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How to Prevent Relapse

Treatment Strategies for Long-Term Change

September/October 2000
I notice that many of my couples clients do well in therapy, only to return with the same or similar problems in a few months. What can I do to make the effects of treatment last?

Magazine Article

The Four Most Common Mistakes in Treating Teeens

And What You Can Do About It

July/August 2000
Any therapist treating domestic violence takes one look at a husband who is dominating and abusing his wife and recognizes that he exercises power over her. Yet, when a teenager threatens, dominates by shouting and imposing guilt and controls her parents by threatening to run away, too many therapists fail to realize that abuse is going on.

Magazine Article

The Breakthrough

Waking Up to Life in a Mind-Body-Spirit Group

May/June 2000
On the day I understood that something had to change, I was sitting in a newspaper editorial meeting, feeling the slight, probing pressure behind my right eye that signaled the onset of a migraine headache. Stay cool, I firmly told myself. You can handle this. "Handling this" meant doing what I had been doing for the past 18 years or so of persistent migraines--dosing myself with drugs and resolutely pretending to be fine.

Magazine Article

Exposing the Mythmakers

How Soft Sell Has Replaced Hard Science

March/April 2000
Emotional suffering, according to a new view, is a genetic glitch, successfully treatable by drugs. Depression is no longer thought to be shaped by such diverse forces as a sedentary, lonely or impoverished life;

the loss of love, health or community; "learned helplessness" or feelings of powerlessness arising from unsatisfying work or an abusive relationship. Its resolution no longer requires anyone to get meaningful support from others, to establish a collaborative relationship with a good psychotherapist, to draw on community resources, or for communities to address conditions that breed depression.


Magazine Article

Getting Real

Candor and Connection with Adolescents

September/October 1999
Carl was a 17-year-old client of mine whom I always hoped would stand me up. Ten or twelve minutes into a scheduled therapy session, when it seemed clear that he had given me the slip, I could actually feel the knot in my stomach begin to uncoil, my shoulders soften, my jaw unclench. Ahhhh, I'd sigh inwardly. Safe for another week.

Magazine Article

Discovering Our Children

The Connection Between Anonymity and Rage in Today's Kids

September/October 1999
Over the last 10 years, as these exchanges are becoming increasingly part of everyday family interaction, it has become apparent to me that a tectonic shift about acceptable behavior is taking place in parent-child relationships throughout the country.

Magazine Article

Been There, Done That

When Clients Resist Your Advice, Hang in There

May/June 1999
What should I do when the response to anything I suggest to a client is, "I've already tried that and it doesn't work"?

Magazine Article

Running on Ritalin

Is It the Drug of Choice or the Drug of Convenience?

May/June 1999
It's midday at an elementary school in a comfortable American suburb. The lunch bell has just rung, and the kids are noisily pouring out of classrooms to enjoy a brief recess in the schoolyard before mealtime. Inside, next door to the principal's office, the school secretary is arranging bottles of medication on a tray.

Magazine Article

The Ties the Define

Do we choose our loyalties or do they choose us?

May/June 1999

So, with very few actual family members present, but all of our political friends, our wedding was like a "family" celebration, as much as it was a gathering of like-minded political activists. My sister and a couple of friends helped us make the food (except a very bourgeois, very decadent, bakery-made cake--rum-drenched, chocolate swirled and lavished with brightly colored marzipan flowers); another sewed my dress; yet another silk-screened the invitations.


Magazine Article

Satori in the Bedroom

Tantra and the Dilemma of Western Sexuality

March/April 1999
Modern sex therapy helped thousands with simple, effective behavioral techniques, usually focused narrowly on achieving erection, intercourse or orgasm. Yet few of us have much of a clue about continuing to create the more profound joys of sexuality--especially after the first six months to two years of a relationship, when hormones subside and desire fades.

Magazine Article

The Evolution of Modern Sex Therapy

A Look Back

March/April 1999
Twenty years after the sexual revolution, in the most sexually explicit culture in the world, a surprisingly large number of people continue to have difficulties with the sexual basics.

Magazine Article

What is This Thing Called Love?

The Answers Are Being Discovered in the Laboratory

March/April 1999
If the idea that desire is orchestrated by our body chemistry hasn't yet found its way into the clinical conversation, it may be because the evidence is still largely buried in scientific journals, primarily from the emerging fields of behavioral endocrinology and psychophysiology.

Magazine Article

The Bottom Line

A Fee Policy Can Clarify the Therapeutic Relationship

November/December 1998
Money is an underdiscussed topic in graduate programs, supervision and peer groups, yet every therapist I know has felt the awkwardness of seeming mercenary when insisting to a client who has fallen behind that he or she needs to pay.

Magazine Article

Ripped Apart

November/December 1998

That persevering anger is one of the things that make those of us who are struggling with feeling victimized look so, well, unattractive. I recently spoke with Sue Johnson, a Canadian couples therapist who writes about the trauma that occurs when someone is abandoned or betrayed. "In these cases," she said, "we often don't take people where they are. There's a period a long period when injured people are even homicidally angry. They want to hurt someone.


Magazine Article

Beyond the Rational

Medical Science is Finally Catching Up With Family Therapists

September/October 1998
A hunger for the sacred permeates much of Western culture now, along with a willingness to learn from what was once called the primitive and the superstitious. We are not sure what we are missing, but we know we are missing something.

Magazine Article

It Takes One to Tango

You Don't Need Both Partners to Do Couples Therapy

September/October 1998
Ascribing negative intent to those who prefer to steer clear of therapy is unfair, often incorrect and almost always hurtful to those who wish their partners would share their enthusiasm about the benefits of therapy. They end up blaming their partners even more intensely.

Magazine Article

Aging

Fact and Fiction

July/August 1998
By examining how older members of our society actually live and looking at what we can learn from people who age successfully, one research study shifted 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.

Magazine Article

Betty Friedan Takes on the Age Mystique

A New Image of Life's "Third Age"

July/August 1998
Betty Friedan has been exploring another vast expanse of our collective social experience, which she believes is every bit as oppressive and blighting of human possibility as the feminine mystique: it's the mix of denial and dread of growing old that she calls "the age mystique."

Magazine Article

Healing the Family's Oldest Rifts

Adult Children and Their Parents

July/August 1998
Somewhere in the middle of our lives, when we imagine we have finally achieved the proper balance of closeness and autonomy vis-a-vis our parents, or have accepted that we never will, many of us find ourselves at our parents' doorsteps again as they age and begin to need our help.

Magazine Article

War Stories

Helping Old Soldiers Find the Will to Live

July/August 1998
Ted was like many older men I'd seen who, after suffering sudden medical catastrophes, figured they had no other choice but to surrender to their dire circumstances. He hadn't asked to see a psychologist; in fact, he had never in his life dreamed of speaking with one. Yet I was supposed to march into his hospital room and sound some battle cry, compelling him to fight to live again.

Magazine Article

The Dog Ate It

When Clients Don't Do Their Homework

May/June 1998
How do you get clients to do homework assignments? For one, please don't call them homework assignments.

Magazine Article

My Interview with Andre

For Andre Gregory, the Turth, No Matter How Painful, Is Always Funny

January/February 1998
There is something liberating--if a bit unsettling--about being around people like Andre Gregory, for whom, it appears, no subject is too private to be off-limits.

Magazine Article

The Art of Enactment

How to Get Real Conversation Going in the Consulting Room

November/December 1997
Therapists are supposed to get family members to talk with each other during sessions, but I've found that is not so simple. How do you get family members to talk together productively?

Magazine Article

Fearless Foursome

The Women's Project Prepares to Pass the Torch: An Interview

November/December 1997
For two decades, the members of the Women’s Project in Family Therapy were the outspoken feminist conscience of psychotherapy and, with their humor and warm camaraderie, became beloved role models in a field that had long been dominated by male leaders.

Magazine Article
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It's More Complicated Than That

Don't Smooth Out Life's Wrinkles Says Salvador Minuchin

November/December 1996
One of family therapy's pioneers worries that today's brief techniques smooth out too many of life's wrinkles.

Magazine Article
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