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When Life Changes Course

In Spite of Loss, Learning to Find Joy Where You Can

By Lori Gottlieb - What do you do when your life’s expectations get turned upside down?

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An Interview with Peter Levine

Somatic Experiencing Offers Something That Conventional Talk Therapy Doesn't

By Peter Levine - To many therapists, Somatic Experiencing (SE) still seems bit mysterious, even mystical. Here, SE pioneer Peter Levine describes what a first session looks like and the skills an SE therapist needs to have.

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Marijuana and Mental Health

How Concerned Should Psychotherapists Be?

By Tori Rodriguez - The more marijuana legalization reaches mainstream acceptance, the more the divisions of opinion within the mental health field—presumably the professionals who have the most scientifically informed perspective on the debate—become apparent.

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Dying as a Rite of Passage

There's a Gap Between How We Hope to Die and How We Really Do

By Katy Butler - There’s a gap nowadays between how we hope to die, and how we really do. More than three-quarters of Americans hope to die at home like their ancestors, but more than two-thirds die in hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions. It doesn’t have to be this way. There’s a pathway to a peaceful, empowered death, even in an era of high-technology medicine.

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How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Rose to Power

...And the Transformative Session That Inspired Its Creator

By Mary Sykes Wylie - Cognitive behavioral therapy is arguably the most successful therapy ever developed. But where did this streamlined, efficient, practical therapy come from that would prove such a good match for our fast-paced, high-tech civilization?

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Wrestling with Our Clinical Choices

Do Any of Really Know What's Right?

By David Treadway - How do any of us therapists know what’s good enough in the unfolding of people’s lives? I know I practice an often intuitive craft, not an exact and predictable science. The truth is that all too often, like most practitioners, I can never be quite sure how much difference my bit part plays in the unfolding drama of clients' lives.

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Healing After Betrayal

It Takes These Two Therapeutic Approaches

By Steven Stosny - Intimate betrayal strikes at the core of our capacity to trust and love, violating the fundamental expectation that gives us the courage to connect deeply—the belief that the person we love won’t intentionally hurt us. This requires therapists to reach a balance between validating their clients’ pain and empowering them to improve their lives.

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VIDEO: Therapists Getting Real and Going Public

The Power of Transparency in the New Marketing Landscape

How can therapists reduce stigma around getting mental health treatment? When it comes to marketing your practice, how much personal information should you be sharing? Therapist Esther Boykin gives her take in this short video interview.

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Psychotherapy and Mindfulness: a Good Marriage?

Is Our Goal Spiritual Growth or Symptom Reduction?

By Ronald Siegel - As mindfulness practices work their way into the psychotherapeutic mainstream, we’re starting to ask more clinically sophisticated questions: Who needs what practice when? What about the downsides of some mindfulness interventions?

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Using Conversation in Therapy

Following the Spark to Create Connection

By Ron Taffel - As a field, we've been unconscious of the nature of the conversation that energizes our models and techniques. Without it, treatment can be a textbook exercise lacking the power to make clients feel a truly alive and personal connection with their therapist.

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Growing Up Transgender

Parents and Their Transgender Children Find a Healing, Validating Community

By Marian Sandmaier - Until very recently, most families with transgender children had never met another family like theirs. Now, parents and children from the trailblazing Ackerman Institute’s Family & Gender Project talk about their experience of joining a healing community that offers acceptance and a validating mirror of their own experience.

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March Quandary: My Client is Being Bullied and Her School Won’t Help

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Raisa is a sophomore in high school, and tells her therapist that the girls in her class are bullying her with insults like “slut” and “whore.” Her mother has been in touch with her school, but administrators say there’s not much they can do. Raisa is incredibly distressed. Here's how five therapists say they'd proceed.

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Getting Real in Couples Therapy

Ignoring the Destructive Patterns in Front of Us Does Our Clients a Disservice

By Terry Real - It's disrespectful to clients not to let them in on the truth about what we witness regularly in our offices as they play out their relationships in front of us: the ways they deal with their partners are often self-centered, unfeeling, and counterproductive. I believe that in order to teach our clients how to be authentic and connected, we must be real with them ourselves.

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VIDEO: Using Play with Adults in Therapy

Dafna Lender Demonstrates Three Proven Techniques

Any therapist who works with kids will tell you that incorporating play in therapy is a great way to break the ice, reduce anxiety, and strengthen the therapeutic alliance. But as Dafna Lender explains, it also works great with adults. Here, she demonstrates three of her favorite techniques.

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What Therapists Can Learn from Actors

Using the Body as an Emotional Tuning Fork

By Mark O'Connell - Today, as a psychotherapist, I approach my work much as I did in my former vocation as an actor: with the faith that my instrument—my body, my self—can serve as an emotional tuning fork to locate the inner lives of each and every client, regardless of our exterior differences.

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The Bottom-Up Approach of Somatic Experiencing

A Close-Up Look at Peter Levine's Work with a Trauma Survivor

By Lauren Dockett - Peter Levine is the originator of a form of body psychotherapy called Somatic Experiencing (SE), a captivating but sometimes puzzling approach. Instead of asking questions about events that might elicit pain, Levine focuses on the body, zeroing in meticulously on what’s happening in the moment. Here's how it unfolded with his patient, TJ.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Revisited

CBT Isn't as Manualized as You Think, Says Judith Beck

By Mary Sykes Wylie - Today, cognitive behavioral therapy is among the most widely practiced and promulgated approach in the world. But for all its mantle of scientific rigor and official approval, many therapists find CBT's "lab therapy" hard to love, if not downright dislikable. In the following interview, renowned CBT clinician Judith Beck explains how the method works, and why it's gotten a bum rap.

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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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