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VIDEO: David Burns on Overcoming Resistance

Exploring Why Clients Might Not Want to Change

Do you have a client who you can't seem to help, no matter what techniques you try? In this brief video, master clinician David Burns—one of the developers of CBT and an expert in treating depression and anxiety—explains why we shouldn't automatically assume that clients actually want to change the problems they initially present in treatment.

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The Evolution of Trauma Treatment

Bessel van der Kolk Shares His Hope for the Future of the Field

By Bessel van der Kolk - My hope for the field of trauma treatment is that we learn how to help people bring their imaginations more fully to bear on their possibilities. More recently, we’ve been exploring the capacity to rewire brains that are stuck in freeze and terror and develop a sense of self-compassion that enables people to integrate their dissociated self from the past into in a calm state of mind in the present.

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Neutrality Is Sabotaging Couples Therapy

How Taking Sides Gets to the Heart of Conflict

By Terry Real - My own experience as a couples therapist has taught me that we aren't doing clients a favor by soft-pedaling difficult issues. More than adopting any particular methodology of change, we can be far more direct and challenging to clients who come to us than we've previously acknowledged. By and large, people are neither fragile nor stupid. If you show them how they're getting in their own way and what behaving more skillfully looks like, they'll be grateful.

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The Gay Man in the Straight Marriage

Exploring the Uncharted Territory of a "Mixed-Orientation Marriage"

By Jeff Levy - Gay men married to women frequently describe their experiences in therapy as confusing and polarizing, facing a strong bias toward full disclosure and divorce. My work with gay and bisexual men over the past 10 years has taught me to see psychotherapy as a place to hold dynamic tensions without easy, premature resolutions.

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VIDEO: Is Therapy Really a Science?

...Or is It a Conversational Craft?

What do the masters of truly good therapy have in common? According to couples therapist Bill Doherty, they know how to balance their desire to guide therapy with their ability to empathically listen. It's this quality that drives home the truth about therapy—at its heart, this work isn't a science. It's a craft.

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When Helping Doesn't Help

What to Do When Your Client Doesn't Want to Change

By David Burns - What if a client's resistance to change reveals something positive, beautiful, and even healthy about them—something that we’ve overlooked? If we can learn to put unconscious resistance front and center in our clinical work, we can lessen or even eliminate our clients’ resistance altogether.

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Psychotherapy's Role in the Wider World

The Case for a New Kind of Self

By William Doherty - At this time of fragmentation and division, therapists need to recognize that we’re in the glue business. We know something about helping people connect, about how to form a healthy “we” out of self and other. But first our society needs us to recover our conviction and passionate intensity as a profession, our belief that we have something to offer beyond symptom reduction.

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VIDEO: What Therapists Need to Know About Polyvagal Theory

...And How to Use Touch in Therapy

Using touch in therapy can have a huge impact on your clients' healing processes. Here, therapist Deb Dana explains the science behind the power of touch in sessions and what types of touch elicit which emotional responses.

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It's Never Too Late

Dan Siegel Shares a Life-Changing Therapeutic Moment

By Daniel Siegel - A therapist’s skill base and experience are vital to good therapy. But they’re rarely enough. The following story, taken from Daniel Siegel's 2017 Networker Symposium Dinner Storytelling piece, highlights the need to bring vulnerability and some measure of risk into the treatment room, letting go of any secret ambition to become a Master of the Therapeutic Universe. There’s no such person.

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Is Antidepressant Ketamine a Game-Changer?

Despite Its Growing Popularity, Some Therapists are Cautious

By Chris Lyford - In just a few years, the number of clinics administering ketamine, an anesthetic-turned-antidepressant, has spiked rapidly. After about six ketamine infusions, 70 to 80 percent of participants with treatment-resistant depression no longer experience symptoms, and usually within hours. But despite the hype, some therapists are recommending caution.

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Confronting Inherited Trauma

My Journey into Family Constellations

By Lauren Dockett - Many therapists know their way around family systems. But what if they could create three-dimensional experiences to help clients shed the pain of lingering traumas that can get passed down through generations? As research into the epigenetics of trauma develops, a reporter looks into an unusual approach to healing.

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What Makes Couples Therapy Stick?

Three Ways to Maintain Progress Outside the Consulting Room

By Carolyn Daitch - Successfully combating and overriding firmly ingrained behaviors requires practice. It's our job as therapists to help clients learn how and when to practice these skills, and then make sure they go home and do it.

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Helping Couples Cross the Argument Impasse

A Four-Step Process

By B. Janet Hibbs - In their first therapy session, Bob tells his wife, Sandy, to stop emailing her former college boyfriend. She refuses, feeling mistrusted and controlled, and their exchange heats up. Many couples like these are at an impasse, caught up in a struggle to prove who's right. Here's how to help them get past these kinds of unwinnable arguments and resolve their differences.

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How Psychotherapy Lost Its Magick

Reclaiming a Lost Art

By Scott Miller and Mark Hubble - Studies show more people pay for the services of advisors claiming special powers than see mental health practitioners. How can mentalists and mediums be flourishing at a time when therapists—trained and sanctioned—are struggling to inspire confidence? In an effort to improve therapists’ efficacy, two researchers find themselves on an unexpected path.

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VIDEO: Helping Kids Find the Answers Inside

Here's a Fun Exercise That Gets Your Young Clients Involved

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a magic therapy wand to wave in front of our young clients and give them all the answers they need? What if this magic wand could conjure rainbow lizards and talking dogs to sit on our clients’ shoulders, bypass their defense systems, and whisper good, therapeutic advice in their ears? That’s exactly the kind of approach Charlotte Reznick uses with her young clients.

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Overcoming Standoffs with Tough Teens

...And the Three Questions You Should Ask Them in the Very First Session

By Matthew Selekman - Trying to get in the door with provocative, therapy-savvy adolescents can be a challenging task for even the most seasoned of therapists. I've developed several engagement strategies that I regularly use, singly or in combination, that have consistently helped me to establish a therapeutic alliance with even the toughest teen client.

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How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime

Pediatrician and TED Speaker Nadine Burke Harris on Treating the "Whole Person"

By Ryan Howes - Several years ago, pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris had a eureka moment when she discovered the adverse childhood experiences study (ACEs), which helped her realize her young patients with the most stubborn physical ailments were coping with all kinds of traumas.

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May Quandary: Is It Ever Okay to Break Confidentially If I Know My Client Is Dating an Abuser?

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

By Chris Lyford - Diedre was widowed about three years ago, but was excited to tell her therapist about a man she's started dating. She's very happy. As her therapist heard more, he realized this is the same man another client used to date, who slowly became controlling and abusive. Should Diedre's therapist share this info? Five therapists weigh in.

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The World of Gender Fluidity

Understanding Gender-Variant Clients

By Margaret Nichols - As cultural attitudes about gender variance have undergone a profound shift, much of what therapists believed about what it means to be transgender is now hopelessly outdated. But how do people know that they’re the wrong gender? And what does that kind of knowing mean for our assumptions about males and females as “opposite sexes”?

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VIDEO: Helping Teen Clients Make Good Decisions

...And What to Do When They Talk About Risky Behavior

Networker’s Lauren Dockett talks with teen therapist Britt Rathbone about navigating the tricky issues of confidentiality, risky behavior, and improving teen judgment and self-control.

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Does Neuroscience Matter?

The Biological Power of the Talking Cure

By Louis Cozolino - Some therapists bristle at the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy, calling it irrelevant or reductionistic. But it's hard to grasp how the brain could be irrelevant to changing the mind. Knowing about neuroscience is invaluable for therapists, not because it offers specific new techniques or clinical theories, but because it provides a deeper understanding of the biological power of the "talking cure."

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VIDEO: Building Inner Strength with Brain Science

Cultivating Positivity and Virtue in Yourself and Your Clients

Weaving together insights from evolutionary biology, modern neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness practices, neuropsychologist Rick Hanson claims the difficulty at the core of human experience is our perpetual struggle to overcome the negativity bias wired into our brains. Here, he explains how understanding the brain can help therapists and their clients grow inner strengths.

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When Three Threatens Two

Must Parenthood Bring Down the Curtain on Romance?

By Esther Perel - Sex makes babies. So it is ironic that the child, the embodiment of the couple's love, so often threatens the very romance that brought that child into being. But the brave and determined couple who maintains an erotic connection is, above all, the couple who values it. They know that it's not children who extinguish the flame of desire: it's adults who fail to keep the spark alive.

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Words That Haunt

Helping Couples Work Through Old Character Attacks

By Ellen Wachtel - I used to believe that if a couple was getting along and behaving in a loving way to one another, hurtful and even cruel words would naturally fade into the background. But I’ve frequently seen couples in which hurt spouses may forgive their partner for the harsh words spoken in anger, but nonetheless remain haunted by some biting comment that continues to sting long after the argument is over.

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Confronting Technostress

We're Being Smothered in Data. Here's What Therapists Can Do About It.

By Margaret Wehrenberg - Perhaps no endemic workplace condition causes more anguish among employees than the culture of contrived urgency, the ginned-up atmosphere of crisis, in which everything—every project, every report, every meeting—is an urgent priority, superseding all the other urgent priorities before it in the long queue.

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