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Bad Couples Therapy and How to Avoid It

by William Doherty

I want to propose a new competition for therapists: awards for the worst experiences doing couples therapy. My own entry would be in the category of a worst experience as a new couples therapist in the first session. It was 26 years ago, but as they say, it feels like yesterday. As a graduate student, I'd done individual counseling before, and had worked with parents and kids, but had never worked with a couple. Thirty minutes into the first session, when I was lost in the midst of a meandering series of ...

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Stronger Medicine

by Psychotherapy Networker

IT WAS MID-MORNING ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE LARGE psychotherapy conference when I first began noticing the small white buttons with their pithy little saying sprouting on the lapels of conference attendees: "DEPRESSION: IT'S AN ILLNESS, NOT A WEAKNESS." By late afternoon, the buttons, dispensed at an exhibit booth for a large pharmaceutical company, were everywhere. I glimpsed them affixed to collars, pockets, belt loops, purses, backpacks, folders, any spare inch of apparel or appurtenance. It was startling ...

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Can We Talk?

by Mary Jo Barrett, Katy Butler

It is the end of innocence--the day we enter the land beyond the rulebook. A client wants to give us diamonds. Another invites us to dinner. Another notices that we've stopped wearing a wedding ring, and we wonder how much to tell her. A client moves forward as if to hug us, and then gives us a open-mouthed kiss. Simple dicta no longer seem sufficient.

One way or another, all therapists face similar questions about therapeutic boundaries: Should we accept the gift? How much do we self-disclose? What ...

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  • A-303 Ethics with Soul

    Instructor: Ofer Zur
    CE Credits: 6
    In our litigious age of risk management, reduce unnecessary anxiety while bringing more soulfulness and clinical integrity back into your practice.
    Note: This course fulfills many state board requirements for training in ethics and risk management.

  • A-216 Shhh! The Ethical Dilemmas No One Talks About

    Instructor: Mary Jo Barrett
    CE Credits: 4
    Explore the ethical dilemmas we face around such issues as self-disclosure, sexuality, gifts, and dual relationships.


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  • OL-115 Shhh! The Ethical Dilemmas No One Talks About

    Authors: Mary Jo Barrett, Arnold Lazarus, Jay Efran, Michael Hoyt, and others
    CE Credits: 2
    Explore the Big Four of ethical trouble spots: self-disclosure, sexuality, gifts, and dual relationships.
    Note: This course fulfills many state board ethics requirements

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Beyond Talk

by Mary Sykes Wylie

A brilliant, thirty-something architect named Frank went to see Minnesota psychologist Patrick Dougherty because he'd never been able to sustain a successful, lasting relationship. Charming and voluble, he talked nonstop about his work, his social life, his multiple affairs, what he thought about art, architecture, music, politics, and the general state of the world. Several times during the first two sessions, Dougherty--who makes use of qigong breathing techniques in his clinical work--asked Frank to ...

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20 Weeks to Happiness

by Richard Handler

If Thomas Jefferson were a psychology graduate student today, he'd probably think of himself as a positive psychologist. It was Jefferson, after all, who began the Declaration of Independence with the statement that human beings aren't only created equal but "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, [and] that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Happiness was the word he chose, not pursuit of power or economic gain.

Jefferson didn't formally study happiness. ...

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The Limits of Talk

by Mary Sykes Wylie

Bessel van der Kolk likes to introduce his workshops on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with medical film clips from World War I showing veterans diagnosed with what was then called "shell shock." In these dramatic and riveting clips, one soldier sits hunched over on his hospital cot, staring blankly ahead, responding to nothing and nobody until the single word "bomb" is said, whereupon he dives for cover underneath the small bed. Another man lies almost naked on the bare floor, his back rigidly arched, ...

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Discoveries from the Black Box

by Mary Sykes Wylie, Richard Simon

The human brain is a wet, coconut-sized, walnut-shaped organ, the color of raw liver and the consistency of an overripe peach. Comprised of billions of nerve cells, each connecting electrochemically with an average of 10 thousand others, it's the most complex biological entity known on earth. The number of possible interconnections among its neurons exceeds the estimated number of atoms in the universe. Just as remarkably, it can make such intricate and baffling self-transformations that many insist it ...

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The Big Moment

by David Waters

Psychotherapy Networker.

It was the kind of tense stalemate between an angry, critical father and an increasingly withdrawn teenage son I'd seen many times through the years. Greg was a single parent who seemed to regard every exchange with his shy, 14-year-old son, Tad, as an opportunity for a "corrective experience." But they were both bright and articulate, and therapy started off with both of them readily agreeing to spend more time together.

Having contact isn't the same as making contact, ...

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10 Best-Ever Anxiety-Management Techniques

by Margaret Wehrenberg

"I don't think I want to live if I have to go on feeling like this." I hear this remark all too often from anxiety sufferers. They say it matter-of-factly or dramatically, but they all feel the same way: if anxiety symptoms are going to rule their lives, then their lives don't seem worth living.

What is it about anxiety that's so horrific that otherwise high-functioning people are frantic to escape it? The sensations of doom or dread or panic felt by sufferers are truly overwhelming--the very same ...

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