so many things to do, I took just one photo.


I shall take just one moment to explain just one photo:  Asking just one question beginning with “What was your intent when …?” can be a helpful and effective way to respond, when just one person says just one thing you find puzzling, upsetting, or concerning.

I will give just one example of that:

Somebody: You look terrible.

Response:  What was your intent when you said that?

Before  I thought of that just one example,  I visited just one website titled “Random Rude Things People Say.”

I shall now allow my just one brain to free-associate about “Just one.” I have more than just one association:

  • I have just one child, a 17-year old son, who is just one year away from leaving for just one college.
  • I have just one of myself, so I like to take as good care of myself as possible.
  • I have just one boyfriend, because I’m monogamous.
  • I have just one heart, which I take care of with the help of more than just one doctor, so I can see my just one son blossom and grow.
  • I publish just one post every day.
  • I have just one life to live, so I don’t like wasting just one minute on toxic people or experiences.
  • If I make just one mistake, I tend to judge myself harshly, which is just one of the many unhelpful ways of thinking I’m trying to change.
  • Just one person in just one of my therapy groups yesterday said, “Attending this group has helped me a lot.”
  • I have just one song to share with you today.

I made just one mistake there — I remembered the title of “Just a Song Before I Go” as “Just One Song Before I Go.”

It took me just one second to forgive myself for that.

Just one comment from YouTube about that song:

“The Crosby, Stills, and Nash song “Just a Song Before I Go” was written on a dare by their limo driver that they couldn’t write a song before getting to the airport. It went on to become one of their biggest hits.”

Just one quote from that song:

Travelling twice the speed of sound
It’s easy to get burned

Because Crosby Still and Nash sing just one verse more than just one time, I think that’s just one piece of advice I’m going to take today.

What’s that just one piece of advice I’m going to take? Just two words:

Slow down

What’s just one thing you’d like to say about this post?  If you leave just one comment, I’ll leave just one response later in the day.

Just one person I’d like to thank today — YOU!

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

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