I did have one therapy session with a group of people who were not muttering quietly to their imaginary friend, scared of their shadow, paranoid, or overly anxious. The therapist was discussing handling every day life.
He talked about finding something to do that relaxed you, made you happy, and did not bring on anxiety, frustration, anger, or fear. Naturally he asked each of us what that activity would be.
The first gentleman said he liked to fish. He had a small pond and a jon boat that he could use anytime. He went on about the peace he found. The therapist was very interested and several questions.
The next gentleman said he, also, enjoyed fishing but he preferred salt water fishing from a pier. A conversation ensued among several people about fishing, equipment, boats, locations, and in one case, a tall tale.
A lady said she enjoyed gardening and went on to tell about the flowers in her yard. She described how much she enjoyed just having her hands in the dirt and the satisfaction she got from watching the fruits (or rather blooms) of her labor. Several folks had questions about what she planted, did she start with seeds or small plants. One person even asked her if she had a formal garden.
The next lady enjoyed playing the piano. She said she especially enjoyed playing at her church. There were questions about how long she had played, what was her favorite song, and did she play for weddings and such.
Another lady said she enjoyed cooking. And her favorite was to cook for her family. Naturally there were questions about what type of food she liked to cook, had she ever taken lessons, and what was her favorite dish.
Then it came to me. I said I enjoyed photography. Walking around someplace with my camera capturing the personality and beauty of the area brought me great satisfaction. No one said anything. No one asked a question. The therapist spoke up, "So you like to go around and take pictures. That's good."
With that he moved on to the gentleman next to me who said he enjoyed working on cars. There was much discussion about what type of cars he worked on, etc.
The therapist wrapped the discussion up, "This has been very valuable. Not only did each of you share your activity, but everyone was engaged and we all learned so much more about everyone's hobby. I know I learned a lot this morning."
I definitely felt as if I had been patted on the head and told - you take pictures, isn't that special. Next.
Good thing the topic wasn't what each of us did that brought us respect and admiration from others. I would definitely be suffering from a loss of self esteem and a serious inferiority complex. But then I'm in therapy to make me feel better, right?
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