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The Rise of Distance Therapy

What Does New Technology Mean for the Future of Therapy?

By Kathleen Smith. We no longer live in a world in which we can so clearly partition ourselves off from the electronic information grid. Many occupations no longer require a clearly defined workplace or a physical presence. Why should psychotherapy be any different?

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New Choices for New Times

Giving Our Field a Boost

By William Doherty - Lately, psychotherapy seems to be suffering the same fate as many other professions that have declined in their cultural support and public clout. A big part of our problem is that our clinical models have assumed a level of universal truth about human functioning that transcends culture and history, but when the culture changes, then the model becomes outdated. What to do? Here’s a road map to a future of relevance.

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Is Mood Science a New Way to Treat Depression In Therapy?

What Low Mood Can Teach Us About Treating Depression

Depression has been a tough nut to crack, but we haven’t focused much on what’s at the center of that nut: mood. Understanding the forces that are seeding low mood in the depression epidemic can help us better understand how to achieve better therapeutic outcomes.

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How Mindfulness is Changing Our Relationship with Ourselves

Jon Kabat-Zinn on the Healing Capacity of Mindfulness in the Modern World

Jon Kabat-Zinn is an expert when it comes to exploring the connection between the intensely private experience of living a meditative life and responding to the vast deluge of global and social problems we collectively face. In the following interview, he explains what it means to be mindful and why it’s becoming increasingly relevant in our modern world.

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VIDEO: Susan Johnson on Attachment Issues in the Bedroom

How to Help Couples Have "Hold Me Tight" Conversations

Susan Johnson, couples therapist and author of Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships, will be a keynote speaker at this year's Networker Symposium. Here, she talks about how creating emotionally valuable experiences in therapy helps keep struggling couples engaged and better able to see their partner's point of view, and communicate better outside of therapy and in the bedroom.

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Getting Unhooked

Optimizing Connection with Teenage Clients by Understanding Your Own Attachment Style

For a child to develop, adults need to “loan” them their adult regulatory system. But being a self-aware, engaged, and compassionate therapist isn't automatic. To play our part, we must first foster our own capacity to self-regulate before we can demand it of a terrified or furious teen. Attachment is a two-way street: it’s not just about them.

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The Mindfulness Explosion

The Perils of Mainstream Acceptance

The explosive growth of mindfulness in America has inevitably triggered a backlash—a low, rumbling protest, particularly from Buddhists, who're disturbed by how much meditation in America appears to have been individualized, monetized, corporatized, therapized, taken over, flattened, and generally coopted out of all resemblance to its noble origins in an ancient spiritual and moral tradition.

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VIDEO: Rick Hanson on Overcoming the Brain’s Negativity Bias

Creating Lasting Change

Rick Hanson, a neuropsychologist and author of Buddha's Brain, will be a keynote speaker at this year's Networker Symposium. Here, he talks about our brain's negativity bias and how to help our clients overcome it. After all, our job as therapists is to help our clients make lasting changes by changing the brain.

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The Case for Porn

Can Pornography Actually Help our Relationships?

Porn is polarizing. Porn is confusing. Porn can be alarming. For therapists, porn can push us out of our comfort zone and trigger negative countertransference. One thing is for sure: porn is everywhere, and it’s here to stay. So what do therapists have to say about it?

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Breaking the Cycle of Depression

Bill O'Hanlon on the "Marbling" Technique for Working with Depressed Clients

Depressed clients repeat the same thoughts, activities, feelings, and experiences again and again, as if entranced. Good depression treatment is largely about awakening them from this bad trance.

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The Risk-Taker’s Advantage

Are Today's Parents Too Overprotective?

There’s now consensus among social scientists that children in developed countries have never been safer. But the new normal is a growing pattern of overprotection that I’ve seen emerging as one of the thorniest clinical issues for therapists because it can look so reasonable. Rather than insisting that parents change their behavior and supervise their children less, I focus on how they can give their kids opportunities to experience the manageable amounts of risk and responsibility needed for success.

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What Hookup Culture Means for the Future of Millennial Love

Alexandra Solomon on the Emotional Toll of Hypersexualized Dating

Even though young adults seem to be craving some safety to balance their adventure, hookup culture continues to thrive, as much as many therapists would love to see young adults create something more fulfilling than ambiguous, drunken, unsatisfying sex. Whatever changes lie ahead in our cultural rituals for coming-of-age relationally, we’ll be seeing in our therapy practices the emotional legacy of hookup culture, in all its rawness and frantic incoherence, for many years to come.

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How to Embrace Mindfulness More Fully

Finding Happiness By Learning to Pause in an Age of Distraction

Now, more than ever, we tend to greet every minute with demands such as: "I want this. I don't want this. I want more of this. I want less of that." We have ideas about what our minutes should or should not be. But if we are lucky, occasionally we experience a sparkling moment when we break out of our trance of self and are fully present. Sometimes these lead to epiphanies, which present us with aha moments of new understanding. Or our thoughts simply may be "Isn't this wonderful?" or "Isn't life amazingly rich and complicated?"

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Using Play to Connect Better with Kids in Therapy

How Modeling Play Can Help Children Heal Trauma, Alleviate Anxiety, and More

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. Because play is both releasing and disarming, it may be too threatening for the child to give up control sufficiently to enter into it. 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. But as when you're teaching children with attachment problems to tolerate emotions, this must be done gradually.

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What Therapists Need to Know About Autism

An Interview with Steve Silberman on the Intricacies of Autism and Asperger's

When it comes to autism, how do we separate truth from fiction? Steve Silberman is a Bay Area writer who, for his Wired article “The Geek Syndrome,” dove into Silicon Valley culture in 2001 to explore the contribution of people on the autism spectrum to the dot-com boom. He followed up that article with years of research and study, culminating in his new book, Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. In a recent conversation, Silberman teased out the intricacies of autism as a pathology and as a different way of seeing the world.

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Examining Our Identities and Biases in the Consulting Room

Kenneth Hardy on How to Properly Address Racial, Ethnic, and Sexual Differences

Anyone who wishes to move outside the consulting room to address racial, ethnic, or sexual differences must rely on the bedrock belief that everyone has redeemable parts, and you can find them if you have the will and the patience to look. The creation of "the other" is the dynamic at the heart of divorce and personal antagonisms, and it has always been central to racism, sexism, homophobia, and ethnic persecution. Since realizing this, I've come to see that my work isn't about educating the unenlightened: it's about helping people see the insidious impact of turning a person or a group into "the other."

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Marketing Your Therapy Practice to Grow Income and Clientele

Boosting Your Business with the "Pink-Spoon" Method

The way we automatically think of building and maintaining a therapy practice may no longer be an economically viable way of sustaining ourselves. Today, those seeking psychological help today don't think of themselves as patients, or even clients, as much as they consider themselves consumers or customers. They want to be served what they want, on their terms. They're less interested in an intense, open-ended relationship with a highly trained stranger than with a practical, appealing, and reasonably priced product, one that'll provide some short-term relief and maybe a little long-term wisdom.

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Temperament: A Factor of Nature or Nurture?

How Therapists Can Help Us Accept and Break Free from Our Dispositions

New investigations are beginning to shed new light on a question that's hounded psychotherapy for more than a century: what's the relationship between nature and nurture, and what does it mean for the human project of change? As we come to understand more about the complex process of temperament development, therapists may be able to better help clients master one of life's trickiest balancing acts---making peace with one's inborn nature while knocking against its boundaries, in search of a larger self.

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How Mindfulness Can Help Us Shop with Less Anxiety

Confronting the Mental Health Consequences of our Devotion to Materialism

In our consumer-driven economy, we've long been asking material things to do what they really can't: regulate our emotions, improve our social status, and turn us into our ideal selves. The closer one examines the psychology of shopping, the more intricacy and nuance we discover in our decisions about what and why we buy. Whether we're shopping for a plant, a pair of pumps, or a political candidate, it's a way we search for ourselves and our place in the world. As mental health professionals, we can help the many whose consumption is driven by emotional needs to discover what it is they're really shopping for and how to get it.

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Why the Current Trauma Model Fails Victims of Abuse

A New Way to Help Traumatized Clients Relieve Guilt, Shame, and Isolation

Today, after more than twenty-five years, predictions based on the trauma model have not proved accurate. There appears to be no direct, linear relationship between the severity of the abuse and the psychosocial difficulties victims experience in adulthood. Worst of all, we have developed no clearly effective treatments for sexual abuse victims. They continue to suffer from psychological and social problems in the aftermath of their abuse, and mental health professionals still have not reached a consensus as to exactly why or what precisely to do to help them recover. Here's what needs to change.

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Incorporating Mindfulness Into Our Online Habits

Simple Mindfulness Techniques for Reducing Stress from Information Overload

Human beings are creatures of habit, and nowhere is the force of habit more apparent than in the way most of us use the Internet. Few of us are disciplined enough to go online, do one thing, and log off, and researchers are beginning to document the emotional and psychological price we're paying for doing so. But the good news is that feeling overwhelmed and lost online isn't an inevitable consequence of living in the Internet Age---using a few mindfulness techniques, we can change how we behave when we go on online and how we interact with the web.

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Moving Beyond Resentment

How to Help Clients Get Past Old Wounds

Most resentful people drag a long chain of bitterness through life. Since resentment can greatly distort thinking through oversimplification, confirmation bias, inability to grasp other perspectives, and impaired reality-testing, it often becomes a worldview. The initial challenge of treating those afflicted with chronic resentment is to strike a balance between validation and empowerment. While memories of past maltreatment may never go away, clients can learn to experience them as white noise, like the background hum of an air conditioner, as they build more value and meaning in their daily lives.

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The Power of Yoga in the Therapy Room

Amy Weintraub's No-Mat Yoga Techniques for Helping Clients Relax and Reflect

The work of therapy can’t begin in earnest if the client’s mind is racing or fogged by depression at the beginning of the session, or if tension is so great that bodily awareness is lost. Offering a simple yoga practice as a portal into the session can enable your client to experience a shift in attentiveness and mood. A variety of no-mat yoga practices and rituals can help quiet mental chatter, reduce bodily tension, and promote a heightened awareness of oneself and one’s surroundings. All these techniques are perfectly suited to the consultation room.

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Proven Strategies for Branding Your Therapy Practice

Concrete Steps for Growing and Managing Finances and Clients

For therapists, traditional ways of getting the word out---a discrete ad here, a few hints to colleagues there, even a fancy website---just won’t cut it anymore. In a sound-bite-saturated world of information overload, having a brand that stands out is the only way to attract potential clients.

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How to Improve Your Therapy Using Play and Emotion

Why Good Therapy Means Tapping Into the Client's Emotional Brain

How many times have you surprised yourself by jumping at the scary part of a movie? You know the villain in the movie isn’t real, but your emotional brain ignores this logic and leaps into action. In essence, the emotional brain is our unconscious mind, and scientists estimate that it controls about 95 percent of what we do, think, and feel at any given moment. As therapists, we have to be a provocative guide, creating experiences that go beyond the intellect to reach a deeply human place, prompting clients to believe they can relate to themselves and the world in a new way.

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