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What Works with Teen Clients

Forget Everything You Know About the Therapeutic Alliance

By Janet Edgette - It’s probably fair to say that most teens loathe the very idea of therapy. Yet, with confused and troubled adolescents needing our help more than ever, the gap between our grad school training and what works in real-life practice continues to widen.

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Why Diets Fail

There's More to Overeating Than Just Emotions, Says Judith Matz

By Judith Matz - Clients struggling with compulsive eating often seek therapy because they feel overeating may have an emotional component. But the idea that people overeat to soothe or avoid painful emotions is only part of the story.

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VIDEO: Joan Borysenko on Sitting with Our Darkest Moments

Moving through a Place between "No Longer" and "Not Yet"

In our stressful, tech-obsessed, and data-based world, psychologist Joan Borysenko reminds us that the nonlinear, nonquantitative wisdom of the heart and spirit is the source of peace, healing, and joy. In the following clip from her Symposium keynote, she explains how resilience is more than just "bouncing back"—it's transformative.

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VIDEO: Using the Arts in Trauma Treatment

Expressive Art Therapist Cathy Malchiodi Weighs In

Psychotherapy Networker’s Lauren Dockett speaks with influential art and expressive art therapist Cathy Malchiodi about the broadening of her her field, how talk therapists can incorporate the arts to help clients connect and express, and why her work resonates so well with trauma clients.

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Helping Clients Befriend Themselves

A Sensorimotor Approach to Dealing with Self-Hatred

By Janina Fisher - No matter how much we're loved and valued in our adult lives, judgmental parts within us are standing ready to condemn us as inadequate or undeserving. Using Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, I help clients suffering from self-hatred befriend the parts they unconsciously disown.

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So Your Client Is Having an Affair...

Should You Be a Secret-Keeper or is Honesty the Best Policy?

By Michele Scheinkman - Underlying the perceived magnitude of an affair is an idealized view of marriage as the "shelter" in our lives, with a primary function of providing emotional security and attunement. I've found it perplexing that, although we live in an ostensibly liberal and sexually permissive society, therapists typically have one-track minds regarding how to approach infidelity.

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VIDEO: When Our Clients Help Us Overcome Our Greatest Fears

A Therapist Shares Her Most Memorable Clinical Experience

Not all professional growth experiences come from classes, workshops, and consultation groups. Sometimes our clients can expand our comfort zones and teach us more about ourselves than we ever thought possible. Here, Lynn Lyons shares a moving, often hilarious, story about how her young client helped her become a stronger person and a better therapist.

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Therapy, the Conversational Craft

Strategies for Improving Your Therapeutic Conversation Skills

By Bill Doherty - In this era of medical necessity and evidence-based therapies, it's easy to lose sight of the basic truth that psychotherapy is a special form of conversation: we heal not through prescriptions and procedures, but through talking and listening. What if we think of therapy as a conversational craft that we hone over a career with our clients and with a community of conversational healers?

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Using Neuroscience in Therapy

Shifting Emotional States in an Instant

By Frank Anderson - Most extreme reactions resulting from trauma fall under one of two categories: sympathetic hyperarousal and parasympathetic blunting. Understanding what happens in the nervous system when clients experience either orients me on how to go beyond my immediate reactions when confronted with trauma symptoms in the therapy room.

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ASMR: Coming to a Practice Near You?

An Unusual Self-Care Tool Has Taken the Internet by Storm

By Chris Lyford - Some are speculating that ASMR, a soothing physical and emotional experience that 20 to 40 percent of people claim to have, triggered by particular sounds and images, may have therapeutic usefulness. But with the bulk of ASMR videos being created by non-therapists, it's also stirring up controversy.

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Returning to Connection

A Couple on Brink of Divorce Finally Learns to Show Vulnerability

By Silvina Irwin - It’s my first session with Jeff and Miranda. “Honestly, I don’t know why I’m here,” Miranda spits out. “He's cheated on me since we started dating 25 years ago." Can I avoid doing further damage to their precarious relationship? Do I tell Miranda to run for the hills? What if Miranda takes a leap of faith and decides to trust Jeff once more—and he betrays her yet again?

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February Quandary: My Clients Are Asking Personal Questions

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

A therapist works from his home office, which means clients sometimes observe elements of his personal life. He's had clients ask about his electric car in the driveway, his dog, and where his kids go to school. He's gently asked these clients if they can stay on topic, but worries about seeming callous. Here are five creative examples of how other therapists have dealt with this.

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Transforming Kids' Problem Behaviors into Skills

This Impressive Approach Puts Them in the Driver's Seat

By Ben Furman and Liu Haiying - Kids’Skills is a solution-focused and child-friendly approach to helping children overcome emotional and behavioral problems. Here, the therapist focuses on solutions, skills, and existing strengths, rather than the more traditional “problem-focused” interventions that have been already tried with little success.

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The Four Types of Depression and How to Overcome Them

Using the "Microtherapy" Approach

By Margaret Wehrenberg - Rather than seeing depression as some kind of monolith, I've found it useful to see depressive symptoms as falling into four basic clusters. By immediately addressing the attitudes and distinctive vulnerabilities that lie at the core of each cluster, treatment can begin to bring about a shift in brain function that makes longer term work easier.

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Digital Division

Now, More Than Ever, Our Society Needs What Talk Therapy Has to Offer

By Sherry Turkle - Digital connection is a way to keep my job simple and my life tidier. But we have to support each other in remembering that the kind of conversations that may seem old-fashioned are actually most necessary and essential. Right now, digital culture closes down the questions that talk therapy knows how to open up.

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VIDEO: Susan Johnson on the Power of Emotion in Couples Work

The Behavior Patterns That Kill Romance, and How to Beat Them

Susan Johnson, the developer of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy and a presenter at the 2019 Networker Symposium, has devoted her career to demonstrating that it’s not an oxymoron to speak of the "science of love." Listen as she explains how attachment science can help couples discover a pathway to optimal lovemaking.

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Trauma Therapy Meets Theater

An Unusual Program is Helping Vets Rewire from War

By Ryan Howes - Therapists know that words can heal. But what if the words were in iambic pentameter and delivered from a stage? Veteran and professional actor Stephan Wolfert is testing a PTSD intervention that for decades has been pairing classical theater training with the science of trauma.

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How To Become Your Best Self

A Story About Changing Your Habits

By Katy Butler - In earlier centuries, systems of human transformation were embedded within local life. Today, in a culture freed from communal rhythms, our habits of the heart are nearly forgotten. In this postmodern world of infinite choice and incoherent structure, what practical steps should we take now to become our best selves?

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VIDEO: Can We Really Be Healthy at Any Size?

Judith Matz on Creating a Paradigm Shift Around Dieting and Weight Stigma

Psychotherapy Networker’s Lauren Dockett speaks with Judith Matz about the paradigm shift she’s helped design around dieting and weight stigma.

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What Mindfulness and Hypnosis Have in Common

Using the Power of Suggestion in Your Clinical Work

By Michael Yapko - If you talk to mindfulness practitioners about the similarities between guided mindfulness meditation and hypnosis, they tend to react with various degrees of indignation, if not downright revulsion. But a closer look at the processes, goals, and outcomes of both mindfulness and hypnotism reveals that they share fundamental similarities of purpose and practical knowledge.

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The Two Essential Ingredients for a Happy, Long-Lasting Relationship

John Gottman's Latest Research from the "Love Lab"

By John Gottman - What the latest research from my lab is telling us is that trust and commitment are both the key ingredients for being in love with your partner for a lifetime, and for having your marriage be a safe haven. These are the ingredients for not just loving your partner, but being in love with your partner.

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VIDEO: Addressing Climate Fears in Therapy

Moving Clients from Paralysis into Action

In the following interview, ecotherapist Patricia Hasbach explains how practitioners can address the rise in eco-anxiety and depression.

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When Depression Runs in the Family

Being Haunted Isn't the Same as Being Cursed

By Martha Manning - My family is haunted by depression. My mother can trace it back in her family at least six generations. When it hits, it hits hard. My own battle with depression has focused on developing an understanding of the commonalities I share with my mother and grandmother, appreciating aspects of our shared legacies as some of the things I most valued in myself. Being haunted is not the same as being cursed.

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Five Strategies for When Therapy is Stuck

Bypassing the Limits of Feelings, Judgments, and Language

By Steve Andreas - When therapy goes wrong, it’s typically because we’ve entered our clients’ trance, joining them in their myopic misery. Therapy typically hangs on your ability to demonstrate more skill and awareness in using the trancelike qualities of human communication to move beyond the tunnel vision that can stall therapy and prevent change and healing from taking place.

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Esther Perel on the Lives of Men

Creating a Space in Therapy to Discuss the Paradox of Masculinity

By Psychotherapy Networker - Discussions about masculinity and femininity have become part of everyday therapeutic discourse. Here, couples therapist Esther Perel offers her perspective on how therapy has evolved in its exploration of the role of gender identity and where we need to go from here.

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