The Power of Gratitude

Write Out of Left Field

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When I worked as a clinical chaplain in a state psychiatric hospital, I frequently led groups on gratitude. I would begin the group by asking people what they were grateful for. Predictably, they weren’t particularly grateful for anything. After all, they were patients in a psychiatric hospital and did not want to be. They were all experiencing a mental health crisis so acute that they were admitted to the state hospital against their will. What’s to be grateful for?

We’d start off slowly, though. Anyone have breakfast this morning? Yes. Can you be thankful for the food even if it wasn’t what you would have liked? Yes. Anyone have coffee this morning? Yes. Can you be thankful for that even though there was no caffeine in it? Yes. And then someone would be thankful for a safe place to sleep. Then for clean clothing. Then for a family member or…

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