Tag Archives: lifestyle

Metaphors in psychotherapy

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Metaphors in psychotherapy

Good Friday to everyone! Are you ready for the weekend? IMAG0458

I have had a good day at work, with interesting meetings and memorable conversations. I have also had some time to read a bit, and came across two interesting metaphors. In addition, a doctor I work together with, also pulled a metaphor up his sleeve, and when I came down to my office, I had to write them all down. Then I got the idea? Wouldn`t it be great with a book full of metaphors (it probably exists already, but an update is always welcome) ? And then I started to wonder:

Do you have metaphors fitting for life in general and for psychotherapy?

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Life is like a camera

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Perspectives…

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Boys carrying spaghetti in a macaroni factory in Naples, Italy. 1929

Psychological and philosophical point of view, brought to you in plain language…

http://www.raptitude.com/2010/10/9-mind-bending-epiphanies-that-turned-my-world-upside-down

 

Kindness to a stranger

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On the page “Let`s change the world” you find our idea for a better world. We have now created a group where I will post information about a competition we will have, and where I will publish ideas for acts of kindness we all can do. You will also find a lot of inspirations and ideas here on the blog. For those who don`t know what kindness to a stranger mean, I`ll repost the idea:

 

Project: Kindness to a stranger

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Give a smile to a stranger, and you might have made the world a little better  ”validation project”

Project kindness to a stranger

To introduce the idea, I will ask everyone to watch this short movie first. Even if it takes 18 minutes, and afterwards you will feel good.

We go about our everyday lives wanting things to always be getting better. We hope that our work makes a difference and those who came before us are proud and we wish for our children to have more than what we were given. As anyone knows who has heard Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech—delivered fifty years ago this August~ dreams are at the center of any effort to make things better. And today we have something with more power than we might realize: The internet. It’s not without reason that China and North-Korea tried to keep their inhabitants away from news.The media also have immense power, and even if some might argue that they focus on the wrong things, a lot of journalist really want to make the world a better place. Combine the knowledge, motivation the internet and the media and you have a wonderful recipe: People who actually do something.

http://ow.ly/nk7U1

So, by now you might be thinking: Yeah, sure, but what can I DO?

If you have watched the movie, you have seen the immense effect some words can have. When we have the possibility to help, by little effort, we do it. For example, most people help the world by sorting our paper and throw it in a separate garbage bin, thereby saving the rainforest. So, what about potentially making somebody happy by smiling a little?

trueResearch shows that our mirror-neurons respond automatically by creating a smile on your own lips. This means that smiling AT someone, actually MAKE them happier. Research also shows that being happy yourself, gives you more energy to be there for others. So, like in the video, I would challenge the readers of this blog to do JUST one nice thing for somebody else (preferably a stranger, because that would have the biggest impact) the next week.

When you have done that, write WHAT you did, and if you want, leave your email at the end. This will be like signing a petition for releasing a political prisoners. For every one of you who does that, you might have made the world just a little better. This is what your story means: You are signing a petition for a better world

 

 

The group can be found here (you must have google + to join). I will start to interview people next week, and I will then focus on good things they`ve done, or good things others have done to them. The interviews will be posted on the group:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/104282293763031936119

twitter: @Freepsychology

Facebook page (have you liked it yet?): https://www.facebook.com/freepsychology

Are you affected? I sure hope so

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  Psychology – A class divided

A Class DividedElliott divided her class by eye color — those with blue eyes and those with brown. On the first day, the blue-eyed children were told they were smarter, nicer, neater, and better than those with brown eyes.

Throughout the day, Elliott praised them and allowed them privileges such as a taking a longer recess and being first in the lunch line. In contrast, the brown-eyed children had to wear collars around their necks and their behavior and performance were criticized and ridiculed by Elliott.

On the second day, the roles were reversed and the blue-eyed children were made to feel inferior while the brown eyes were designated the dominant group. What happened over the course of the unique two-day exercise astonished both students and teacher.

On both days, children who were designated as inferior took on the look and behavior of genuinely inferior students, performing poorly on tests and other work.

Like many readers already know: I am an incurable softy. I get touched by everything beautiful, especially people`s courage, personalities and thoughts. I must confess that this documentary awoke a mix of different feelings: Sadness for the wrongs we`ve done, but also hope for the future and love towards humanity. It also excited some thoughts: What if we could teach children by asking the right questions without feeding them our own pre-made solutions?  Do we learn teachers how to teach, what to focus on and how to take care of our future at all? Because, our children are the future, and I really hope they will do better than we did.

I`d rather know this before I have my own children; I want to know that the world can be better, before I let them run around in it. Peril will be everywhere, of course, but as long as there`s hope, I`m willing to take a chance. I want to protect them from landmines around the next corner. 

My eyes are still filled with tears, touched by the courageous woman who wanted to show her class what racism is by making them really understand it. My first sceptical «be-carefulness», was convinced by her gentle voice that soothed both the children in the “experiment” and me.

Thank you, brave woman. Thank you for not closing your eyes.

I embed hope in my touched tears, and know they won`t be shed for nothing.

Love, Nina. Clinical psychologist

The documentary

The horrible part was not that one was forced to join in: But that it was impossible not to.

G. Orwell: 1984

76 CommentsOctober 5 – World Teachers’ Day (teacherinsights.wordpress.com)
Socializing Race (warwithinmorris.wordpress.com)
You have something in your eye. (purpleturd.wordpress.com)
Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes (chewingmyfruit.wordpress.com)

https://forfreepsychology.wordpress.com/lets-change-the-world/project-validation/

 

Happy waiting

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The Joys of Waiting

I hate waiting. Most people I know hate waiting. Life is full of waiting: we wait for loved ones to come home, we wait for movies to start, we wait in lines at groceries, banks, or the DMV. We wait to hear the results of tests at school, and the results of tests about our health.  Right now my love is waiting to find out if a new job will come through, unable to make commitments until he a5bf950448372b7a778f89216c198160does. As writers, we wait for the muse to strike, we wait to hear back about a submission, we wait to see if anyone will discover our work, and we wait to learn if they love it as we do. All this waiting creates an often excruciating sense of anticipation, anxiety, or dread. It puts us in a state of suspended animation, of limbo: we understand, while in this limbo, why Dante used that term to describe the experience of being in neither Heaven nor Hell, of being profoundly uncertain of where one will wind up.

So, in an exercise of deep spiritual dedication, I thought I’d better come up with the top ten joys of waiting. You know, turn this thing on its head. Take a deep breath (well, maybe not if you’re waiting in line at the DMV) and find what we can love about limbo.

Top Ten Joys of Waiting

10. Any waiting room, anywhere, can serve as an object lesson in how NOT to decorate a room for the comfort and pleasure of its occupants.

9. The “take a number” machine reminds you of your first trip to Baskin-Robbins Thirty-One Flavors as a kid. (Oh, would there be any Bubble Gum or Peppermint Stick ice cream left by the time it was your turn?)

8. The conversation you eavesdrop on while in line provides excellent inspiration for dialogue between the two least-educated characters in your work-in-progress.

7. In an hour spent staring at your toes, you are taken on an emotional journey from rejection to acceptance, from “my toes are hideous!” to “I kind of like my left pinkie toe” to “my toes are beautiful, just the way they are.”

6. You finally have time to read your friends’ Facebook posts. (Although you regret, deeply and forever, looking up “twerk” on YouTube, as your friend recommended.)

5. You realize you have a great excuse to say “no” to invitations to upcoming events you were dreading anyway. “No, I’m sorry, I’m still waiting to hear about [fill in the blank], and I’d hate to take up someone else’s spot at your third cousin’s bat mitzvah, the one with the Klezmer Captain and Tennille cover band, only to have to cancel on you at the last minute.”

4. You realize you have a great excuse not to start cleaning the bathroom, because that phone call might come any minute, and you can’t answer the phone with your hands covered in Comet.

3. The anxiety from waiting gives you the energy to organize the hall closet. (Hey, your partner/roommate/kid can take that giant garbage bag of stuff to Goodwill. You’re done, you’ve earned a cold beer/dish of ice cream/nap.)

2. You make up six new verses to “American Pie.” In your waiting-induced mild psychosis, you think they’re better than the original.

1. Suddenly, a voice cuts through all the fear, anxiety, anticipation, or dread, and reminds you of everything you have to be grateful for, right in this moment: the ability to breathe, to worry, to create lists, to laugh, and to love.

two empty chairs lakeside at sunset

The fisherman who knew how to live

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THE FISHERMAN WHO KNEW HOW TO LIVE

October 16, 2012

A smartly-dressed enterprising tourist is taking photographs when he notices a shabbily dressed local fisherman taking a nap in his fishing boat. The tourist is disappointed with the fisherman’s apparently lazy attitude towards his work, so he approaches the fisherman and asks him why he is lying around instead of catching fish.
The fisherman explains that he went fishing in the morning, and the small catch would be sufficient for the next two days.  The tourist tells him that if he goes out to catch fish multiple times a day, he would be able to buy a motor in less than a year, a second boat in less than two years, and so on.

he tourist further explains that one day, the fisherman could even build a small cold storage plant, later a pickling factory, fly around in a helicopter, build a fish restaurant, and export lobster directly to Paris without a middleman.  The nonchalant fisherman asks, “Then what?”  The tourist enthusiastically continues, “Then, without a care in the world, you could sit here in the harbor, doze in the sun, and look at the glorious sea.”  “But I’m already doing that”, says the fisherman.

The enlightened tourist walks away pensively, with no trace of pity for the fisherman, only a little envy.

Source: Anecdote concerning the Lowering of Productivity in by Heinrich Boll (author), Leila Vennewitz (translator) The Collected Stories of Heinrich Boll, pages 794-796

Quality of life: Money or free time?

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I have loved this little story since I read it the first time, and even use it in therapy to illustrate how a lot of people think today. When people feel dismay because everyone else works so hard, buys expensive stuff and manage everything at once (the wonderwomen and men of today), I think it`s important to put a question mark on what we define as the important goal of our lives. What do you think?

THE FISHERMAN WHO KNEW HOW TO LIVE

October 16, 2012 · by  · in Wisdom stories

A smartly-dressed enterprising tourist is taking photographs when he notices a shabbily dressed local fisherman taking a nap in his fishing boat. The tourist is f05b3fe8d1f5ef5d36f311fd9b236ee7disappointed with the fisherman’s apparently lazy attitude towards his work, so he approaches the fisherman and asks him why he is lying around instead of catching fish. The fisherman explains that he went fishing in the morning, and the small catch would be sufficient for the next two days.

The tourist tells him that if he goes out to catch fish multiple times a day, he would be able to buy a motor in less than a year, a second boat in less than two years, and so on. The tourist further explains that one day, the fisherman could even build a small cold storage plant, later a pickling factory, fly around in a helicopter, build a fish restaurant, and export lobster directly to Paris without a middleman.

The nonchalant fisherman asks, “Then what?”

The tourist enthusiastically continues, “Then, without a care in the world, you could sit here in the harbor, doze in the sun, and look at the glorious sea.”

“But I’m already doing that”, says the fisherman.

The enlightened tourist walks away pensively, with no trace of pity for the fisherman, only a little envy.

 

Source: Anecdote concerning the Lowering of Productivity

in by Heinrich Boll (author), Leila Vennewitz (translator)

The Collected Stories of Heinrich Bollpages 794-796

 

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How the world got a little better: People who inspire

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Many of our post focus on how we can do small things to change the world. We have a chance, every day, but sometimes it just feels like a drop in the sea. Be assured, your drop might be a important ingredient the world-remedy. With all those individual and special drops, our sea will never be polluted by debris from high power industries, stigma or “parasites”. Today I want to focus on a blog that has dedicated itself to searching for the good, by also contributing to it. It amazes me how much love and joy one person is able to give, and I am sure he has already inspired many others to do the same.

Does this little step towards changing the world matter? Or is it «no more than a drop in the sea»? Decide for yourself.

GOTTA FIND A HOME

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How it began:

My lungs ached, as frost hung in the bitterly cold December morning air, making breathing difficult. I trudged in the falling snow toward Place Bell where I work, in the city’s gray, concrete, office tower canyon. I dodged other pedestrians, also trying to get to work on time, I noticed a woman seated cross-legged on the sidewalk with her back against the wall of the library. A snow-covered Buddha wrapped in a sleeping bag, shivering in the below freezing temperature. I guessed her to be in her forties. Everything about her seemed round. She had the most angelic face, sparkling blue eyes and a beautiful smile. A cap was upturned in front of her. I thought,There but for the grace of God go I. Her smile and blue eyes haunted me all day.

In the past I’ve been unemployed, my wife and I were unable to pay our mortgage and other bills, we went through bankruptcy, lost our house, my truck. Being in my fifties, my prospects looked dim. It could have been me, on the sidewalk, in her place.

I’ve been told not to give money to pan handlers because they’ll just spend it on booze. I thought to myself, What should I do, if anything? What would you do? I asked for advice from a friend who has worked with homeless people. She said, “The woman is probably hungry. Why don’t you ask her if she’d like a breakfast sandwich and maybe a coffee?”

That sounded reasonable, so the next day I asked, “Are you hungry? Would you like some breakfast, perhaps a coffee?”

“That would be nice,” she replied.

ballongWhen I brought her a sandwich and coffee she said to me, “Thank you so much, sir. You’re so kind. Bless you.” I truly felt blessed.

This has become a morning routine for the past two and a half years. The woman (I’ll call Joy) and I have become friends. Often I’ll sit with her on the sidewalk. We sometimes meet her companions in the park. They have become my closest friends. I think of them as angels. My life has become much richer for the experience.

Throughout the past few years I have come to know many people, now friends, who for various reasons are, or were, homeless. Antonio, slept on a park bench and was beaten, had his teeth kicked out, for no other reason than his choice to sleep outdoors. He is a small, gentle man who has a phobia about enclosed spaces.

Craig, slept on the sidewalk in the freezing cold. I see him every morning and am never sure if, when I lift the corner of his sleeping bag, I will find him dead or alive.

husSometimes, he confided, he would prefer never to awake.

Joy is a friend who fell on hard times. She slept behind a dumpster in back of Starbucks. I have seen her with blackened eyes, bruised legs, cracked ribs, cut and swollen lips. I usually see her sitting on the sidewalk ‘panning’ for change.

I can’t do much for these people except to show them love, compassion, an ear to listen, perhaps a breakfast sandwich and a coffee. I would like to do more. To know them is to love them. What has been seen cannot be unseen. I have started to write an account of their daily lives. I intend to turn this into a book and have it published. That is my goal.

I am writing articles and biographies of Joy and other street people. They have been informed that they don’t have to use their real names, that any profits would go back to the homeless and that it could be a vehicle to say whatever they want to the population at large.

Let`s change the world: Background

Project Validation

Justice Or Not, We Take One Step At A Time    #Karma

Make people Happy: 9 ways to make anybody feel special

Random ACTS of Kindness Misty Shaw 532 pins

 

   Barefoot Baroness on Alphonse Jr. Dies
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Nativegrl77 on One Week Sober
menomama3 on One Week Sob

Video about “letting go” with excercise

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Reblogged from: http://ptsdawayout.com/category/my-favorites/

Alex hosts the show.  We have both been working everyday, amazed at where this is taking us.  Alex, at 70 has changed drastically.  He was a perfectionist, rigid, clinging to thinking and fighting to be able to control life.

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He used to worry, thinking about all the ways to please others, so many obligations, no time left for him.  Searching for the self-worth, that a child has hidden away from his constant search, he was lost.  Now, he has gained flexibility, a curiosity for the unknown and the focus to let go.

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Practice, so you can let go too.

 

Justice Or Not, We Take One Step At A Time

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Every little thing we do for the better, helps a little

One step at a time

There are so many stories of unjust treatment, and this blog will not watch prejudice, abuse or misuse of power without writing about it. The knowledge and insights we want to share, can hopefully be of inspiration and broaden the reader’s mind even more. The more knowledge we have, the stronger we become. Remember, one person can do great things (think of M. Teresa & M. Gandhi), but before anyone can do anything, it`s important to learn as much as possible about the world around us. We cannot do anything before we know what needs to be done, and cannot help without understanding people and their specific world. There are so many perspectives out there, and we hope to show you some of them. That`s the reason our guest bloggers are much appreciated, and even more importantly, the readers of this blog who are free to give feedback on what this blog suffers from and what we should continue with.

Unjust systems, laws and use of power

Unfortunately, there is still much unjustice in the world, much of which we feel powerless against (often using cognitive dissonance to protect us from that feeling)  since strong leaders and serious problems in the world make us feel helpless. But, this is not so. Sometimes we forget how much power we have, just by speaking up and getting others on board, a lot can change.

shh

we can`t keep silent

 Jerry Alataly writes: One would believe, if justice was blind and treated all people equally, that there would be equal punishment which matched the total amount of harm from the offense of the many people who commit crimes. We like to think that there is fairness in the legal worldsystem, where nobody  receives any type of special treatment; everyone is given the same  opportunity to defend themselves, and, when guilt is proven beyond a  reasonable doubt, face the consequences of their actions.  Punishment. Like we know, this is not always so.  Don`t panic from all  unjust treatment. Take a deep breath, and find the warrior inside  you: Paulo Coelho “Warrior Of The Light”: Then the Warrior thanks his  travelling companions, takes a deep breath and continues on, laden  with memories of an unforgettable journey. His heart is sad, but he  knows that his sword is sacred and that he must obey the orders of  the One to whom he offered up his struggle (from J):

Example of a social problem:

610 million people are registered as disabled worldwide. All around the world, existing stereotypes, fears and prejudices have excluded them from equal opportunities. They are often discriminated, marginalized, or treated with pity and welfare.

Overwhelming? Look here for comfort: Founded in 1988, Dialogue in the Dark (DiD) is an international social enterprise that has reached more than 6 million people in over 160 sites and 30 countries around the world. DiD focuses on promoting the ability of the disabled and creating more than 6000 jobs for the visually impaired worldwide.

So, what can one person do?

Hard to believe that one person can have any real effect? What about Brandon Stanton who met 6-year-old Rumi and his mother and decided to take their picture and put it up on his website. In the process, he made Rumi’s cowboy dreams come true! And what about the man who bikes across Canada to raise awareness for organ donation?

If you are not sure if you want to share your story, inspire others, or do something kind, might I recommend reading about the Benefits of givingIt increases your own happiness and has other unexpected effects. As a psychologist, I don`t think it would be very far off to prescribe “exercises in kindness” along with a healthy lifestyle in general.

Saving someone`s day, might not even cost much time and effort. One man, for example, simply stopped by a car who did not have more gas, pulled out his extra gasoline tank, and gave them enough gasoline to continue.

Do you have examples of what one person can do? Or would you like to guest blog here, and thereby enlightening more minds ready to be transformed? Feel free to email us at: forfreepsychology@gmail.com

Further reading:

More on unjustice

heaven on earth

oneness of humanity

The lies we tell ourselves

Little Acts of Kindness

Validation: You can change things

 

 

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