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Originally published at Am I the Only One Dancing?. Please leave any comments there.

murder and mental health

This is some seriously important shit. Go read this now. And then come back and we’ll have that discussion we’ve been needing to have in this country for far too long on murder and mental health.

I’m not Adam Lanza’s mother. I don’t think.

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Originally published at Am I the Only One Dancing?. Please leave any comments there.

Deadly Sin Wrath

Aw, hell. I was in the middle of this post about wrath when Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown,  Connecticut became the victim of  a mass killing of (among others) kindergarten students. I have completed my original thoughts, but have added, in the context of today’s events, a comment about what happened. It’s at the end of this post.

I started this series with wrath because it is perhaps the most deadly of the deadly sins — and not just because people who live in anger have a greater tendency to commit murders.  Anger creates a condition of continual stress in your body, which, over time, causes heart disease, high blood pressure, and other physical ailments.

Anger vs. Wrath

When people come to a therapist, they usually have one of three emotions that they are trying to ‘get rid of’: anger, fear, or sadness. Leaving aside for a second that “getting rid of”

deadly sin wrath

Pieter Bruegel the Elder: The Seven Deadly Sins or the Seven Vices – Anger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

an emotion is not the answer, the key here is that anger is one of the top three most miserable emotions to live with… and it’s even more complicated than that.

Anger is almost always tied up very tightly with anxiety. Sometimes the anger attempts to hide the fear, and sometimes the fear is desperately covering up deep rage, but they appear to be paired in many, many people.

On top of its marriage to anxiety, anger also sometimes serves an important function, by giving energy to people who are paralyzed by fear or depression, to function at a more or less ‘normal level’.

Anger is a useful emotion.

That bears repeating: Anger is a useful emotion. Which is why I tell people I will not help them get rid of it, only to use it better.

It can help you identify wrongs in your life. Is someone consistently treating you with disrespect? Anger will let you know, if you let it. Are you being asked to do more than your fair share at home or work? Anger will give you a heads up. Are someone’s lies hurting you? Anger will tell you (if you let it).

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Originally published at Am I the Only One Dancing?. Please leave any comments there.

I was exhausted last night and didn’t get my post ready for today. Here is something interesting and useful about the empathic nature of society to tide you over until I get home from work tonight and finish my post on Wrath, the first of the (Christian) Deadly Sins.

I’m interested in your thoughts on his reasoning (RSA Animate has tons of thoughtful videos out there… I invite you to ‘waste’ a day wandering through them.)

Also, this:

Empathy and Civilization

Cover via Amazon

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Originally published at Am I the Only One Dancing?. Please leave any comments there.

Combating the Death of American Education

Combating the Death of American Education

I recently read an article (linked below the fold) about the deliberate destruction of the US post secondary education system. I would go farther and say that the same people who are deliberately destroying public post secondary education are deliberately manufacturing the death of American education in general (with the exception of private schools).

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Originally published at Am I the Only One Dancing?. Please leave any comments there.

Smart Phones

Smart Phones as Swiss Army Knife

Smart phones are an amazing investment, and even if you’re down and out and broke, if you can find a phone and plan you can afford, buy one.  They are a lifeline, an entertainment center, and a business office in one.

Every now and then someone starts that old rant about the ‘Obamaphones’ again. Part of me wants to ask whether that is kind of like a homophone, except that it sounds like the President. The other part of me wants to start a pedantic rant about how, no, that particular entitlement far predates the 45th President of the United States. But that’s neither here nor there. 

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Originally published at Am I the Only One Dancing?. Please leave any comments there.

Conversation about Content

My sister in law Ann, jumping for joy.

I was having a conversation about content with an old friend. ‘They say,‘ she said, ‘that websites should be focused on one narrow topic.’

So I  decided to build a website deliberately left as broad as possible within the general theme of living life fully and with compassion toward others and attention to the issues around us. You know, ‘shared joy’ and ‘shared pain’ and ‘shared life’. All that jazz. (Thanks again, Spider Robinson, for the inspiration.) Go contrarian me. My friend laughed, and then decided it was a good idea after all. 

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Originally published at Am I the Only One Dancing?. Please leave any comments there.

compassion fatigue

 Compassion Fatigue:

Dear JHP:  I’ve been working as a receptionist at my agency now for two years, and I’m tired of it all.  My clients are whiny, my boss is never happy, and I wake up every morning dreading going to work.  I’m sick of it all, but in this job market, I’m afraid to just quit, and I haven’t found anything else out there.  On top of it all, even though I’m sick and tired of them, I still worry about the people I help.  What should I do?

Signed,
Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired.

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Originally published at Am I the Only One Dancing?. Please leave any comments there.

How to Lead a Group

The social service field is full of situations where you get pulled from one task and with very little notice, get asked to do another.  It is not uncommon, for example for an educational group to be scheduled, and for a crisis to keep the regular mediator from being able to lead it.
Here are some tips for how to lead a psycho-educational, therapy, or substance abuse group successfully with very little notice.

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