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Getting "Ghosted" by Clients

Four Stories from Therapists, and What They Learned from Their Experience

Chris Lyford • 5/6/2019

By Chris Lyford - We've all seen it happen. Maybe some of us are even guilty of it ourselves: Sometimes it's easier to simply ignore people than respond when they reach out. But this disappearing act, or "ghosting" as it's become commonly known, also happens to therapists quite often. Here, four clinicians share their stories.

Daily Blog

Clinician's Digest

Ketamine: The Latest Wonder Drug?

Chris Lyford • 5/6/2019

Even as ketamine’s popularity continues to rise for depression treatment, it’s still fighting an uphill battle for clinical acceptance.

Magazine Article

March Quandary: My Client is Being Bullied and Her School Won’t Help!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford • 4/6/2019

By Chris Lyford - Raisa is a sophomore in high school, and tells her therapist that the girls in her class are bullying her with insults like “slut” and “whore.” Her mother has been in touch with her school, but administrators say there’s not much they can do. Raisa is incredibly distressed. Here's how five therapists say they'd proceed.

Daily Blog

ASMR: Coming to a Practice Near You?

An Unusual Self-Care Tool Has Taken the Internet by Storm

Chris Lyford • 3/11/2019

By Chris Lyford - Some are speculating that ASMR, a soothing physical and emotional experience that 20 to 40 percent of people claim to have, triggered by particular sounds and images, may have therapeutic usefulness. But with the bulk of ASMR videos being created by non-therapists, it's also stirring up controversy.

Daily Blog

February Quandary: My Clients Are Asking Personal Questions!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford • 3/9/2019

By Chris Lyford - A therapist works from his home office, which means clients sometimes observe elements of his personal life. He's had clients ask about his electric car in the driveway, his dog, and where his kids go to school. He's gently asked these clients if they can stay on topic, but worries about seeming callous. Here are five creative examples of how other therapists have dealt with this.

Daily Blog

Clinician's Digest

ASMR Videos: A New Tool for Therapists?

Chris Lyford • 3/7/2019

Videos designed to elicit ASMR, a physiological state some people find soothing, get millions of views online. Now clinicians are debating whether they could be a useful therapeutic tool.

Magazine Article

January Quandary: Should I Keep One Partner’s Secret in Couples Therapy?

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford • 2/5/2019

By Chris Lyford - Mark and his wife, Nicole, have been in couples therapy for almost six months. But Mark recently requested an individual session, where he revealed he recently shared a kiss with an old girlfriend and has plans to rekindle their friendship. He's asked his therapist to keep the whole thing a secret. Here's how five clinicians say they'd tackle the situation.

Daily Blog

Celebrating Black Therapists

How an Online Community Broke the Networking Mold

Chris Lyford • 1/21/2019

By Chris Lyford - In the two years since its founding, Black Therapists Rock, an online community of black therapists, has gained more than 22,000 members. It's a resource, they say, where they can network, get advice about challenging cases, and meet potential mentors. But it’s also a place where many black therapists finally discover—often for the first time in a decades-long career—a sense of camaraderie with other professionals like them.

Daily Blog

December Quandary: I Accepted a Gift from My Client!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take on What to Do Now

Chris Lyford • 1/1/2019

By Chris Lyford - Asha recently gave her therapist a homemade necklace, which he accepted, thinking it innocuous enough. Now, she brings it up almost every session, asking why he's not wearing it and if he still likes it. Asha has a history of attachment issues, and her therapist worries his response might offend her or cause her to quit therapy. Here's how five therapists say they'd respond.

Daily Blog

Creating a Web of Connection

Therapists in Search of Community

Chris Lyford • 12/26/2018

Therapists are always on the lookout for new approaches and techniques. But in a profession with alarming rates of burnout and professional isolation, the best way to improve outcomes may be less about what therapists offer clients and more about what they can offer each other.

Magazine Article
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January Quandary: When One Partner in Couples Therapy Has Given Up

Five Clinicians Weigh In

Chris Lyford • 2/4/2020

By Chris Lyford - A therapist is working with a couple in which one partner is clearly disengaged in therapy. She shows up and says she’s interested in improving the relationship, but it seems obvious that she’s not willing to put in the work. He's mentioned this in individual sessions with her, but she maintains her stance. Here, five therapists weigh in with how they'd proceed.

Daily Blog

What Self-Care Means to Me

Three Therapists Share What Keeps Them Afloat

Chris Lyford • 1/18/2020

By Chris Lyford - Certainly, most psychotherapists love what they do, but the work can also be isolating, overwhelming, emotionally draining, and relentless—sometimes, all at once! In these moments, practicing self-care isn’t just important, it’s essential to making sure we bring our best selves to our work. But what does self-care look like, exactly? Here, three therapists share what it means to them.

Daily Blog

December Quandary: Addressing Vicarious Trauma

Five Clinicians Weigh In

Chris Lyford • 1/7/2020

By Chris Lyford - A new client who survived a harrowing car crash is going through a deep depression. When she recounts her story, her therapist feels unusually affected, as if she’s reliving the event with her. She’s not sure how to deal with the vicarious trauma. Here, five therapists offer their advice.

Daily Blog

November Quandary: How Do I Bring Up My Client’s Rigid Perfectionism?

Five Clinicians Weigh In

Chris Lyford • 12/7/2019

By Chris Lyford - A client sees his perfectionism as an advantage, even though it ramps up his anxiety, exacerbates his sense of shame, and keeps him living a very rigid life. He brushes off his therapist every time she brings it up. Five therapists weigh in with how they'd respond.

Daily Blog

October Quandary: Addressing the Idea of Meds with a Depressed Client

Five Clinicians Weigh In

Chris Lyford • 11/5/2019

Sandra has been struggling with depression for many years. A psychiatrist has prescribed her an antidepressant, but she’s told her therapist she doesn’t like the “idea” of meds and doesn’t take them regularly. He's not sure how best to explore the issue with her. Five clinicians share how they'd proceed.

Daily Blog

September Quandary: Will a No-Suicide Contract Help My Client Stay Safe?

Four Clinicians Weigh In

Chris Lyford • 10/1/2019

A new clinician is working with a client who’s expressed some suicidality at times. She's worried about him and thinks it might be a good idea to have him sign a no-suicide contract, but she's heard mixed things about them and isn't sure what to do. Here, four therapists offer their advice.

Daily Blog

August Quandary: How Do I Get Clients to Engage in Work Between Sessions?

Five Clinicians Weigh In

Chris Lyford • 9/3/2019

By Chris Lyford - A therapist recommends exercises like journaling prompts and guided mediations that she feels would benefit her clients between sessions. Although they seem interested when she introduces the idea, they always “forget” or can’t find the time to follow through. She's unsure how to proceed. Here, five therapists share what they'd do.

Daily Blog

The Mentor Who Changed My Therapy Practice

…And How Two Little Words Changed Everything

Chris Lyford • 8/30/2019

By Chris Lyford - While therapeutic skill is the product of years of practice and self-determination, most clinicians need a mentor: someone who takes them under their wing and inspires them to be a better therapist. The five clinicians whose stories you’re about to read all agree on one thing: seeing how their mentors practice left an indelible mark on their personal and professional development that still resonates today.

Daily Blog

Beating Back-to-School Anxiety

Three Therapists Share Stories and Tips

Chris Lyford • 8/13/2019

By Chris Lyford - Back-to-school season can be one of the most stressful periods of the year for a child, no matter what age. From making new friends to handling a new workload, the challenges that come with the new school year are plentiful. Here, three veteran therapists, all of whom know quite a bit about back-to-school anxieties, share the clinical lessons they learned—and a few stories.

Daily Blog

July Quandary: I’m Feeling Burned Out!

Five Clinicians Give Their Advice

Chris Lyford • 8/6/2019

By Chris Lyford - Recently, a therapist has found herself losing steam. She mentally checks out when clients are talking, and constantly feels exhausted. She worries this burnout could be affecting her work, and is looking for some good, realistic forms of self-care beyond just taking a vacation or going to the spa. Here, five therapists offer their advice.

Daily Blog
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Clinician's Digest

Couples Therapy Goes Public

Chris Lyford • 12/27/2019

A bold new TV series captures the raw reality of couples therapy—for both clients and therapists.

Magazine Article

Clinician's Digest

A Haunting New Film on the Legacy of Childhood Trauma

Chris Lyford • 10/28/2019

A new documentary on comedian Darrell Hammond’s life spotlights the legacy of childhood trauma.

Magazine Article

A Bridge to Recovery

A Grassroots Approach to the Opioid Crisis

Chris Lyford • 9/3/2019

Years into the opioid epidemic, a journalist travels to the hardest-hit state to get an up-close look at addiction treatment and the “radically demedicalized” approach one clinic says can make all the difference.

Magazine Article

Clinician's Digest

Addressing the Psychological Fallout of Active-Shooter Drills

Chris Lyford • 7/3/2019

In response to the ever-growing incidences of gun violence targeting students, many schools have instituted active-shooter drills. How are therapists addressing the psychological effects?

Magazine Article

Clinician's Digest

Ketamine: The Latest Wonder Drug?

Chris Lyford • 5/6/2019

Even as ketamine’s popularity continues to rise for depression treatment, it’s still fighting an uphill battle for clinical acceptance.

Magazine Article

Clinician's Digest

ASMR Videos: A New Tool for Therapists?

Chris Lyford • 3/7/2019

Videos designed to elicit ASMR, a physiological state some people find soothing, get millions of views online. Now clinicians are debating whether they could be a useful therapeutic tool.

Magazine Article

Creating a Web of Connection

Therapists in Search of Community

Chris Lyford • 12/26/2018

Therapists are always on the lookout for new approaches and techniques. But in a profession with alarming rates of burnout and professional isolation, the best way to improve outcomes may be less about what therapists offer clients and more about what they can offer each other.

Magazine Article

Clinician's Digest

The Podcast Boom: Is It for You?

Chris Lyford • 11/9/2018

Podcasts have exploded in numbers and popularity. What do mental health professionals need to know about this way of expanding their audience and their practice?

Magazine Article

Clinician's Digest

Police and Therapists: A New Alliance

Chris Lyford • 9/5/2018

Innovative co-responder programs around the country are bringing about a shift in how police and clinicians define the boundaries of their work.

Magazine Article

Clinician's Digest

For Immigrants and Their Therapists, a Frightening Reality

Chris Lyford • 7/6/2018

New policies are deepening the trauma of many immigrants, and heightening challenges for the therapists trying to help them.

Magazine Article
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Chris Lyford is the Editorial Assistant at Psychotherapy Networker, where he writes the magazine's "Digest" pieces on occasion, performs editing tasks, and manages social media.