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VIDEO: What Infidelity Looks Like

All Types of Cheating Have This in Common

Of course, sexual affairs are red flags for infidelity, but there are common elements that make any outside relationship an infidelity. Sex therapist Tammy Nelson explains what they are and how to spot them.

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Five Ways to Maintain Gains in Couples Therapy

...And the First Question You Need to Ask Relapsing Partners

By Jon Carlson - Couples therapists need to be aware of the strategies that prevent relapse, so that short-term successes don't become long-term failures, and to address those areas in the initial therapy with the couple. However, if gains are not maintained, here are five areas of treatment you may need to revisit.

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Is Consensual Nonmonogamy Right for Your Clients?

...And Why Nonmonogamous Couples Tend to Avoid Couples Therapists Like the Plague

By Margaret Nichols - In past decades, the only alternatives to involuntary celibacy in a relationship were affairs or divorce. But increasingly, people, including therapists, are recognizing there’s another option: consensual nonmonogamy. The idea isn’t new, but nonmonogamy is threatening to a lot of therapists for the same reason it’s threatening to most people: we instinctively want to believe that these unconventional relationships are flawed.

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Mastering the Art of Therapeutic Judo

A Three-Step Process for Cooling Volatile Emotions from the Very First Session

By Thomas Sexton - Based on 30 years of research on the most effective interventions with delinquent and violent juveniles and their families, I’ve found that the research-backed clinical model Functional Family Therapy guides me in sessions and keeps me grounded. Here's how it works.

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Why Most Men Don't Open Up in Couples Therapy

A Boot Camp Approach That Makes Men the Partners They Want to Be

By Steven Stosny - Men don't dislike therapy because they might have to talk like women or adopt feminine sensibilities: what they hate is that therapy forces them to experience that most heinous emotional state to a man—feeling like a failure. I've developed what I call "boot camp" couples therapy—a tough, concentrated format that men seem to prefer to drawn-out weekly therapy with no conclusion in sight.

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England's Grand Mental Health Care Experiment

Did "the World's Most Ambitious Effort" to Expand Treatment Fall Flat?

By Chris Lyford - England's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative provides mental health care to more than 900,000 people annually, and employs more than 6,000 therapists. But can psychotherapy really be systematized on a nationwide scale?

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Finding Strength in the Family Narrative

The Vital First Step in Helping Parents and Children Tap Into Their Resilience

By Michael Graziano - I've found that preparing clients to become involved in finding their own solutions to their problems is a vital first step in helping them tap their resilience. Resilience-based therapy isn't about giving clients a set of action directions, but rests first on helping them enlarge their own mental framework by looking at the problem differently and realizing that there are many options for resolving it.

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What Attunement Really Looks Like

Step One: Confronting Your Own Limitations

By Molly Layton - The longer I practice, the more I'm struck with the importance of tolerant, hovering attentiveness that looks, Janus-faced, both outwardly at the client and inwardly toward the therapist's own processes.

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Tony Robbins on “The Art of Fulfillment”

Being Content Doesn’t Have to Mean Choosing Happiness Over Success

The bad news? We all have a two-million-year-old brain that keeps us constantly anxious and self-critical. The good news? It doesn’t have to define who we are. In this video clip from his interview with Networker Editor Rich Simon, life strategist and 2018 Symposium presenter Tony Robbins explains how a coaching edge can help your clients find happiness and success.

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The Case for Giving Your Client the Reins

Does the Therapist Really Know Best?

By Lauren Dockett - Since the earliest days of mental health treatment, the person treating the sufferer has held the upper hand. But more clinicians seem willing to tumble off of their proverbial pedestal and enter into a more egalitarian relationship with their clients, and a growing body of evidence suggests it may pay off handsomely for both clients and clinicians.

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The Healing Power of Play

Helping Traumatized Kids Feel Safe and Happy Again

By David Crenshaw - When children are too anxious, afraid, or traumatized to play, they can't utilize this natural resource of childhood to relieve a painful emotional state. Instead, they must use their energy to compartmentalize the trauma, keeping it out of direct awareness. Child therapists can help children reclaim this vital feature of emotional self-regulation by teaching, modeling, and setting the stage for the child to play.

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#MeTooManyTimes

How the Latest Movement Against Sexual Predation is Rattling Some Therapy Clients

By Lauren Dockett - Many therapists who specialize in sexual abuse and trauma are reporting that the #MeToo movement and the ongoing accusations of sexual assault and harassment against powerful, public men are deeply affecting their clients.

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Is Therapy About Transformation, or Small Breakthroughs?

Learning to Separate Our Hopes for Our Clients from Their Goals for Themselves

By William Doherty - Are therapists more like shamans or family doctors? Explorers of human depths or more like Siri on your iPhone, just directing you from one place to another? I'm a skeptic about whether any clinical approach is good at getting clients consistently to the promised land of transformation. Maybe therapy is better understood as being about breakthroughs—small, medium, and large—rather than about transformation.

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Facing a Parent's Decline

Helping Grown Children and Aging Parents Learn to Nurture Each Other

By Marian Sandmaier - Nearly all therapists will soon be working with substantial numbers of aging families, whether or not they ever consciously choose to. The question at hand, then, is how can this juncture in the family life cycle be transformed from an emphasis on adjusting to loss and disappointments to a focus on growth and possibility?

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Making Space for Race

Creating and Holding Connection with Black Teenagers

By Ken Hardy - Therapy with teenagers has to be about creating and holding a connection. As a therapist, I'm like a spider trying to lure my clients into a web that will support them. While I try to use the context of racism to help African American teenagers understand their situations, verbalize, and vent their feelings, I also want them to develop inner resources and tools for handling the adversity they face in more useful and productive ways.

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What's In a Kiss?

Helping Couples Decode the Language of Their Sexuality

By David Schnarch - Over the years, I've worked with many couples who complain bitterly that the other kisses or touches, fondles, caresses, strokes the "wrong" way. These couples need to understand that the ways they show physical affection is a remarkably salient and authentic expression of themselves and their feelings for each other.

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VIDEO: How to Think Scientifically about Medications

Why Having a Hypothesis Works for the Non-Medical Therapist

Despite the increasing popularity of psychiatric meds as the go-to remedy for everything from seasonal depression to social anxiety, drugs are often not the best treatment alternative. In the following video clip, Steven Dubovsky, MD, explains why therapists should create a hypothesis about what might be causing a client’s suffering and investigate it thoroughly before deciding to recommend medication.

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How to Get Clients to Do Their Homework

Step 1: Don't Call It "Homework"

By Bill O'Hanlon - The best way to ensure clients' cooperation is to make the assignments relevant for them. Task assignments are designed to bring about changes in the presenting problem. We try to make sure they are relevant to clients by having a mutually agreed upon definition of the problem being addressed and then collaboratively designing tasks that relate to it. In fact, when the tasks derive from a collaborative relationship, they often don't feel like tasks at all.

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When Male Partners Won't Open Up

Helping Closed-Off Men See Vulnerability as a Path to Healthier Relationships

By George Faller - Many of our clients, especially men, believe in the traditional definition of vulnerability: a state of weakness that leads to being open to attack. But vulnerability is the language of emotionally connected beings, and like a powerful magnet, pain, doubt, fear, mistrust, and other vulnerable states bring forth new opportunities for deep intimacy and transformation, especially in work with couples.

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Three Myths About Old Age

...And What We Can Learn from Our Older Peers About Aging Successfully

By Jay Lebow - By examining how older members of our society actually live and looking at what we can learn from people who age successfully, one study shifts the focus away from the deficits experienced in aging to the factors that permit individuals to function effectively, both physically and mentally, well into old age.

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Got "Flow"?

Six Self-Hypnosis Guidelines to Create Lasting Change in Yourself

By Douglas Flemons - Got flow? As a psychotherapist specializing in hypnosis, I work at times with elite performers—people who've spent long years learning and honing a skill that they can carry out with precision and grace. Except when they can't. Except when, with their mind and body out of sync, they lose concentration, coordination, and confidence.

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Couples Therapy with One Partner: Can It Work?

Creating the Beginnings of a "Solution Avalanche"

By Michele Weiner-Davis - How is it possible to do couples therapy with just one partner? We clinicians communicate our presuppositions about people and how they change when we do our work. If we begin therapy with a "this is better than nothing" attitude, we undoubtedly broadcast a pessimistic message about the possibilities for change.

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VIDEO: Why Anticipating Relapse Is Our Best Defense Against It

How to Mobilize the Client’s Support System

It’s always cause for celebration when depressed clients nears the finish line of treatment, feeling energized, empowered, and more content with their life. But it’s one thing to get people back on their feet from a depressive episode; it’s another to prevent recurrences down the road.

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Breaking Through Therapeutic Gridlock

How to Respond When Clients Resist Your Advice

By Jay Lappin - As therapists, we need to be open to feedback, even criticism, as a means of deepening the therapeutic relationship. Establishing trust by moving beyond the reflex action of offering a solution and creating a context in which the possibility for transformation is greater than the pull of old patterns is hard work both for clients and for therapists.

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The Tony Robbins Experience

What’s the Takeaway for Therapists?

By Marian Sandmaier - Tony Robbins, who will give a special session at the 41st annual Networker Symposium in March, is a pop psychology phenom. Over the last four decades, his work in the area of emotional growth and healing has influenced millions of people. But can therapists learn anything useful from him?

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