I've been to therapists before: marriage counselors, kid counselors (with my kids, but not actually as one), individual counseling. There was one therapist I saw off and on for awhile, Susan, who taught me the useful skill of reframing things.
I think if you aren't careful, you can bend reframing into an excuse-making or bad-behavior-explaining tool that it isn't intended to be, but overall the reframing thing has often been what saves my ass when things are looking especially bleak. It encourages you to look around when life is hard and go from thinking, Ack. This really really sucks, oh poor me, to Okay, this is difficult and uncomfortable, but if it didn't happen to me, then X never would have happened.
Reframing is all about perspective. It's when I am frustrated beyond belief with my daughter's stubborness and I can step back and see how well that trait will someday serve her. It's when I go from berating myself about having a messy house, to recognizing that I am only one person, I can only do so much, and even though I'd *love* to have a clean house, I love more sometimes sitting and cuddling with my kids while we read books instead of working 24/7. And, believe me, that is what it would take for me to keep my house in order. It's realizing that probably no one but me cares when my hair looks like crap or I have zits all over my chin, because I sure as hell don't hold that stuff against other people. It's remembering that when my almost teenager lashes out it is because he is hurting.
Lately I've been envisioning myself as this sort of sexy, kickass, circus woman who juggles flaming torches. It's much more fun than seeing myself as a full time working, single mom of four, who is sleep deprived and knee deep in appointments, permission slips, bills, challenging mealtimes, Brownie meetings, overdue projects, unedited photos, unwritten thank you notes, and Lord knows what else.
Granted, there are some things that are awful, that are terrible no matter how you frame them. But, if you wanted to reframe that sort of thing in a general way, you could look at how much the hard stuff in life makes you grow. How it makes you wiser. How it makes you appreciate the good stuff, the small things, and the beauty in the everyday, while at the same time making it impossible to worry about trivial crap. It often inspires you to love the people you love a little bit more, and to be more careful with the people in your life that you don't know so well. Maybe you wonder if there is something, something you don't know about, that is causing them to be sad, too, and that helps you feel closer to everyone who crosses your path. Even if just a little bit.