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Editor's Note

May/June 2016
At this year's Symposium, we invited veteran therapists to tell their true stories of their “most unforgettable session,” and those stories are the focus of this issue. Each takes you deep inside an experience with a client that turned that therapist inside out, jolting them out of their comfortable expectations into an interaction that allowed something extraordinary to take place. Prepare yourself for some unusually honest and probing explorations into both the pitfalls and rewards of practicing the therapist’s craft, including the occasional impossibility of distinguishing between the two.

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From Attachment to Creativity

Highlights from the 2016 Symposium

May/June 2016
At a time in which our society seems immersed in a toxic stew of fear and anger, this year's Symposium provided a celebration of human values and ideas that seem to be vanishing from our public discourse. Here's a taste of a few of its particularly stellar moments.
  • "Our Trichotillomania of the Soul" by Rich Simon
  • "The Path of Surprise and Discovery" by David Whyte
  • "The View from Black America" by Kenneth Hardy
  • "The Dance of Sex" by Susan Johnson
  • "The Wisdom of Mad Men" by William Doherty
  • "How Hard Times Can Open the Heart" by Rick Hanson

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May/June 2016
Unexpected Gifts
Six Master Therapists Recall Their Most Unforgettable Sessions
Magazine Issue

What's Your Most Memorable Therapeutic Moment?

Six Master Clinicians Share Their Reflections

May/June 2016
Of all the meaningful sessions that take place in a therapists's career, what makes certain ones stand out? We asked six widely respected clinicians to tell the story of a particular experience that lives on for them. This special feature collects those tales of taking creative leaps in the dark and stumbling toward insight.
  • "Crossing to Safety" by Courtney Armstrong
  • "Happy New Year?" by Ron Taffel
  • "Keeping the Faith" by Mary Jo Barrett
  • "In the Valley of the Shadow" by Margie Nichols
  • "The Uninvited Guest" by Hedy Schleifer
  • "The Found and the Lost" by Terry Real

Magazine Article

Bookmarks

Examining the Science of Torture: The Price of Coercive Interrogation

March/April 2016
Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation. A startling new book exposes how much more the military’s embrace of enhanced interrogation tactics in the war on terror was influenced by Hollywood, rather than scientific evidence.

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Case Study

Supporting the Overwhelmed Child: Sometimes It Just Takes Time

March/April 2016
A school counselor’s patient work with a sad, uncommunicative young boy demonstrates what a difference just being there can make. * Commentary by Janet Sasson Edgette

Magazine Article

Clinician's Digest

The Aftermath of the Paris Attacks

March/April 2016
Therapists reflect on the terror attack in Paris.

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Editor's Note

March/April 2016
I found talking to the transgender kids and their parents that I interviewed for this issue not only enlightening and educational, which I expected, but also viscerally moving. I was bowled over by the stubborn integrity of young kids who would insist upon being who they feel themselves to be, regardless of what anybody thought. Where, I wondered, did they find that spirit, that audacity, that sheer heroism, and at that age? But, then, talking to the parents of these kids, I began to understand a bit better.

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Family Matters

The Bonds that Sustain Us: A Family Weathers a Time of Uncertainty

March/April 2016
What parent doesn’t know the ache of helplessness that comes when you can’t do anything for your child but feel entirely responsible anyway?

Magazine Article

In Consultation

Detoxifying Criticism: How to Help Clients Gain Perspective

March/April 2016
An innovative way of working with people who are hypersensitive to criticism.

Magazine Article

It Takes A Tribe

What It's Like to Raise (or Be) a Transgender Child

March/April 2016
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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Point of View

New Technologies for Today’s Practitioners: Using Virtual Reality to treat PTSD

March/April 2016
The increasingly accessible and inexpensive technology of virtual reality now enables us to incorporate digital Skinner boxes in our practices that can enhance healing for trauma survivors.

Magazine Article

The Great Escape

Welcome to the World of Gender Fluidity

March/April 2016
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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March/April 2016
The Mystery of Gender
Are Therapists in the Dark?
Magazine Issue

The Transgender Journey

What Role Should Therapists Play?

March/April 2016
Parents typically view their children in the largely gendered terms society lays out for them. Rearranging that internal mind map requires tremendous effort and adjustment. Given the alarming suicide rates for transgender children, it can also be a matter of life and death.

Magazine Article

When Seismic Change Becomes the Norm

The Therapist in the Real World

March/April 2016
There was a time, not long ago, when all therapists needed to begin practicing their craft was a quiet room, an appointment book, a phone, and an answering machine. Since then, our field has gone through some truly seismic shifts.

Magazine Article

In Consultation

Understanding What Your Audience Needs

January/February 2016
Some tips on the do’s and don’ts of giving a good workshop.

Magazine Article

Bookmarks

Who’s the Grown-Up Here?: Helping parents abandon the “buddy” system

January/February 2016
In The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups, family physician and psychologist Leonard Sax insists that too many parents these days misunderstand the role they should play in their children’s lives.

Magazine Article

Case Study

The Remarriage Triangle: Working with Later-Life Recouplers and their Grown Children

January/February 2016
Therapists need to be prepared to go against the conventional clinical wisdom in helping later-life recouplers and stepfamilies handle the unique challenges they face.

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Editor’s Note

January/February 2016
I suspect that no matter how sophisticated we become about sex in the abstract, there’s some half-hidden, unacknowledged suspicion within most of us that sex—or at least the way we personally experience and think about it—is peculiar, if not downright bizarre.

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Family Matters

The Last Dance: Awakening a Mother’s Joyful Spirit

January/February 2016
Toward the end of her life, a woman turns back the clock by performing the goofy ballet of her youth.

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Inside Hookup Culture

Are We Having Fun Yet?

January/February 2016
On college campuses across the country, hooking up has all but replaced traditional, old-school dating rituals. With its rawness and frantic incoherence, we’ll be seeing the emotional legacy of this way of learning about love and commitment for many years to come.

Magazine Article

Point of View

Losing Our War on Stress: It’s time to reconsider our approach

January/February 2016
Psychologist Kelly McGonigal believes that stress isn’t the public health menace it’s usually made out to be—our compulsion to avoid it is often the bigger problem.

Magazine Article

The Case for Porn

January/February 2016
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. But one thing is for sure: porn is everywhere, and it’s here to stay. But this doesn’t mean that we’re being overwhelmed by an epidemic of “porn addiction,” as some people suggest. Porn can play a big role in achieving “rec-relational” lovemaking, and it doesn’t have to take away from a secure attachment.

Magazine Article

The Dance of Sex

January/February 2016
If you’re going to help a couple get closer and really learn to work harmoniously with one another, whether in bed or anywhere else, the key is helping partners experience bonding moments that open them to becoming emotionally accessible to each other. If you can do that, their bodies will follow, and sex will almost always improve.

Magazine Article
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