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Do We Still Need Attachment Theory?

Jerome Kagan, Daniel Siegel, and Salvador Minuchin Weigh In

Mary Sykes Wylie • 1/6/2017

By Mary Sykes Wylie - In the world of psychotherapy, few models of human development have attracted more acceptance in recent years than the centrality of early bonding experiences to adult psychological well-being. What on earth could ever be wrong with emphasizing early bonding, connection, and relationship as the foundation of all good therapy? According to some critics, attachment-based therapy neglects a vast range of important human influences.

Daily Blog

Turns in the Road

Highlights from the Networker Journey

Mary Sykes Wylie, Dusty Miller, Esther Perel, Frank Pittman, Fred Wistow, Gary Greenberg, Katy Butler, Laura Markowitz, Molly Layton, Rich Simon, Ron Taffel • 1/1/2017

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.

Magazine Article

A Look Back at the Evolution of Trauma Treatment

Are Clinicians Still Turning a Blind Eye to a Key Factor?

Mary Sykes Wylie • 11/24/2016

By Mary Sykes Wylie - In the 1970s, no sooner had the definition of PTSD been signed, sealed, and delivered, than many clinicians began to realize that the new diagnosis by no means encompassed the experience of all traumatized clients. In the case of trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk, many of his traumatized clients shared one other feature: they all reported histories of childhood abuse.

Daily Blog

Brené Brown on Vulnerability as a Crucial Strength

Escaping the Shame Trap

Mary Sykes Wylie • 9/19/2016

By Mary Sykes Wylie - A pervasive sense of shame makes many of us feel unworthy of human connection. Why the shame? Because in this perfectionistic culture, most of us believe we’re “not good enough: not thin enough, rich enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, promoted enough” to be worthy of love. But research by professor and acclaimed TED speaker Brené Brown shows that some people have escaped the shame trap. How? They let themselves be vulnerable.

Daily Blog

Living Brave

From Vulnerability to Daring

Mary Sykes Wylie, Rich Simon • 8/30/2016

With millions of people having seen her TED talks and read her books, researcher and bestselling author Brené Brown is a phenomenon. But aside from her talents as a speaker, teacher, and writer, why is she such a runaway hit? 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.

Magazine Article

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the Therapeutic Alliance

Judith Beck Explains Why CBT Isn't as Manualized as You Might Think

Judith Beck, Mary Sykes Wylie • 8/25/2016

By Mary Sykes Wylie and Judith Beck - Today, cognitive behavioral therapy is among the most widely practiced and promulgated approach in the world. But for all its mantle of scientific rigor and official approval, many therapists find CBT's "lab therapy" hard to love, if not downright dislikable. In the following interview, renowned CBT clinician Judith Beck explains how the method works, and why it's gotten a bum rap.

Daily Blog

From Attachment to Creativity

Highlights from the 2016 Sympoium

Mary Sykes Wylie • 5/6/2016

At a time in which our society seems immersed in a toxic stew of fear and anger, this year's Symposium provided a celebration of human values and ideas that seem to be vanishing from our public discourse. Here's a taste of a few of its particularly stellar moments.
  • "Our Trichotillomania of the Soul" by Rich Simon
  • "The Path of Surprise and Discovery" by David Whyte
  • "The View from Black America" by Kenneth Hardy
  • "The Dance of Sex" by Susan Johnson
  • "The Wisdom of Mad Men" by William Doherty
  • "How Hard Times Can Open the Heart" by Rick Hanson

Magazine Article

How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Became Our Clinical Silver Bullet

Why Many Herald CBT as One of the Most Successful Therapy Methods Ever Developed

Mary Sykes Wylie • 2/10/2016

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is arguably the most successful therapy ever developed. In only about 40 years, it’s gone from the almost accidental innovations of two disenchanted psychoanalysts to the most widely practiced and promulgated approach in the world. But where did this streamlined, efficient, practical therapy come from that would prove such a good match for our fast-paced, high-tech civilization?

Daily Blog

The Mindfulness Explosion

The Perils of Mainstream Acceptance

Mary Sykes Wylie • 2/8/2016

The explosive growth of mindfulness in America has inevitably triggered a backlash—a low, rumbling protest, particularly from Buddhists, who're disturbed by how much meditation in America appears to have been individualized, monetized, corporatized, therapized, taken over, flattened, and generally coopted out of all resemblance to its noble origins in an ancient spiritual and moral tradition.

Daily Blog

How to Embrace Mindfulness More Fully

Finding Happiness By Learning to Pause in an Age of Distraction

Mary Sykes Wylie • 1/28/2016

Now, more than ever, we tend to greet every minute with demands such as: "I want this. I don't want this. I want more of this. I want less of that." We have ideas about what our minutes should or should not be. But if we are lucky, occasionally we experience a sparkling moment when we break out of our trance of self and are fully present. Sometimes these lead to epiphanies, which present us with aha moments of new understanding. Or our thoughts simply may be "Isn't this wonderful?" or "Isn't life amazingly rich and complicated?"

Daily Blog
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Do We Still Need Attachment Theory?

Jerome Kagan, Daniel Siegel, and Salvador Minuchin Weigh In

Mary Sykes Wylie • 1/6/2017

By Mary Sykes Wylie - In the world of psychotherapy, few models of human development have attracted more acceptance in recent years than the centrality of early bonding experiences to adult psychological well-being. What on earth could ever be wrong with emphasizing early bonding, connection, and relationship as the foundation of all good therapy? According to some critics, attachment-based therapy neglects a vast range of important human influences.

Daily Blog

A Look Back at the Evolution of Trauma Treatment

Are Clinicians Still Turning a Blind Eye to a Key Factor?

Mary Sykes Wylie • 11/24/2016

By Mary Sykes Wylie - In the 1970s, no sooner had the definition of PTSD been signed, sealed, and delivered, than many clinicians began to realize that the new diagnosis by no means encompassed the experience of all traumatized clients. In the case of trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk, many of his traumatized clients shared one other feature: they all reported histories of childhood abuse.

Daily Blog

Brené Brown on Vulnerability as a Crucial Strength

Escaping the Shame Trap

Mary Sykes Wylie • 9/19/2016

By Mary Sykes Wylie - A pervasive sense of shame makes many of us feel unworthy of human connection. Why the shame? Because in this perfectionistic culture, most of us believe we’re “not good enough: not thin enough, rich enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, promoted enough” to be worthy of love. But research by professor and acclaimed TED speaker Brené Brown shows that some people have escaped the shame trap. How? They let themselves be vulnerable.

Daily Blog

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the Therapeutic Alliance

Judith Beck Explains Why CBT Isn't as Manualized as You Might Think

Judith Beck, Mary Sykes Wylie • 8/25/2016

By Mary Sykes Wylie and Judith Beck - Today, cognitive behavioral therapy is among the most widely practiced and promulgated approach in the world. But for all its mantle of scientific rigor and official approval, many therapists find CBT's "lab therapy" hard to love, if not downright dislikable. In the following interview, renowned CBT clinician Judith Beck explains how the method works, and why it's gotten a bum rap.

Daily Blog

How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Became Our Clinical Silver Bullet

Why Many Herald CBT as One of the Most Successful Therapy Methods Ever Developed

Mary Sykes Wylie • 2/10/2016

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is arguably the most successful therapy ever developed. In only about 40 years, it’s gone from the almost accidental innovations of two disenchanted psychoanalysts to the most widely practiced and promulgated approach in the world. But where did this streamlined, efficient, practical therapy come from that would prove such a good match for our fast-paced, high-tech civilization?

Daily Blog

The Mindfulness Explosion

The Perils of Mainstream Acceptance

Mary Sykes Wylie • 2/8/2016

The explosive growth of mindfulness in America has inevitably triggered a backlash—a low, rumbling protest, particularly from Buddhists, who're disturbed by how much meditation in America appears to have been individualized, monetized, corporatized, therapized, taken over, flattened, and generally coopted out of all resemblance to its noble origins in an ancient spiritual and moral tradition.

Daily Blog

How to Embrace Mindfulness More Fully

Finding Happiness By Learning to Pause in an Age of Distraction

Mary Sykes Wylie • 1/28/2016

Now, more than ever, we tend to greet every minute with demands such as: "I want this. I don't want this. I want more of this. I want less of that." We have ideas about what our minutes should or should not be. But if we are lucky, occasionally we experience a sparkling moment when we break out of our trance of self and are fully present. Sometimes these lead to epiphanies, which present us with aha moments of new understanding. Or our thoughts simply may be "Isn't this wonderful?" or "Isn't life amazingly rich and complicated?"

Daily Blog

What the Financial Crisis Reveals About Our Psyche and Values

Confronting our Definitions of Wealth in the Therapy Room

Mary Sykes Wylie • 10/21/2015

The current economic crisis may be no more than a rather large bump in the golden road of endlessly self-renewing American prosperity. Still, it's hard not to have a sense of foreboding that, this time, things really are different. Perhaps this is a good time to revisit some of our basic assumptions about wealth---what it means to us as Americans, how it defines us as a people, how it influences the way we think about ourselves, about freedom, success, and happiness, about what we really want from life, and what the American Dream really means to us.

Daily Blog

Can Childhood Trauma Lead to Adult Obesity?

How One Study Exposed the Connection Between Early Life Abuse and Weight Gain

Mary Sykes Wylie • 9/24/2015

During the mid-1980s, Vincent Felitti, founder of Kaiser Permanente's Department of Preventive Medicine, began directing a new obesity-treatment program. But within a year or two, Felitti and his colleagues began having a very unusual problem. Virtually none of the patients were fat as children. They'd gained their weight abruptly, usually in response to a difficult life event. But the shocking news was that the interviews revealed an unsettling pattern of childhood sexual abuse, trauma, family suicides, brutality, and other evidence of severely dysfunctional family relationships.

Daily Blog

Putting SPECT Brain-Imaging Under the Microscope

Why is Daniel Amen's Method for Treating Psychiatric Disorders So Controversial?

Mary Sykes Wylie • 5/6/2015

Psychiatrist Daniel Amen argues that a brain-imaging method called SPECT is an invaluable tool for understanding and treating psychiatric disorders. SPECT has been used in a huge number of research studies on almost every conceivable psychiatric and neurological condition, as well as some nonpsychiatric studies. So what is it about Amen and his mission to get therapists to use brain imaging, and SPECT in particular, as an aid to diagnosis and treatment that makes him such a lightning rod?

Daily Blog
Page 1 of 4 (37 Items)

Turns in the Road

Highlights from the Networker Journey

Mary Sykes Wylie, Dusty Miller, Esther Perel, Frank Pittman, Fred Wistow, Gary Greenberg, Katy Butler, Laura Markowitz, Molly Layton, Rich Simon, Ron Taffel • 1/1/2017

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.

Magazine Article

Living Brave

From Vulnerability to Daring

Mary Sykes Wylie, Rich Simon • 8/30/2016

With millions of people having seen her TED talks and read her books, researcher and bestselling author Brené Brown is a phenomenon. But aside from her talents as a speaker, teacher, and writer, why is she such a runaway hit? 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.

Magazine Article

From Attachment to Creativity

Highlights from the 2016 Sympoium

Mary Sykes Wylie • 5/6/2016

At a time in which our society seems immersed in a toxic stew of fear and anger, this year's Symposium provided a celebration of human values and ideas that seem to be vanishing from our public discourse. Here's a taste of a few of its particularly stellar moments.
  • "Our Trichotillomania of the Soul" by Rich Simon
  • "The Path of Surprise and Discovery" by David Whyte
  • "The View from Black America" by Kenneth Hardy
  • "The Dance of Sex" by Susan Johnson
  • "The Wisdom of Mad Men" by William Doherty
  • "How Hard Times Can Open the Heart" by Rick Hanson

Magazine Article

The Unspeakable Language of Sex

Why Are We Still so Tongue-Tied?

Mary Sykes Wylie • 1/11/2016

If you’re like most couples therapists, you know how to help partners communicate more clearly, handle conflict with less uproar, and connect more emphatically. But 50 years after the so-called sexual revolution, many therapists are still unsure about how and when to talk about sexual issues. In our obsession with pop sexuality, we’ve vastly overestimated the power of sexual acts while vastly underestimating the feelings associated with them.

Magazine Article

Community Mental Health Today

Encompassing the Big & the Small

Mary Sykes Wylie • 11/18/2015

The promise of the community mental health movement of the 1960s, providing high-quality psychological and social services to poor families, remains unfullled. But today, two professionals bring together both a grasp of broader social issues and a store of practical clinical wisdom to offer complementary perspectives on how to best help poor communities.

Magazine Article

The State of Our Art

Do Our Old Ways Fit the New Times?

Mary Sykes Wylie • 3/1/2015

While the number of people in psychotherapy keeps declining, surveys reveal that potential clients would still rather talk to a therapist than fill a prescription. So what’s going on? We asked six of the field’s most outspoken leaders to offer their views.

Magazine Article

The Mindfulness Explosion

The Perils of Mainstream Acceptance

Mary Sykes Wylie • 1/1/2015

By replacing the exotic aura of spirituality with the language of science and a down-to-earth self-help approach, mindfulness has brought practices once considered New Age hokum into mainstream acceptance. But as it increasingly becomes a product to be sold in the marketplace, does it risk losing something vital to its transformative power?

Magazine Article

The CBT Path Out of Depression

Two Perspectives on How It Works

Mary Sykes Wylie • 11/12/2014

While widely acknowledged to be the most empirically supported therapy ever invented, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often criticized for being too rigid and mechanical. Not so, say two of its foremost practitioners.

Magazine Article

Falling in Love Again

A Brief History of Psychoactive Drugs

Mary Sykes Wylie • 7/11/2014

Over the last 150 years, we’ve seen waves of mass infatuations with psychotropic drugs—antidepressants being the latest. While all these drugs are different, their story arc seems to follow a predictable course.

Magazine Article

The Book We Love to Hate

Why DSM-5 Makes Nobody Happy

Mary Sykes Wylie • 3/7/2014

From small insignificant beginnings in 1952, when almost nobody read it, DSM has become a kind of sacred literary monster. Today, it’s the most detested and certainly the most debated mental health classification scheme ever devised.

Magazine Article
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Mary Sykes Wylie, Ph.D., is the senior editor of the Psychotherapy Networker.