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Popular Topics : Challenging Cases

Challenging Cases

Revolution on the Horizon: DBT Challenges the Borderline Diagnosis
By Katy Butler
May/June 2001

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Turning Ambivalence into Possibility
By Bill O’Hanlon
January/February 2003

The Pragmatics of Hope: What to Do When All Seems Lost
By Yvonne Dolan
January/February 2003

My Most Spectacular Failure: Voluntary Simplicity Meets Shop Til You Drop
By Mary Pipher
November/December 2000

A Matter of Life and Death: When the Therapist Becomes the Survivor
By Frank Pittman
November/December 2000

How Involved Is Too Involved?: Twenty-two Years and Still Wondering
By David Treadway
November/December 2000




Content Search Overview: Therapists, social workers, counselors and others found these articles helpful when faced with challenging therapy cases. People searching for information on the following terms and concepts found these articles helpful:

Challenging Cases
Dual Diagnosis
Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Sample from: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, by Bill O'Hanlon

Abel's response to this approach--that it made him feel he couldn't do anything wrong--crystallized something for me. Here was a way to break up unconscious logjams; permissions enabled clients to experience two seemingly contradictory states simultaneously. The structure of hypnotic language freed people from the tyranny of having to choose, and choose correctly, what to feel and how to proceed. I began to appreciate the extraordinary power of permission, with or without hypnosis, particularly with my most challenging cases.

So I began focusing on how to most productively include the good, the bad, the ugly, and the in-between of my clients' experience to help them expand their sense of possibilities in life. But this was the mid-1980s, the height of the popularity of various forms of solution-based therapy, and people would sometimes come up to me at my workshops and say, "I really like your positive approach," thinking they were complimenting me, in spite of the fact that I wasn't particularly interested in accentuating the positive.

From Psychotherapy Networker, January/February 2003


Sample from: A Matter of Life and Death, by Frank Pittman

I was stunned. It was not just a personal loss (I wanted to save this guy); it was not just a blow to my grandiosity (I kept telling myself in my newfound humility, this sort of thing doesn't happen to therapists who work as hard and care as much as I). I was sad over the loss of what Adam could, with time and effort, have become. His suicide was a dumb and preventable waste. His children were devastated. Angela felt many things, among them relief: when the abuse started the year before, a well-intentioned counselor had warned her that violent men never change. She had been fearful that she could not get herself and the kids out of the marriage alive.

I had been trying so hard to respect Angela's need to empower herself and feel in control of her life and the marriage, I had been non-directive and neutral with her, so much so that she didn't fathom that I had hopes not only for Adam, but for the marriage. I certainly foresaw a different outcome than this.

From Psychotherapy Networker, November/December 2000

Last modified on Saturday, 21 March 2009 21:47

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