My Evolution as a Therapist
A therapist reflects on a key lesson from his long career: clients don’t necessarily need new answers to their questions—they need new questions.
If It's Not Broken, Don't Fix It
By Jay Efran - How can both joyful and tragic events elicit tears? This question puzzles many clinicians, including some who are considered experts in the field of emotional expression. The problem is that few of us have received explicit training in theories of emotion. And sometimes, clinicians can feel an urge to rush in and “fix things” that aren’t broken.
Making Tears Your Therapeutic Ally
Many times, when clients cry, clinicians feel an urge to rush in and “fix things” that aren’t broken, which can actually make things worse. Watch as Jay Efran explains his strategy for working with a crying client.
What Happened When One Therapist Decided to Self-Disclose
By Jay Efran - These days, I rarely hesitate to share my frank reactions with clients, most of whom, I have come to realize, are far hardier than we were taught to believe. If the setting is right, even brutal honesty can advance the therapeutic cause. Over the years, I have discovered a very handy therapeutic mantra to consider whenever the work bogs down, "When you find yourself stuck, try the truth."
Are Specialization and Clinical Complexity Really Necessary?
By Jay Efran and Rob Fauber - Over psychotherapy’s history, the search for new therapy techniques and fancier gimmicks has led the field lurching down one blind alley after another. But therapy is undeniably a form of conversation, not a medical treatment. It can never be fully scripted or manualized, and its value hinges on a few basic principles that have been known for a long time.
Don’t Overthink Your Interventions
In our profession, it’s often more alluring to explore new gimmicks than to acknowledge that our success largely hinges on simple, commonsense factors.
Letting Go of Our Inscrutable Facade
There is a basic inequality built into the therapy contract—we ask clients to disclose their vulnerabilities, while we hide behind a facade of unflappability, presumably floating above ordinary human foibles, untouched by the jolts and discouragements of life. While preaching congruence, who among us has never pretended fondness for a client we actually disliked, didn't understand, and didn't trust? But on at least two occasions, with a minimum of strategic deliberation, I opted to step out from behind my own well-cultivated facade of inscrutability to tell clients the unvarnished truth—with surprising results.