Posts Tagged With: psychotherapy

Day 1682: Imperfections

Yesterday,  in my office, two imperfect human beings discussed imperfections.  We talked about how people look in the mirror and focus  only on imperfections, ignoring the positives that others seem to observe. I suggested the practice of accepting and loving oneself, imperfections and all.

Do you see any imperfections in my photos from yesterday?

 

 

 

 

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Yesterday, I said imperfectly, “Nobody puts Ann in a corner.” I think we’ve established that we can’t say the same about Carl.

Here are some perfect imperfections from YouTube:

Imperfectly perfect thanks to those who helped me create today’s post with all its imperfections.  All of me thanks all of you, here and now.

 

 

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

Day 1656: Holding on

I’m holding on to many things as we pack up to move, including

  • my sense of humor,
  • things I find valuable,
  • my job,
  • creatures I love,
  • my thoughts,
  • my feelings,
  • my sanity, and
  • my iPhone, so I can be put on hold and also take pictures of my holdings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Before I started writing today’s blog post, I got a little ferklempt at the end of this excerpt from last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Show (which is holding on here at YouTube):

 

As always, I’m holding on to gratitude for all those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for you, who keep me holding on.

 

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 1593: Fake it ’til you make it

Don’t worry. I’m not going to fake anything in this post. However, I did make it to Wikipedia for an explanation of “Fake it ’til you make it.”

“Fake it ’til you make it” (also called “act as if”) is a common catchphrase. The purpose of “fake it to you make it” is that by imitating confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset, with the hope that it leads to realization of that imitation in an individual’s life.

The phrase, “Fake it till you make it,” is very similar to the idea of Aristotle that to be virtuous one must act as a virtuous person would act. Although Aristotle did not have actual evidence of this, he was wise enough to come to the conclusion that acting as if you were something could lead you to become something.

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In some cases “fake it until you make it” it may be recommended as a therapy technique for combating depression. In this case, the idea is to go through the routines of life imitating as if one were enjoying it. Although it feels forced in the beginning, by continuing to engaged in this behavior eventually it will become real. This is an example of a positive feedback loop (Based on the research of Francesca Gino, Maryam Kouchaki and Adam D. Galinsky.)

The phrase is often mostly associated with Alcoholics Anonymous although it does not appear in either of the books that form the foundation of the AA program, Alcoholics Anonymous or The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

I don’t know who makes those Wikipedia descriptions.

Do you ever fake it ’til you make it?

I won’t fake the fact that I have used that catchphrase in individual therapy and group therapy. “Fake it ’til you make it” is an invitation to practice more helpful thoughts and behaviors,  even though those thoughts and behaviors might feel new, unfamiliar, and therefore “fake.”

I also won’t fake the main reason I am quoting that catch phrase today.  The news makes me make this declaration:   We in the United States  have a president who — unprecedentedly  and un-president-ally — is faking it until he makes it. This kind of faking it ’til you make it makes me have many worries, concerns, fears, and other unfaked feelings.

I’m not faking it.  I read this before I started making this fake-it-’til-you-make-it post:

Look: We have known this since the campaign, but every once in a while it’s worth stopping and saying it. On issue after issue, Trump sounds like a student who vaguely recognizes a few phrases and is repeating them until the next student is called upon.

Here are some non-faked photographs I made yesterday:

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I can’t fake it — there are MANY Fake It ‘Til You Make It’s on YouTube. Here’s the one that’s making it to this post:

 

Please don’t fake it — make some comments below.

Non-fake thanks to all who help me make this blog and — of course! — to you, for making it through today’s post.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1578: Sharing complex information

Yesterday morning, I saw this on a white board at work:

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I’ll be sharing this complex information with you, here and now:

  • I wasn’t at the meeting where “Sharing complex information” was discussed.
  • I wish I had been at that meeting, because sharing complex information is challenging, complex, and complicated.
  • I  am sharing complex information every day — at work, in this blog, and elsewhere.
  • I constantly observe other people sharing complex information, with varying degrees of comfort and effectiveness.
  • People at that meeting were sharing complex information including this:

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In order to facilitate sharing of complex information in my therapy group, I erased the complex information on that white board.

For the rest of the day, I was sharing complex information.

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I believe that sharing complex information is an issue for everyone, especially in 2017.

That complex-information-sharing website, YouTube, is sharing complex information herehere, and here.

Will you be sharing complex information in a comment, below?

Finally, I’m sharing this complex information: many thanks to all who helped me share this complex-information post and — of course! — to YOU, no matter what complex information you’re sharing today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 1194: When you write sentence fragments beginning with the word “When” 

When you read social media these days, have you noticed this new style of writing?

When I read Facebook and lots of people are posting  sentence fragments that begin with the word “When.”

Like that one.

When I write a blog post and feel I need more examples (from Facebook).

When your client asks you to bring your dog to lunch.

When your friend’s kid plays a mini Trump on Conan. Tonight.

When something comes unexpectedly. 😀

When we don’t see each other for a long time and then we do.

When we is excited for friends and food!

When the only letters you get are from the NHS. 😦

When I’m writing my blog posts on my phone because my laptop storage is full.

When I’m planning to go to the Apple Store tomorrow to free up storage.

When I use my photos from yesterday to support the theme of today’s post.

When the first thing  I write on my office whiteboard is a weird match for today’s topic.  
When I draw a t-shirt that illustrates something else we’re discussing in therapy.

When I draw something to show that even when things improve, people still have ups and downs. 
When you attend a lecture at work that’s too close for comfort and you have to leave the auditorium and get some comfort food.  

When you take photos for no apparent  reason and hope your readers like them.  

  
  
  
When WordPress changes the order of your photos for no apparent reason.

When you say to your son, “When you’ve just woken up and your mother is talking to you about her blog.”

When your son is so wonderful  you include a photo you took months ago.   

When you finish a post by expressing gratitude to all.

Categories: fun, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , | 32 Comments

Day 1068: Dread

Now that you’ve read the dread title of this post, do you dread reading it?

Do you dread posts that link to previous posts that might be dreadfully relevant? (e.g., here,  here, here, here, and  here)

I dread:

  • hurting other people’s feelings,
  • rejection,
  • making a fool of myself,
  • mistakes,
  • death,
  • taxes,
  • losing things,
  • harsh judgments,
  • miscommunication,
  • isolation,
  • illness,
  • violence, and
  • forgetting to express what’s important, including something a patient brought into therapy yesterday:

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Isn’t that dreadfully clever?  It’s so great, I dread comparing that to any other definition of dread, like this one:

dread
dred
verb

anticipate with great apprehension or fear.
“Jane was dreading the party”
synonyms: fear, be afraid of, worry about, be anxious about, have forebodings about

noun
great fear or apprehension.
“the thought of returning to New Jersey filled her with dread”
synonyms: fear, apprehension, trepidation, anxiety, worry, concern, foreboding, disquiet, unease, angst

informal
a person with dreadlocks.

adjective
greatly feared; dreadful.
“he was stricken with the dread disease and died”
synonyms: awful, frightful, terrible, horrible, dreadful

Obviously, the person who wrote that online definition dreads the state of New Jersey.

Do you dread seeing any of my other photos from yesterday?

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Because I dread posting photos that are too confusing, I’ll explain that last one: Yesterday I facilitated a therapy group where we focused on the topic of “sensitivity” and I drew that personal sensitivity scale (with my dreadful handwriting).

Here and now, I do NOT dread:

  • any thoughts, feelings, or other reactions you might share, below, about this post,
  • going into work,
  • weekends,
  • taking a healing breath,
  • focusing on the current moment, and
  • thanking you for reading this!

Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 54 Comments

Day 1018: More positions

Four day ago, I wrote a post called “Positions” in which I took a negative position about being positioned next to medical machines at night. As I positioned in that post, my negative position about medical machines is positioned by (1) past experiences  when I was a child positioned next to cardiac monitors in the hospital and (2) recent experiences positioned next to CPAP and BiPAP machines for sleep apnea.

If you position your cursor to read that previous “Positions” post, you’ll discover the position that my being positioned in a side position is a good-enough treatment for my positional sleep apnea. WordPress reader Maureen was kind and helpful enough to position a comment after that post,  suggesting that I position a side-positioning  pillow next to me.

Because I respect my readers’ positions, I ordered and received one of those pillows yesterday. I’m glad I’m in a position, through this blog, to thank Maureen for her help in positioning me for a better night’s sleep.

Thanks, Maureen!

Yesterday, Chris  — who has been positioned before in posts including this one and this one (and who is usually positioned in the Bay Area of California ) — got into this position very close to where I hold a position as a group therapist:

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Now, you might position an assumption that I asked Chris to take that position, in order to position today’s post. Actually, Chris assumed that side-plank position (also known as the yoga Vasisthasana position) on his own.  He took that position spontaneously as I positioned him in front of some chrysanthemums to take that photo.   Chris takes the position that mums position themselves everywhere in New England during the fall, so we both wanted to position Chris with mums in the picture.

While I was in the position of teacher and Chris was in the position of student when we first met at Boston University in the 1980s, I am now in a position to learn from Chris. Yesterday, he taught me  that “asana” means “position” (or “how you sit”) in yoga.

Also, both Chris and I positioned a pun as a possible caption to that photo of him, positioned above. What caption might you position there?  I’ll position our pun, later, in a comment positioned below this post.

After I saw Chris, I positioned myself, several times, to take more photos. During the afternoon, the Pat Metheny tune “Afternoon” (which has already been positioned in this previous post) positioned itself in my earphones.

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After I took that last photo (which shows a position I share with William James), I positioned myself in a room with my EMDR therapist, George, to discuss repositioning my present reactions to old and difficult experiences (especially those I had when positioned in the hospital as a little girl). EMDR  (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy uses  lights to position your eyes, with a machine like this:

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While we didn’t use that eye-positioning machine in yesterday’s EMDR session,  here’s an important position George and I discussed:

Sometimes it’s difficult for people  (especially women)  to be in a position to connect with their personal power. I am positioning myself — through therapy, this blog, and the work that I do — to discover, own, develop, and position what power I have.

What position might you take about any position taken in this post?  I hope you know where you can position a comment.

I can’t position enough thanks here for Maureen, Chris, George, Pat Metheny, and all the other people — including you! — who position themselves along my personal journey of discovery and growth.

Categories: personal growth, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1006: It Takes Two

It took two earbuds, yesterday morning, to deliver to my two ears a great Stephen Sondheim song — “It Takes Two.”

It takes two exceptional actor/singers — Chip Zien and Joanna Gleason — from the original Broadway production of Sondheim’s Into the Woods to sing “It Takes Two” in that YouTube video.

It takes two things very dear to my heart — seen on October 2 — to create the first  “It Takes Two” image of today’s post:

It takes two happy moments for me to tell you that’s my wonderful friend  (and ex-co-worker) Mary next to my new yellow car.

It takes two — I and my iPhone camera — to notice and capture pictures I think relate to my blog posts, every day.


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

As I’m typing this post with my two hands, it takes about two moments for me to come up with more than two associations for “It Takes Two.”

  • It takes two parents to help our son Aaron negotiate the college application process, so I’ve asked Aaron’s father, Leon, to meet with us today after 2 PM, to discuss all that.
  • It takes two days for me to come up with all the wonderful things I can say about my son Aaron, so I’m probably going to spend two hours today at the keyboard creating a “Parent Brag Sheet for College Recommendations.”
  • It takes two people, or more,  in a therapy office to come up with effective ideas for dealing with anxiety, depression, and many other challenges to people’s mental health.
  • It takes two cardiologists — Drs. Deeb Salem and Mark Estes — to give me the level of care I need for my very unusual heart.
  • It takes two doctors — my Primary Care Physician and a sleep specialist — to help me figure out how the heck to treat my mild sleep apnea.
  • It takes two sleep machines for me to conclude that I really dislike wearing a medical machine at night.
  • It takes approximately two minutes for me to attempt to explain why I dislike wearing medical machines at night. That experience is way too close to too many memories I have of being attached to medical machines before the age of 12, when it took two parents to take me and leave me at Children’s Hospital to receive more than two pacemakers between the ages of 10 and 12,  to keep me alive.
  •  It takes two months to reschedule an appointment with the sleep specialist at Tufts Medical Center, so I’m too grateful that I’m finally seeing seeing him, in not too much more than 2 x 2 days.
  • It took two tickets to Boston’s Symphony Hall last night to get me and my boyfriend Michael in to see Mozart’s Requiem  — which I sang 2 x 2 decades ago with the MIT Chorus.  Musical scholars think it took two people to write Mozart’s RequiemMozart and Franz Sussmayr to complete it after Mozart’s untimely death at age 35.

It takes two people (at least) to create a legitimate Wikipedia page, and it takes two sentences from the Wikipedia entry about Mozart’s Requiem to show that it takes two of several different instruments to play the Requiem:

The Requiem is scored for 2 basset horns in F, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets in D, 3 trombones (alto, tenor & bass), timpani (2 drums), violins, viola and basso continuo (cello, double bass, and organ). The vocal forces include soprano, contralto, tenor, and bass soloists and an SATB mixed choir.

When I sang the Requiem with the MIT Chorus  two years after I had graduated from a college not too far from MIT,  I was an “S” in the SATB (Soprano Alto Tenor Bass) mixed chorus.

Yesterday, it took two people to have this conversation about the Requiem:

Me: Perhaps the best music ever written — Mozart’s Requiem — is playing at Symphony Hall tonight.  Do you want to go?

Michael (after a pause):  Sure, baby.

It takes two words from my boyfriend to make me really, really happy, sometimes.

It takes two seconds for me to decide to share this part of the Requiem (which everybody agrees was written only by Mozart).

It apparently takes two musical numbers for me to successfully complete this post.

It takes way more than two people to help me create every post I write here. Thanks to all of them and to you — of course! — for taking the time to read this.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Day 831: How do you tell the story?

I am starting my story today with the last picture I took yesterday, in my office.

I wrote that in a therapy session, where somebody  was  telling a personal story with paralyzingly harsh self-judgment  and hopelessness about the future.

I have witnessed, many times, how people can get stuck in negative stories about themselves, ignoring  positive exceptions and different perspectives.

Yesterday, I encouraged that person in therapy to

  • let go of an overwhelming and crippling sense of personal failure,
  • to  see themselves as the hero of their own story, and
  • to allow for the possibility of hope and change.

And by the end of the session, there were some glimmers of hope about the future.

How are you telling your own story these days, to yourself and to others? Are you the hero of your own story? I hope so, because who else could possibly play that role, in The Story of You?

How might I tell the story of the photos I took yesterday, presented here in chronological order?

  

        

    

  

    

Each of us could tell the story of those pictures in many different ways — depending upon what we notice and the history and assumptions we bring to those images.

I’ll tell you my story of this photo:

Everybody is self centered. The difference is the size of the radius.

And here’s my story about these two:

I have no idea how those photos got on my iPhone.

As I often see in clients (and in myself, too), negative stories tend to stick, leaving less room for the positive ones.

For example, 10 days ago, a cardiologist told a doom-filled, scarily negative story to me, about me, my health, and my future, even though he had just met me and had no medical tests on hand about my very unusual heart.  Ever since that very upsetting encounter,  I’ve  been trying to get that negative story out of my head, by telling parts of it here and elsewhere.

Retelling a story sometimes includes rewriting new dialogue. For instance, since I was too shocked to respond to that cardiologist telling me that —  if I didn’t have  valve surgery  as soon as possible — I would “die a miserable death, ” I am now wishing I had changed that story by replying:

Well, at least I am not living your miserable life.

I don’t know if that’s the best way to tell that story, but I am hoping that telling and re-telling the story of that miserable doctor’s visit — with or without new dialogue — will help me let that story go.

Based on the advice of several people I respect,  I am seriously considering telling the full story of my awful meeting with that doctor to the appropriate hospital authorities.  My main reasons for doing that would be

  1. to prevent other people from telling an upsetting story about encountering this doctor in the future and
  2. to help put that anxiety-provoking story behind me, as I prepare for a less invasive surgery on May 4th and allow room for the more hopeful and complete stories my long-time doctors are telling about my unusual, story-telling  heart.

What will I do in the future, with that upsetting doctor story? I am in the process of figuring out what will benefit me and my personal story, going forward. In other words, the ending of that  story hasn’t been written, yet.

Speaking of ending a story, what musical story should I include, now?

Bette Midler tells an amazing story, doesn’t she?

Many thanks to Bette Midler and to all who help me tell my story in a hopeful and healthy way, and special thanks to you — of course!– for reading my story, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Day 235: Disappointed

This post is dedicated to one of my childhood heroes — Carl Yastrzemski — whose birthday is today.

Yes, I confess.

I woke up this morning and was aware of the feeling of ….

Disappointment.

Disappointment is a human emotion that I love to invite from people in individual and group therapy, but which I often judge in myself.

That’s another rampant epidemic I see in my work: that double-standard of accepting in others what we might judge or disown in ourselves.

Here are some random thoughts, this morning, about disappointment:

  1. Disappointment, like anger, might be a signal of not getting needs met.
  2. Disappointment might indicate an investment in some outcome.
  3. Here’s a movie-moment from one of my favorite actors:

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What helped me, in dealing with disappointment this morning?

I read and liked some posts from other bloggers — some familiar and some new to me –including talktodiana, Mostly Bright Ideas, Awakening to Your Story, findingmyinnercourage, A Year of Rejoicing, Shekhina, morristownmemos, and Whimsical Eclecticist.

By the way, I recently tried to add some new “widgets” to my blog, including one that displays posts I’ve recently liked, and these New Things, so far, have not worked exactly the way I expected or wanted.

So what else is new?

Or, to repeat:

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Anyway, something else that helped, this morning: I followed through with a “commitment” I had made, earlier this year in this blog, to pay bills when they first come in (rather than procrastinating).

And while I didn’t pay a certain bill immediately when it came in, I did pay it, this morning, much earlier than usual.

That’s worth celebrating, don’t you think?

Yay!!!

Okay! So far, this blog post has included some tried-and-true Ways To Move Forward:

  1. Identifying a feeling (or thought).
  2. Accepting (and perhaps venting) that.
  3. Realizing that I am not alone in experiencing this.
  4. Seeing this as a possible gift or opportunity.
  5. Throwing in some quote (movie clip, comedian, poem, etc.) I really like.
  6. Giving credit to others.
  7. Giving credit to myself.

Before I end this post, I’ll just include one other Blogging Element I’ve enjoyed using this year: doing a random “spin” in Google Images to see what comes up.

Here are some images I found, doing a Google-Images Spin on “disappointed”:

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(above posted by yet another blogger!! — thehonestone)

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Anyway, time to end this post, for the day.

Thanks to Kevin Kline, “A Fish Called Wanda,” Yaz, bloggers familiar and new, disappointments familiar and new, and (but of course) to you, for reading today.

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

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