Month: June 2015

Photos: On Dreams

I often take pictures of things around me that I find interesting, regardless of where I am. On a drive to Jupiter Street, I found a few scenes which caught my eye. Looking through my pictures, I noted a theme. It was incidental, but nonetheless, “Dreams” came to mind.

The taxi driver had one quiet passenger in the back, and with the traffic at a slow crawl, he could have been drifting into microsleeps, or, well, just blinking. He could have been dreaming. πŸ™‚

“Stephanie, I don’t think that she’s looking at him.”, my companion in the car said. Hmm…I looked closer. The young man was sitting at the entrance of the jeepney, and in the dark, she seemed like she was staring at him intently. On closer inspection, she really was thinking of something else. These four characters seemed to be in various stages of dreaming. Oh the stories that must’ve been in their heads! πŸ™‚

Air travel thoughts

I’ve been putting off the inevitable for many weeks now. πŸ™‚

I’m finally back in Manila, finishing my stuff. (I can’t wait for all this to be over…)

The sooner I’m done with this, the better. Β πŸ™‚

Wish me luck!

The Zen Garden theme at the Dumaguete airport, that i photographed while we were in line for boarding… (I’ve only noticed it just this time…so quaint. It is reminiscent of the Valencia waterfalls set-up. :-))
Cookie cutter houses, that’s what I’d like to call them… The aerial views change as we approach the capital. Farther away, in the provinces, there are trees and mountains and a sprinkling of houses…but nearer Manila, we see houses (subdivisions) “organized” close to each other.
This is an aerial view of Cavite.
His second plane ride (the first one was to Dumaguete), and while he was initially antsy during take-off and cabin safety precautions time, he was a happy camper upon landing. πŸ™‚ He’s a cutie. (And no, I don’t know him and his mom.) πŸ™‚

Talk therapy and Tony Soprano

The Sopranos: The patient and the therapist (www.today.com)
The Sopranos: The patient and the therapist (www.today.com)

“I love you.”

“I dream about you…I think about you all the time.

“I’m in love with you…That’s just the way it is.”

This was Tony Soprano’s little speech to his psychiatrist, Dr. Melfi. This was in Season 1 of “The Sopranos” where he had started going for psychotherapy after having panic attacks “out of the blue”. Β She, Dr. Jennifer Melfi, had started him on Prozac, and was his listening ear during his regularly-scheduled Tuesday appointments.

After his declaration, she had to let him down easy, and explain to him that the probable reason why he was “in love” with her Β was so was because she, like his Mother/Wife/Daughter, was an Italian woman, but the difference was that she had been understanding, compassionate and listened to all that he had to say. She accepted him unconditionally, which made the big difference there. Β (Although she is not what you would call “the ideal” therapist. She obviously had problems being objective sometimes, and was too empathetic sometimes.)

—-

I’ve been watching The Sopranos episode by episode these past few days, upon the recommendation of a good friend. He had told me years before of the series, and I had never taken him up on the suggestion until now (I’ve had these files in my hard drive for years.).

So, why now? Well, after I started on one, I could not help but move on to the next…I was hooked. πŸ™‚ I was told that it would really help me with my “psychotherapy skills”, but actually, I think he was just a big Mafia fan, and loved the character.

Ah, Tony Soprano…he was larger-than-life, an anti-hero with a ball-busting mother issue, Β who was doomed to be a gangster because it was the only way of life he knew. Despite his shortcomings, he had a big heart and was undeniably loyal to those he loved (and “honor and family, and loyalty”).

The “internal turmoil” and the conflicts that he could not freely talk about (until he had a psychiatrist to help him sort them out) and presented as physical and psychiatric symptoms, and they were very interesting to watch. Also the interactions between patient and therapist were very riveting…she wasn’t afraid to confront him, and he reacted accordingly, as the textbooks said.

Confrontation. (denofgeek.com)
Confrontation. (denofgeek.com)

—-

Now, I have gotten many “I love you’s” in the course of my training in Psychiatry, and I was very careful about things going “violent” during confrontations, but I have never had any “fights” with patients and their families. I’ve never had any death threats…(not that I would want to). That is to be expected in practice, especially when you’re doing psychotherapy, but I haven’t seen it yet during the psychotherapy sessions that I’ve done so far.

—-

An interesting bit I’ve read in the Jeffrey Kottler book, ” On Being A Therapist”,

“Conquering a therapist is the ultimate victory, proof that anyone can be corrupted. It is a way in which the client can regain control of the relationship and win power and approval. It satisfies the desire to flirt with the forbidden, and it gives the client a means to frustrate the therapist just as she has been frustrated by the therapeutic experience.”

The therapist’s efforts to confront the client regarding the seductive behavior often lead to frustration. If the feelings are discussed directly and the therapist gently yet firmly rejects the overtures,the client might feel humiliated and rejected.

If the transference feelings are interpreted, the client may fall back in denial. Yet, if the therapist attempts to back off and let things ride for a while, the seductive efforts may escalate.

There is no easy solution.

It’s pretty much like…dancing with a partner, but you’re doing it objectively. It’s not always asking ‘How do you feel?”, but actually, it’s a mix of different techniques and guided questions (something that can’t be talked about in one blog entry…because it is so vast a topic, and so interesting too).

πŸ™‚

—-

Love,

S.

P.S. The Psychiatry part is not the only interesting part…the quips about psychiatry, the scenes, and the dialogue between the quirky mafia men makes it so much fun.

On Love Monuments (Photos: Visit to The Ruins, Talisay City Negros Occidental)

After the medical mission, our gracious host took us for a tour of “The Ruins“, that famous landmark and heritage site in Negros Occidental.

It used to be the mansion built by Don Mariano Ledesma for his first wife…and as the very entertaining tour guide said, “It is the Taj Mahal” of Asia.

πŸ™‚ It was a shell of the original place, but still, you could see the grand scale that the Don had in mind. πŸ™‚

This young couple went with the tour, and since I was standing behind them, I had to take a photo. (Symbols and body language hold a particularly special place in my list of interests, but not in a stalker-like manner, of course.) πŸ™‚
There was a full moon that night, which added to the allure of the mansion at night. I especially enjoyed walking around, and taking pictures by myself… they closed the second floor so I wasn’t able to wander around much.
Experimenting with my ISO settings here… I wanted the house to look imposing, and somehow mysterious.
A self-portrait. But I felt like an outsider in that place. I imagined it to have been a bustling household, with an early bedtime, and kids too disciplined to have run around the grounds much. Anyway…

Poem: Souls, By Lang Leav

Photo credits: Pinterest.com
Photo credits: Pinterest.com

Personally, I don’t believe in the concept of soulmates… I dislike having to think that everything is pre-ordained, and things will keep repeating itself until we learn things. However, I subscribe to free will and romantic chemistry. It’s a more tangible, and work-able equation.

(People want to believe in the things they want to believe in, such as soulmates and love and destiny. I don’t think I do believe in two of the three I mentioned.)

πŸ™‚

Much love,

S.

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