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Finding Strength in the Symptom

Breaking Free from the Limits of Our Medical Treatment Model

Courtney Armstrong • 3/15/2018

By Courtney Armstrong - As therapists, we’re taught to be master detectives, methodically investigating our clients’ symptoms in search of the source of their pain. But if we spend too much time preoccupied with them, we’re likely to miss important clues to their hidden strengths. I’ve learned that turning a symptom into a client’s ally can transform the whole experience of therapy for both the therapist and client.

Daily Blog

Turning Panic into Power

Hidden Strengths Can Be the Key to Healing Trauma

Courtney Armstrong • 9/30/2016

By Courtney Armstrong - As therapists, we’re taught to be master detectives who methodically investigate our clients’ symptoms in search of a “culprit”—the source of their pain. But if we spend too much time preoccupied with symptoms, we’re likely to miss important clues to hidden strengths, which can transform the experience of psychotherapy.

Daily Blog

Hiding in Plain Sight

Clients' Symptoms Offer Clues to Their Strengths

Courtney Armstrong • 8/30/2016

As therapists, we’re taught to be master detectives who methodically investigate our clients’ symptoms in search of a “culprit”—the source of their pain. But if we spend too much time preoccupied with symptoms, we’re likely to miss important clues to hidden strengths, which can transform the experience of psychotherapy.

Magazine Article

Crossing to Safety

A Master Clinician Shares Her Most Therapeutic Moment

Courtney Armstrong • 7/1/2016

By Courtney Armstrong - Many people wonder how therapists manage to do the work they do. Of the thousands of meaningful sessions that take place in a therapist’s office, certain ones stand out. In the following storytelling piece, Courtney Armstrong shares a memorable moment from her own work.

Daily Blog

Creating Adventure and Play in Therapy

How to Spark the Emotional Brain

Courtney Armstrong • 2/26/2016

By Courtney Armstrong - How many times have you surprised yourself by jumping at the scary part of a movie or shouting something hurtful at someone you love when you feel angry? You know the villain in the movie isn’t real and the insult to your loved one will only make things worse, but your emotional brain ignores this logic and leaps into action. The more we learn about the emotional brain, the clearer it becomes: to have real therapeutic impact, we need to create experiences that help clients learn to relate to themselves and the world in entirely new ways.

Daily Blog

How to Improve Your Therapy Using Play and Emotion

Why Good Therapy Means Tapping Into the Client's Emotional Brain

Courtney Armstrong • 1/5/2016

How many times have you surprised yourself by jumping at the scary part of a movie? You know the villain in the movie isn’t real, but your emotional brain ignores this logic and leaps into action. In essence, the emotional brain is our unconscious mind, and scientists estimate that it controls about 95 percent of what we do, think, and feel at any given moment. As therapists, we have to be a provocative guide, creating experiences that go beyond the intellect to reach a deeply human place, prompting clients to believe they can relate to themselves and the world in a new way.

Daily Blog

Using Play in Therapy to Solve Emotional Problems

Why Creative Strategies are the Therapist's Best Tool

Courtney Armstrong • 6/17/2015

How many times have you surprised yourself by jumping at the scary part of a movie? It isn’t enough to be a kind, supportive guide on clients’ journeys. We have to be a provocative guide, creating experiences that trigger their curiosity and desire to know more. Human behavior and motivation are driven mostly by the emotional brain---the brain centers that mediate “primitive” emotions and instincts and respond to sensory-rich experiences, not intellectual insights.

Daily Blog

Creating Adventure And Play In Therapy

How to Vitalize Your Therapeutic Style

Courtney Armstrong • 6/16/2014

The more we learn about the emotional brain, the clearer it becomes: to have real therapeutic impact, we need to create experiences that help clients learn to relate to themselves and the world in entirely new ways.

Daily Blog

Creating Adventure And Play In Therapy

How to Vitalize Your Therapeutic Style

Courtney Armstrong • 7/8/2013

The more we learn about the emotional brain, the clearer it becomes: to have real therapeutic impact, we need to create experiences that help clients learn to relate to themselves and the world in entirely new ways.

Magazine Article
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Finding Strength in the Symptom

Breaking Free from the Limits of Our Medical Treatment Model

Courtney Armstrong • 3/15/2018

By Courtney Armstrong - As therapists, we’re taught to be master detectives, methodically investigating our clients’ symptoms in search of the source of their pain. But if we spend too much time preoccupied with them, we’re likely to miss important clues to their hidden strengths. I’ve learned that turning a symptom into a client’s ally can transform the whole experience of therapy for both the therapist and client.

Daily Blog

Turning Panic into Power

Hidden Strengths Can Be the Key to Healing Trauma

Courtney Armstrong • 9/30/2016

By Courtney Armstrong - As therapists, we’re taught to be master detectives who methodically investigate our clients’ symptoms in search of a “culprit”—the source of their pain. But if we spend too much time preoccupied with symptoms, we’re likely to miss important clues to hidden strengths, which can transform the experience of psychotherapy.

Daily Blog

Crossing to Safety

A Master Clinician Shares Her Most Therapeutic Moment

Courtney Armstrong • 7/1/2016

By Courtney Armstrong - Many people wonder how therapists manage to do the work they do. Of the thousands of meaningful sessions that take place in a therapist’s office, certain ones stand out. In the following storytelling piece, Courtney Armstrong shares a memorable moment from her own work.

Daily Blog

Creating Adventure and Play in Therapy

How to Spark the Emotional Brain

Courtney Armstrong • 2/26/2016

By Courtney Armstrong - How many times have you surprised yourself by jumping at the scary part of a movie or shouting something hurtful at someone you love when you feel angry? You know the villain in the movie isn’t real and the insult to your loved one will only make things worse, but your emotional brain ignores this logic and leaps into action. The more we learn about the emotional brain, the clearer it becomes: to have real therapeutic impact, we need to create experiences that help clients learn to relate to themselves and the world in entirely new ways.

Daily Blog

How to Improve Your Therapy Using Play and Emotion

Why Good Therapy Means Tapping Into the Client's Emotional Brain

Courtney Armstrong • 1/5/2016

How many times have you surprised yourself by jumping at the scary part of a movie? You know the villain in the movie isn’t real, but your emotional brain ignores this logic and leaps into action. In essence, the emotional brain is our unconscious mind, and scientists estimate that it controls about 95 percent of what we do, think, and feel at any given moment. As therapists, we have to be a provocative guide, creating experiences that go beyond the intellect to reach a deeply human place, prompting clients to believe they can relate to themselves and the world in a new way.

Daily Blog

Using Play in Therapy to Solve Emotional Problems

Why Creative Strategies are the Therapist's Best Tool

Courtney Armstrong • 6/17/2015

How many times have you surprised yourself by jumping at the scary part of a movie? It isn’t enough to be a kind, supportive guide on clients’ journeys. We have to be a provocative guide, creating experiences that trigger their curiosity and desire to know more. Human behavior and motivation are driven mostly by the emotional brain---the brain centers that mediate “primitive” emotions and instincts and respond to sensory-rich experiences, not intellectual insights.

Daily Blog

Creating Adventure And Play In Therapy

How to Vitalize Your Therapeutic Style

Courtney Armstrong • 6/16/2014

The more we learn about the emotional brain, the clearer it becomes: to have real therapeutic impact, we need to create experiences that help clients learn to relate to themselves and the world in entirely new ways.

Daily Blog
Page 1 of 1 (7 Items)

Hiding in Plain Sight

Clients' Symptoms Offer Clues to Their Strengths

Courtney Armstrong • 8/30/2016

As therapists, we’re taught to be master detectives who methodically investigate our clients’ symptoms in search of a “culprit”—the source of their pain. But if we spend too much time preoccupied with symptoms, we’re likely to miss important clues to hidden strengths, which can transform the experience of psychotherapy.

Magazine Article

Creating Adventure And Play In Therapy

How to Vitalize Your Therapeutic Style

Courtney Armstrong • 7/8/2013

The more we learn about the emotional brain, the clearer it becomes: to have real therapeutic impact, we need to create experiences that help clients learn to relate to themselves and the world in entirely new ways.

Magazine Article
Page 1 of 1 (2 Items)
Courtney Armstrong, LPC, MHSP, has over 20 years’ experience and is a Board Certified Fellow in Clinical Hypnotherapy who has trained thousands of mental health professionals nationally and internationally in creative, brain-based strategies for healing trauma. She is a bestselling author of the book, The Therapeutic “Aha!”: 10 Strategies for Getting Clients Unstuck and Transforming Traumatic Grief and contributes to publications such as the Psychotherapy Networker, Counseling Today, and The Neuropsychotherapist. She has been featured as a trauma and grief expert on national television and radio programs and is the owner/director of Tamarisk: A Center for Mind-Body Therapy in the state of Tennessee.