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Getting Anxious on Purpose

This Approach Can Reduce Anxiety Symptoms in as Little as Three Weeks

By Reid Wilson - My clinical experience indicates that clients who can be persuaded to provoke and endure their symptoms without resorting to relaxation exercises quickly become habituated to their fears. Here's the five-step treatment I've developed, based on the work of the top clinicians and researchers in the anxiety field.

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Something's Missing from Family Therapy

Twenty-Five Years Later, a Poignant Message from the Late Betty Carter Still Resonates

By Betty Carter - In order to understand the particularity of almost any couple's personal experience, we need to adjust our lens to include not only their private domestic encounters, but the much larger political and social struggle about the politics of relationships beyond the walls of home.

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VIDEO: Learning to Let Go of Trauma

Bessel van der Kolk on the Power of Creating a Narrative

Imagine the helplessness of being unable to distinguish painful past experiences from present ones. According to Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score, this is what happens when a traumatic memory is triggered. Old emotional responses bubble up even when the current trigger has little to do with the original trauma.

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August Quandary: How Do I Get Clients to Engage in Work Between Sessions?

Five Clinicians Weigh In

By Chris Lyford - A therapist recommends exercises like journaling prompts and guided mediations that she feels would benefit her clients between sessions. Although they seem interested when she introduces the idea, they always “forget” or can’t find the time to follow through. She's unsure how to proceed. Here, five therapists share what they'd do.

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The Mentor Who Changed My Therapy Practice

…And How Two Little Words Changed Everything

By Chris Lyford - While therapeutic skill is the product of years of practice and self-determination, most clinicians need a mentor: someone who takes them under their wing and inspires them to be a better therapist. The five clinicians whose stories you’re about to read all agree on one thing: seeing how their mentors practice left an indelible mark on their personal and professional development that still resonates today.

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Transforming Anger into Compassion

A Five-Step Process for Dealing with Angry Clients

By Steven Stosny - Some therapists find themselves getting extremely reactive when clients lose their temper. Here's what you can do to better control your anger and anxiety in the presence of an angry client.

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VIDEO: The Biggest Threat to Remarried Boomers

Helping Partners Deal with Stepfamilies

Successfully combining families as part of remarriage is always challenging. But it's especially hard when older re-couplers have adult children, who may or may not be onboard with the new marriage, and extended networks of decades-long relationships that need to be included in the picture.

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How I Came to Rethink Children’s Challenging Behaviors

Doing Away with the Blame Game

By Mona Delahooke - What’s at the root of children’s aggressive, defiant, and oppositional acts? And how can we better help the children who exhibit these behaviors? Polyvagal Theory shows that the drive to avoid threat and secure safety is what guides human behavior. As such, what we often label as “bad” behaviors are actually fight-or-flight behaviors.

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VIDEO: Being a Therapist Isn't Always Easy

A Message from Zach Taylor, Director of Continuing Education

How can we help you become an even more effective therapist? As we grow, we never want to forget that this is about you and all the amazing people who practice psychotherapy.

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Treating Self-Harm

Here's a Behavioral Contract That Clients Can Follow

By Lisa Ferentz - I used to think that repetitive self-injury could only be seen as pathological, and through contracts and other means tried to convince my clients that this behavior would only cause more problems. Now, I know that my job isn't to browbeat clients into change, but introduce them to healthier behaviors that bring the relief cutting often provides.

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Can You Keep a Secret?

A Story of How One Therapist Changed Her Mind About Keeping Secrets

By Evan Imber-Black - Decades ago, a family walked into one therapist's office and utterly destroyed her beliefs about keeping secrets.

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Moving in Our Own Way

A Catatonic Client Teaches a Dance Therapist What It Means to Connect

By Jody Wager - I'm a dance and movement therapist. All my life, I’ve loved to move, to feel a sense of expansiveness and connection unfurl throughout my body. So imagine my surprise as a young intern when my supervisor assigned me to work with a man diagnosed with catatonia.

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VIDEO: Why EMDR Works

What Therapists Need to Know to Treat Trauma Effectively

In the following interview, Networker senior writer Lauren Dockett sits down with EMDR specialist and trauma expert Deany Laliotis to get her take on the core skills therapists need to treat trauma effectively, and hear about how EMDR works and has evolved as a practice.

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Beating Back-to-School Anxiety

Three Therapists Share Stories and Tips

By Chris Lyford - Back-to-school season can be one of the most stressful periods of the year for a child, no matter what age. From making new friends to handling a new workload, the challenges that come with the new school year are plentiful. Here, three veteran therapists, all of whom know quite a bit about back-to-school anxieties, share the clinical lessons they learned—and a few stories.

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The Five Dimensions of Good Anxiety Treatment

An Interview with Anxiety Researcher David Barlow

By Ryan Howes - Author David Barlow is widely considered the dean of anxiety researchers. In the following interview, he shares his thoughts on the nature of anxiety and what research has revealed about the most effective treatments for it.

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Caught in a Web

A World Where Life is Always Elsewhere

By Fred Wistow - Every day, every moment, we must wade through the flood of incoming alerts and emails urgently demanding our time and attention, all the while knowing that there’s an infinite ocean of stuff online that waits for us at all hours to stick our toe in so that it may then slowly begin to swallow us up . . . until we drown.

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VIDEO: Becoming a "Citizen Therapist"

Working Beyond the Consulting Room

Most therapists would consider themselves agents of change for their clients. But can (and should) they become voices for change in the larger community? What about when it comes to weighing in on political matters? According to therapist Bill Doherty, clinicians have the capability—and sometimes a duty—to speak up.

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July Quandary: I’m Feeling Burned Out!

Five Clinicians Give Their Advice

By Chris Lyford - Recently, a therapist has found herself losing steam. She mentally checks out when clients are talking, and constantly feels exhausted. She worries this burnout could be affecting her work, and is looking for some good, realistic forms of self-care beyond just taking a vacation or going to the spa. Here, five therapists offer their advice.

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Saving My Younger Self

Black Therapists Rock Member Profile

Therapists who grew up in the communities of color they serve often have the social capital and particular wisdom to better understand clients’ core needs and make therapy accessible and meaningful. Here, Black Therapists Rock member Nicole Thompson takes us on her own journey from a Philly kid steeped in adversity, to an urban school psychologist who’s gone back to the old neighborhood and found her calling.

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Confessions of a Former People Pleaser

The Radical Act of Rethinking Your Boundaries

By Alicia Muñoz - I used to view boundaries as a fancy way of dressing up rejection, incompetence, and selfishness. But after a decade of working as a couples counselor, I've learned just how much they create safety in relationships. They’re guardians of our life force, energy incubators, protectors of precious emotional resources, stokers and fuelers of self-respect.

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VIDEO: Bringing Parents into Therapy with Kids

Why Anxiety is a Family Problem

When it comes to working with kids in therapy, it's easy to overlook how critical a role parents play in ensuring the success of treatment. But when so many parents are just as anxious as their children, and many have had negative experiences with therapy in the past, what's the best course of action? In the following interview, therapist Lynn Lyons explains the first thing you need to do when working with young clients and their parents.

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Finding Strength in the Symptom

Breaking Free from the Limits of Our Medical Treatment Model

By Courtney Armstrong - As therapists, we’re taught to be master detectives, methodically investigating our clients’ symptoms in search of the source of their pain. But if we spend too much time preoccupied with them, we’re likely to miss important clues to their hidden strengths. I’ve learned that turning a symptom into a client’s ally can transform the whole experience of therapy for both the therapist and client.

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More Than One Way to Heal

Black Therapists Rock Member Profile

It can be tricky doing therapy in communities where the field’s reputation is mixed. That's why Black Therapists Rock member Daphne Fuller stresses the importance of meeting clients where they are when working to help and empower people of color. Here, she shares how she does this in her own practice.

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Got the Magic Touch?

Four Behaviors of Gifted Therapists and How to Cultivate Them

By Dafna Lender - We’ve now moved past the point where we rely only on intuition to elicit trust and openness. Microbehaviors occur within fractions of a second, most of them not conscious to the sender or receiver, and some greatly contribute to inspiring feelings of safety, connection, and comfort. Here are four ways these emotional messages are transmitted.

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How to Create an Anti-Bullying Support Group

Put an End to School Bullying in Just Six Weeks

By Sue Young - When it comes to bullying, students’ knowledge of their lives in school makes even young children skilled at knowing the small but significant actions they can take to help make another child happy.

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