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A Guide to Finding Courage in Difficult Times

An Excerpt from David Whyte's "Consolations"

By David Whyte - According to poet David Whyte, the focus of psychotherapy is restricted to the individual’s biography—a good start but too small an arena for the capacious human soul. In the following excerpt from Whyte's Consolations, he urges us to move beyond the edge of our familiar, known world.

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Has Helicopter Parenting Gone Too Far?

The Truth About Risk and Responsibility

By Michael Ungar - Families that bubble-wrap their children may prevent their healthy maturation. But helping parents look back and explore their own narratives challenges the need for excessive control of their child.

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Why We Shouldn't Be Neutral about Divorce

Divorced Couples Are Saying Something Important about Regret

By William Doherty - When I began my therapy practice, I was strictly neutral about divorce. It was the clients’ decision, not mine. But eventually, I was propelled out of my denial about the seriousness of divorce. We have a hundred ways to ask “What would be right for you?” and hardly any to ask “What would be right for others in your life?”

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How Much Do You Really Understand Self-Compassion?

The 5 Myths Keeping You Trapped in Self-Criticism

By Kristin Neff - An impressive and growing body of research demonstrates that relating to ourselves in a kind, friendly manner is essential for emotional wellbeing. More pointedly, research proves false many of the common myths about self-compassion that keep us trapped in the prison of relentless self-criticism.

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The Art of Not Knowing the Answer

A Trauma Specialist Shares Her Most Therapeutic Moment

By Mary Jo Barrett - My very first case was the Byford family. The father was serving a six-month sentence for domestic abuse. During a home visit several months into treatment, the daughter, Laura, announced, “Dad is getting out of jail today! And he’s coming here!” My mind went blank. Her mother looked at me. Suddenly, it was as though I passed whatever strength I had to her, and she then passed it back to me.


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My Father's Ranch

A Daughter Wrestles with Bittersweet Memories and a New, Looming Threat

By Alicia Muñoz - Sometimes family legacies can stir up complicated feelings and outright conflict.

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VIDEO: Janina Fisher on Collaborating with Clients in Trauma Treatment

The Secret to Tapping Into Inner Resources

For many traumatized clients, even beginning to explore a traumatic event can be an act of bravery. According to therapist and trauma expert Janina Fisher, in order for clients to take this first step, they first need to be empowered. In the following video clip, she explains how to make this happen.

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A Rare Moment of Self-Disclosure

Revealing Ourselves to Clients

By Deborah Buckwalter - The first time I saw Michael, I could barely distinguish his form as human.  A young man in his 20s, Michael had been the sole survivor of a plane crash. The sight of him was unlike anything I’d witnessed before, as was his question that left me confronting everything I'd come to believe about therapist self-disclosure.

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The Gladwell Phenomenon

Therapists Say Fellow Clinicians Can Take a Page from Malcom Gladwell's Approach to Marketing

By Lauren Dockett - Even if you’re not one of the millions who’ve cracked his books, read his articles, or listened to his talks, you’re still probably aware of Malcolm Gladwell as someone who’s carved out a distinctive cultural niche. Therapists say fellow clinicians interested in reaching a wide readership can take a page from Gladwell’s practice for understanding the marketplace for ideas.

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VIDEO: Peter Levine on Trauma Treatment's "Greatest Tool"

Tapping into the Power of the Body

According to trauma specialist Peter Levine, the body is the therapist's greatest tool in helping clients understand and heal from a traumatic event. So rather than focus on the event itself, Levine asks clients to focus on how their body manifests the trauma. In this brief video clip, he shares his method.

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Creating Adventure And Play In Therapy

How to Vitalize Your Therapeutic Style

By Courtney Armstrong - The more we learn about the emotional brain, the clearer it becomes: to have real therapeutic impact, we need to create experiences that help clients learn to relate to themselves and the world in entirely new ways.

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December Quandary: I Accepted a Gift from My Client!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take on What to Do Now

By Chris Lyford - Asha recently gave her therapist a homemade necklace, which he accepted, thinking it innocuous enough. Now, she brings it up almost every session, asking why he's not wearing it and if he still likes it. Asha has a history of attachment issues, and her therapist worries his response might offend her or cause her to quit therapy. Here's how five therapists say they'd respond.

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Increasing Access to Mental Health Care for Seniors

What Therapists Can Do to Help

By Lauren Dockett - American seniors suffer disproportionately from mental health issues and suicide. And many, these days, are having trouble getting the therapy they need through Medicare. Now, a bipartisan bill that could increase seniors’ mental health care options is being brought before Congress, and therapists can play a part in getting it passed.

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VIDEO: Rick Hanson on Living with Life's Uncertainties

Wisdom from Rick Hanson's Networker Keynote Address

In his address at the 2016 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium in Washington DC, Rick Hanson delivered a moving speech in which he described how becoming more mindful of our body, thoughts, and the linkage between the two can make us happier and less fearful of life's uncertainties.

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Breaking the Habit Loop

An Expert Explains What It Really Takes to Change Behavior

By Jared DeFife - It’s time for a new year and a new you, right? Unfortunately, some old acquaintances aren’t too soon forgotten, and our bad habits tend to follow us into the New Year. Rather than try to change them outright, New York Times reporter and bestselling author Charles Duhigg says we should pay more attention to analyzing and diagnosing what he calls The Habit Loop.

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Is Podcasting the Next Frontier of Therapy Marketing?

The Three Things Successful Mental Health Podcasts Have in Common

By Chris Lyford - The last 15 years has witnessed the meteoric rise of podcasts as a new means of educating, entertaining, and marketing. But while the podcast may be over a decade old, it shows no sign of slowing down, and experts say there’s a piece of the pie for everyone.

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How Millennials are Changing Therapy

Staying Remembered in an Age of Fast-Talking and Fast-Forgetting

By Ron Taffel - Millennials are asking that therapists offer a therapeutic version of the responsive immediacy and role-fluidity they expect at home and experience online. If the world is in the room, how does it change the therapy relationship? Given the constant noise and stimulation of contemporary life, we might begin by learning how to stay remembered between sessions.

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VIDEO: Doing Self-Care Right

Sabrina N'Diaye on Tapping Into Your Innate Wisdom

Increasingly, therapists are looking for alternatives to the office-bound rigidity of traditional private practice. In the following interview, The Center for Mind-Body Medicine's Sabrina N'Diaye shares the takeaways from her work, and what it means to be a therapeutic "peacebuilder."

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Putting an End to the Blame Game

A Tool for Helping Partners See Both Sides

By Alicia Muñoz - Giving up being right doesn’t mean you give up your convictions. It means honoring a multiplicity of viewpoints. Rumi says, “Somewhere beyond right and wrong, there is a garden. I will meet you there.” For couples, this garden is their relationship.

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VIDEO: Michael Alcée on Doing Therapy with Introverts

What Works and What Doesn't

Psychologist and speaker Michael Alcée says therapists need to pay more attention to the introverts in their practice, to help them manage their anxiety and realize their hidden strengths. Here's how he does it.

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Esther Perel's Secret to Weathering an Affair

Two Ways Couples Who Bounced Back Made It Happen

By Esther Perel - For several years, I've been contacting couples I've treated to find out more about the long-term impact of the infidelity that brought them to therapy. What were the useful shock absorbers that sustained the couple? Did they think that therapy had helped? I identified three basic patterns in the way couples reorganize themselves after an infidelity.

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Battling the Opioid Epidemic in Rural America

A Spotlight on Community Mental Health in High-Need Areas

By Chris Lyford - Synthetic opioids claim an average of 91 American lives per day. But the opioid epidemic hits especially hard in rural America, where treatment options are scarce and costly, trained clinicians are in short supply, and a lack of public transportation makes it difficult to get high-quality care. Here are the stories of clinicians working in these areas.

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The Female Therapist's Guide to Treating Men

Understanding Male Language, Attitudes, and Needs

By Holly Sweet - My early experience with male clients soon taught me that working with men was going to present challenges different from those of working with women. From many years of attention to men's language, attitudes, and needs, I've developed a specific approach to working with male clients.

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November Quandary: My Client Hasn’t Paid Me but Still Wants to Meet!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

By Chris Lyford - Carla has been seeing her therapist for almost six months. She’s been good about paying for sessions in the past, but she recently lost her job, is short on cash, and has missed her last five payments. She still wants to see her therapist weekly, but says she’s unsure when she’ll be able to pay in full. This isn't sustainable for him. Here's how five therapists say they'd respond.

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The Grandparenting Trainwreck

A Special Story from Our Family Matters Department

By Jeanne Mills - Becoming a grandparent hasn't been easy—there've been numerous slip-ups—but I've learned a few lessons well.

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