Sunday, November 28, 2010

Great Escape

I was told a few months ago to take a step back and "learn from my adversity". I was in the middle of probably the most frighten time of my life, and I was being told to take something from the experience and learn from it. It is amazing how those few simple words have stayed with me, and have been the source of my strength in these last few weeks.

I did not cause it. I cannot change it. I certainly cannot control it. All I can do is make a decision not to put up with it, and to protect those in the line of direct fire. The words of someone whom you have loved dearly can pierce one's heart and rip the very soul out. I made a decision and it is I who will have to live with the consequences of my actions. I am OK with that. A year ago, I probably would not have been OK with that because I would have allowed my fear to take control. The fear is still there, however, I am making a choice to face it, rather than avoid or hide from it. No easy task, but a necessary one.

I met a man in Frederick Maryland yesterday at a small Irish pub in the center of town. He spoke of Ireland, and in the middle of the conversation, I realized our families were from the same parts of Ireland. I even learned he is also a descendant of the Boland line. He was the owner of the pub and went on to tell me, he owned another pub in Baltimore. He said, he travels back to Ireland each and every year to visit family in County Mayo, Donegal and Belfast.
He invited us to join one of the tours, he puts together every October. I think we will keep in touch.

We love to stay in a rented 19th century Civil War Era house in Gettysburg. We probably stay here three or four times a year. I call it my Great Escape from the real world. We traveled the 30 miles south of Gettysburg into Frederick yesterday for the day. Frederick is a small historic town with a ton of charm. We stopped at an old Catholic Cemetery known as St. John's, before heading to a tiny corner bakery for some treats and a walk downtown. It was cold and the little one was not necessarily in the mood for a long walk, so we stopped off at Patrick's Irish Pub for an authentic Irish lunch of Shepherd's pie for me and Fish & Chips for Bill. Of course, Ava opt for the chicken fingers, which she did not eat. We also made a visit to the Civil War Medical Museum. The old building that housed the museum was once known as the "embalming station", where the Civil War dead was embalmed, placed in coffins and shipped back to their families that is if the family could afford the 62 dollars to pay for such a service. I guess the price is the reason why so many of the dead remained interred where they died. 62 dollars in 1862 was a lot of cash for the simple common folk.

Today, we head back to reality known as Philadelphia with its troubles, problems, and responsibilities. Not sure if I am ready.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Since I was a teenager, I always kept a journal. I continued keeping a journal until last year when I abruptly stopped writing. There are several reasons why I discontinued journaling my thoughts and feelings, but the main reason was because I thought writing did not matter anymore. It was not like anyone was reading it, and if they did, it probably would be taken out of context and hurt some feelings. Let's be honest, if I wrote everything I thought and/or felt, some feelings may be hurt and frankly, I am not about hurting people.

In the end, I began writing more cryptic sentences than anything else.

Today, I am going to start writing again. However, I will do my best not to hurt anyone's feelings, though truth-to-told, I probably will ruffle a few feathers.

I received a wonderful reference letter from someone I admire very much. He is my mentor and has directed me in the way of my profession the last year or so. He is also the toughest professor I have ever had because he upholds high standards for the Therapeutic profession. He is who I wish to model my profession after. Everything I learn, I apply. I have also learned a valuable lesson in all this and that is having the ability to be comfortable in my own skin.

I spent most of my life wishing my last name was not "WELESKI". Today, I embrace the name. I will no longer be a ZYSK and I will never be a CANNON. However, I will always be a WELESKI with a GALLAGHER mother. The Gallaghers are a proud bunch who have always lived their lives with integrity, dignity and utmost compassion and respect. I am proud to be a descendant of such a strong family. Today, I embrace all parts of who I am and for the first time in my life, I am comfortable with it. I know who I am and no one will throw me off my square.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Him and I

Flower Power and Bill

Friday, October 01, 2010

Another Result Of Tropical Storm Nicole

East River Drive a.k.a Kelly Drive

Location at Midvale Avenue

Tropical Storm Nicole 2010

Creek at Valley Green

Manayunk Brewery's Back Deck

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

REBT (pronounced R.E.B.T. — it is not pronounced rebbit) is based on the premise that whenever we become upset, it is not the events taking place in our lives that upset us; it is the beliefs that we hold that cause us to become depressed, anxious, enraged, etc. The idea that our beliefs upset us was first articulated by Epictetus around 2,000 years ago: "Men are disturbed not by events, but by the views which they take of them."

The Goal of Happiness

According to Albert Ellis and to REBT, the vast majority of us want to be happy. We want to be happy whether we are alone or with others; we want to get along with others—especially with one or two close friends; we want to be well informed and educated; we want a good job with good pay; and we want to enjoy our leisure time.

Of course life doesn't always allow us to have what we want; our goal of being happy is often thwarted by the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune." When our goals are blocked, we can respond in ways that are healthy and helpful, or we can react in ways that are unhealthy and unhelpful.

The ABC Model

Albert Ellis and REBT posit that our reaction to having our goals blocked (or even the possibility of having them blocked) is determined by our beliefs. To illustrate this, Dr. Ellis developed a simple ABC format to teach people how their beliefs cause their emotional and behavioral responses:

A. Something happens.
B. You have a belief about the situation.
C. You have an emotional reaction to the belief.

For example:

A. Your employer falsely accuses you of taking money from her purse and threatens to fire you.
B. You believe, “She has no right to accuse me. She's a bitch!”
C. You feel angry.

If you had held a different belief, your emotional response would have been different:

A. Your employer falsely accuses you of taking money from her purse and threatens to fire you.
B. You believe, “I must not lose my job. That would be unbearable.”
C. You feel anxious.

The ABC model shows that A does not cause C. It is B that causes C. In the first example, it is not your employer's false accusation and threat that make you angry; it is your belief that she has no right to accuse you, and that she is a bitch. In the second example, it is not her accusation and threat that make you anxious; it is the belief that you must not lose your job, and that losing your job would be unbearable.

The Three Basic Musts

Although we all express ourselves differently, according to Albert Ellis and REBT, the beliefs that upset us are all variations of three common irrational beliefs. Each of the three common irrational beliefs contains a demand, either about ourselves, other people, or the world in general. These beliefs are known as

"The Three Basic Musts."

1.I must do well and win the approval of others for my performances or else I am no good.
2.Other people must treat me considerately, fairly and kindly, and in exactly the way I want them to treat me. If they don't, they are no good and they deserve to be condemned and punished.
3.I must get what I want, when I want it; and I must not get what I don't want. It's terrible if I don't get what I want, and I can't stand it.
The first belief often leads to anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt. The second belief often leads to rage, passive-aggression and acts of violence. The third belief often leads to self-pity and procrastination. It is the demanding nature of the beliefs that causes the problem. Less demanding, more flexible beliefs lead to healthy emotions and helpful behaviors


The goal of REBT is to help people change their irrational beliefs into rational beliefs. Changing beliefs is the real work of therapy and is achieved by the therapist disputing the client's irrational beliefs. For example, the therapist might ask, "Why must you win everyone's approval?" "Where is it written that other people must treat you fairly?" "Just because you want something, why must you have it?" Disputing is the D of the ABC model. When the client tries to answer the therapist's questions, s/he sees that there is no reason why s/he absolutely must have approval, fair treatment, or anything else that s/he wants.


Albert Ellis and REBT contend that although we all think irrationally from time to time, we can work at eliminating the tendency. It's unlikely that we can ever entirely eliminate the tendency to think irrationally, but we can reduce the frequency, the duration, and the intensity of our irrational beliefs by developing three insights:

1.We don't merely get upset but mainly upset ourselves by holding inflexible beliefs.
2.No matter when and how we start upsetting ourselves, we continue to feel upset because we cling to our irrational beliefs.
3.The only way to get better is to work hard at changing our beliefs. It takes practice, practice, practice.


Emotionally healthy human beings develop an acceptance of reality, even when reality is highly unfortunate and unpleasant. REBT therapists strive to help their clients develop three types of acceptance: (1) unconditional self-acceptance; (2) unconditional other-acceptance; and (3) unconditional life-acceptance. Each of these types of acceptance is based on three core beliefs:

Unconditional self-acceptance:

1.I am a fallible human being; I have my good points and my bad points.
2.There is no reason why I must not have flaws.
3.Despite my good points and my bad points, I am no more worthy and no less worthy than any other human being.

Unconditional other-acceptance:

1.Other people will treat me unfairly from time to time.
2.There is no reason why they must treat me fairly.
3.The people who treat me unfairly are no more worthy and no less worthy than any other human being.

Unconditional life-acceptance:

1.Life doesn't always work out the way that I'd like it to.
2.There is no reason why life must go the way I want it to
3. Life is not necessarily pleasant but it is never awful and it is nearly always bearable.

REBT Today

Clinical experience and a growing supply of experimental evidence show that REBT is effective and efficient at reducing emotional pain. When Albert Ellis created REBT in the 1950's he met with much resistance from others in the mental health field. Today it is one of the most widely-practiced therapies throughout the world. In the early days of REBT, even Dr. Ellis did not clearly see that consistent use of its philosophical system would have such a profound effect on the field of psychotherapy or on the lives of the millions of people who have benefited from it.

Shameless Happiness

This introduction to REBT is based on Shameless Happiness, a concise booklet that outlines the basics of REBT.

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All Out! An Autobiograpy
This candid autobiography, the last work by renowned psychologist Albert Ellis, is a tour de force of stimulating ideas, colorful descriptions of memorable people and events, and straightforward, no-nonsense talk. Ellis, the creator of one of the most successful forms of psychotherapy-Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)-recounts the memorable episodes of his life; discusses how he coped with emotional problems at different stages of life; describes his love life; and subjects his own self-description to a ruthlessly honest critique. Click here to buy the book.

Shameless Happiness
A concise booklet that outlines the ABCs of unhealthy negative emotions and self-defeating behavior. Shows how to dispute your irrational beliefs. Great for beginners and experienced REBTers alike. Download the book.

Albert Ellis Tribute Book Series Launched
The series will include books of readings for professionals, psychology self-help, psychotherapy theory and practice, the application of philosophy to clinical practice, professional guides for working with special populations, and classroom and college texts. Learn more about the Tribute Series

Albert Ellis Documentary
A documentary about the life and opinions of psychotherapy's most important and influential voice. Watch a preview.

New eBook Released
How to Conquer Your Frustrations by Dr. William J. Knaus. Download the free eBook.

Free e-Book: Rational Emotive Education
Dr. William J. Knaus directly, forthrightly, and with no nonsense about it, shows almost any interested teacher how he or she may use REE in the course of regular classroom lessons and other activities. Download the free e-Book.

REBT Moves Forward
The outcome of two conferences points to an exciting future for REBT. More.

International REE Committee Formed
The formation of an international committee to advance Rational Emotive Education is a major step towards the introduction of REBT to school students around the world. More.

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Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy | Albert Ellis

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Monday, September 06, 2010

Christ Church Upper Merion

I have to ask "where's the casket'?

"Our Boys"
Often makes me wonder the pain parents went through before vaccines and children died on a daily basis.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010