Author Christian Larson once wrote, “Take pride in how far you have come, and have faith in how far you can go.” It’s a sentiment we’re keeping in mind as we take stock of all we’ve chronicled in the Networker in 2016, including some of psychotherapy’s most captivating, perplexing, and sometimes, controversial developments. Throughout it all, we’ve been lucky enough to have you join us on the journey. When you flip through a fresh issue—or, for you digital readers, click, swipe, and pinch—our authors invite you to experience every therapeutic conundrum, misstep, and success along with them.
Whether or not your own professional journey this year has led to a showdown with “the OCD bully,” helping a screen-addicted client break free from social media, or simply considering that your vulnerability could also be your greatest strength, we invite you to take a look back at our six most-read articles of 2016. They’re our measure of how far we’ve come, and a celebration of how far we’ll go, together.
1) Learning to Manage the OCD Bully, by Diane Cole (July/August)
An OCD sufferer describes the frustrating stops and starts and misdirections of her circuitous search for help in escaping the maze of her family of origin and the deep-seated tropes in her own brain.
2) Living Brave, by Mary Sykes Wylie (September/October)
With millions of people having seen her TED talks and read her books, researcher and bestselling author Brené Brown is a phenomenon. But haven’t therapists been writing about her professional specialty—the malign impact of shame—for decades? Perhaps her vast appeal has to do with how she’s turned the concepts of shame and vulnerability on their heads.
3) Upside-Down Psychotherapy, by Martin Seif and Sally Winston (July/August)
It’s now clear that much of what therapists do for people suffering from OCD actually worsens the problem. Providing empathic reassurance, rational disputation, and coping skills to manage anxiety only serves to refuel the obsession. So how do you avoid the dead end of co-compulsing with your clients?
4) The Great Escape, by Margaret Nichols (March/April)
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undergone a profound shift, much of what therapists believed about what it means to be transgender is now hopelessly outdated.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”?
5) The Sex-Starved Marriage, by Michele Weiner-Davis (January/February)
A sex-starved marriage isn’t about the number of times per week or per month people are actually having sex. It’s one in which one spouse is longing for more touch, more physical closeness, more sex. It places the marriage at risk of infidelity and divorce.
6) The Empathy Gap, by Sherry Turkle (November/December)
Conditioned by the experience of life on the screen, clients today find it harder to concentrate on face-to-face conversation. More than ever, the mores of therapy—the value therapy places on being with, forming an empathic bond, and the quiet attention necessary to do this—has become a crucial cultural corrective.
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Photo © Chris Lyford
Chris Lyford is the Senior Editor at Psychotherapy Networker. Previously, he was Assistant Director and Editor of the The Atlantic Post, where he wrote and edited news pieces on the Middle East and Africa. He also formerly worked at The Washington Post, where he wrote local feature pieces for the Metro, Sports, and Style sections. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.