Mind Matters: Reframing 2020

Reframing is a tool of psychotherapy, particularly family therapy, in which you help a person see their problematic situation in a new light. Sometimes, the change of one word or a phrase can shift the perspective. I remember a colleague discussing with another colleague his concern about getting older and working less — he called that his withering. The astute listener responded, “how about considering what you are doing as pruning, not withering?” That one-word exchange was all it took to free up the prospects of a major life change as being a life-affirming event.

So, is there any reframing we could do with the year 2020? I have been considering this a year where the ground is lying fallow, and many of us are in hibernation mode. I don’t mean this in the sense that many of us are not working — in fact, many are working incredibly hard researching and creating vaccines, caring for the sick, growing our food, delivering our goods. Nevertheless, there ironically is a slowdown of society with music and art and drama events almost at a standstill. Sports events are empty occurrences. Practically the only activity any of us can do is take a walk, and even that was curtailed for a time and still has its limitations.

The fact that we aren’t hopping on planes for vacations to Disney World or wherever and aren’t in each other’s homes or lingering in restaurants feels like a sort of hibernation if not a throwback to an earlier time when people stayed put.

My reframe look back on the year 2020 is how we can consider it to have been a time to lay fallow like a farm field, renewing its strength, or in modern parlance, like a reboot of our computer systems.

This is the pleasant reframe of 2020 that I would like to hold onto.

About Kayta Gajdos

Dr. Kathleen Curzie Gajdos ("Kayta") is a licensed psychologist (Pennsylvania and Delaware) who has worked with individuals, couples, and families with a spectrum of problems. She has experience and training in the fields of alcohol and drug addictions, hypnosis, family therapy, Jungian theory, Gestalt therapy, EMDR, and bereavement. Dr. Gajdos developed a private practice in the Pittsburgh area, and was affiliated with the Family Therapy Institute of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, having written numerous articles for the Family Therapy Newsletter there. She has published in the American Psychological Association Bulletin, the Family Psychologist, and in the Swedenborgian publications, Chrysalis and The Messenger. Dr. Gajdos has taught at the college level, most recently for West Chester University and Wilmington College, and has served as field faculty for Vermont College of Norwich University the Union Institute's Center for Distance Learning, Cincinnati, Ohio. She has also served as consulting psychologist to the Irene Stacy Community MH/MR Center in Western Pennsylvania where she supervised psychologists in training. Currently active in disaster relief, Dr. Gajdos serves with the American Red Cross and participated in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts as a member of teams from the Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.Now living in Chadds Ford, in the Brandywine Valley of eastern Pennsylvania, Dr. Gajdos combines her private practice working with individuals, couples and families, with leading workshops on such topics as grief and healing, the impact of multigenerational grief and trauma shame, the shadow and self, Women Who Run with the Wolves, motherless daughters, and mediation and relaxation. Each year at Temenos Retreat Center in West Chester, PA she leads a griefs of birthing ritual for those who have suffered losses of procreation (abortions, miscarriages, infertility, etc.); she also holds yearly A Day of Re-Collection at Temenos.Dr. Gajdos holds Master's degrees in both philosophy and clinical psychology and received her Ph.D. in counseling at the University of Pittsburgh. Among her professional affiliations, she includes having been a founding member and board member of the C.G. Jung Educational Center of Pittsburgh, as well as being listed in Who's Who of American Women. Currently, she is a member of the American Psychological Association, The Pennsylvania Psychological Association, the Delaware Psychological Association, the American Family Therapy Academy, The Association for Death Education and Counseling, and the Delaware County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Board. Woven into her professional career are Dr. Gajdos' pursuits of dancing, singing, and writing poetry.



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