7 Clinicians Share Their Best Strategies
In this collection, master therapists share how they’ve used humor in ways that both enliven and enrich the work of therapy.
A Son Looks for Answers from a Stoic Parent Back from War
By Frank Pittman - Even though I knew I wanted to be a father when I grew up, I didn’t know exactly what skills were required. We of the ’40s and ’50s grew up with fathers who were off at war or at work, and who weren’t part of the family even when they were at home. We were essentially fatherless.
Shaking Your Clients Loose from Their Tragic Stances
By Frank Pittman - Therapy, in order to shake people loose from their tragic stances and bounce them into the human comedy, is at its best when it is funny, when the tragic family story being acted out is rewritten to provide a happy ending. I urge therapists to keep these simple guidelines in mind as they go through their day.
What People Don't Know Can Hurt Them. What They Don't Reveal Can Hurt Even More
By Frank Pittman - When we therapists believe a secret's revelations would be dangerous, the client receives a frightening message about him- or herself and about the world. We may accept our patients and make psychodynamic, systemic or sociological excuses for them, while still conveying that their secret is unacceptable. Thus, while explicitly "supporting" them, we implicitly undermine their sense that they are fundamentally decent, acceptable people.
A Therapist Reflects on What He Might Have Done Differently
By Frank Pittman - I've been in full-time private practice for almost 30 years. In that time, three patients in my practice killed themselves. Each suicide has left me shell-shocked and questioning my therapeutic attitudes and methods. I did not expect Adam to be one of my casualties.
Highlights from the Networker Journey
Out of all the hundreds and hundreds of articles that have appeared in the Networker over the past four decades, we’ve chosen a small sampling that captures the magazine’s most journalistic side, conveying not so much the eternal verities of our profession, but the sense of reading a first draft of the field’s history. Among other things, you’ll find therapeutic methods that, as exciting as they seemed at the moment, didn’t stand the test of time as well as initial forays into discussing complex issues we’re still struggling with today. We’ve also added in a few examples of writing so immediate and compelling that they have an air of timelessness. Prepare yourself for an interesting journey.
By Frank Pittman - When TV finally came, in the early '50s, the world it brought into our living rooms was black and white, and dumbed way down. Newsmen now had faces, and, as eyewitnesses, we could now determine who had an honest face and who didn't. The most honest of the talking heads seemed to be the revered war correspondent Edward R. Murrow. Now the actor George Clooney has put together a reenactment of the public clash between Murrow and the rabid senator Joe McCarthy. It's called Good Night and Good Luck.
Move Over, Meryl: Kate Winslet Ascends to Center Stage
What separates screen actors who remain enshrined in our memory from those who just momentarily catch our eye?
Inside Out: Frost/Nixon and Milk Hold a Mirror to Our Fears
Movies are about giving us outsiders in the audience the illusion of being inside the charmed circle of real experience.
Tell Me a Story: As Hollywood Goes Postmodern, Has Narrative Become Passé?
If you're like me, you've noticed that movies don't make as much sense as they used to. Nevertheless, I suspect that there's still an audience somewhere out there with an old-fashioned appetite for narrative coherence—an audience that wants a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end; a story that inspires, instructs, and offers insights into the human condition.