Harriet Lerner on the Legacy of the Women's Movement
By Ryan Howes - For 30 years, psychologist Harriet Lerner has been one of the leading feminist thinkers within the profession, as well as an enormously successful author who brings the insights of therapy to a large general audience. In the following interview, she speaks about her body of work, and addresses the question of the continuing impact of feminism on psychotherapy today.
Communities of Practice Could Be Your Pathway to Clinical Mastery
By Ryan Howes - As therapists, we often lead isolated professional lives, seeing client after client without meeting regularly with our colleagues to talk openly about our work, ask questions, or share ideas. In the following interview, Etienne Wenger, a groundbreaking social-learning theorist, explains how and why we should change this.
You Don't Need to Be a Nutritionist to Give Good Advice about Eating
By Joan Borysenko - Most therapists have never had a course in nutrition. But what if your clients’ depression or anxiety is more connected to their diet and gut bacteria than to their relationships, or fears, or traumatic childhood? That’s the question that Joan Borysenko—author of 16 books about biology, psychology, and spirituality—wants you to consider. In the following interview, she shares what's she's learned about the link between food and mood.
Expert Lessons on Being Productive in Life and Business
By Ryan Howes - We may think of certain aspects of our practice as being a stamp of our particular therapeutic approach and style, but at times, the line between stable and stuck-in-a-rut can become a bit blurry. So we turned to New York Times journalist Charles Duhigg, author of the bestseller The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business to see if he’d share how his findings may help us therapists, both personally and professionally.
How Political Leanings Boil Down to Moral Beliefs and Group Loyalties
By Ryan Howes - Perhaps you've had the experience of getting lost in a political argument in which you became exasperated that people on the other side couldn't see what was so obvious, despite your best efforts to reason with them. In the following interview, author Jonathan Haidt explains why politics is ultimately about our stance on fundamental moral beliefs and group loyalties--things that aren't usually influenced by facts, figures, or rational policy debate.
Author Susan Cain Explains the Link Between Solitude and Creativity
By Ryan Howes - More often than not, we tend to give preference to the people we see as more social, gregarious, and comfortable in the limelight and in crowds. But according to Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, maybe it’s time the world came to appreciate the strengths and contributions of the 50 percent of Americans who are introverts.
An Interview with Gary Chapman
By Ryan Howes - In our romantic fantasies, the path to true love is smooth, and partners know exactly how to make each other feel loved. But the couples we see in therapy aren’t always so adept. In his book, The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman writes that people typically tend to express and understand emotional love through one of five “languages”—words of affirmation, quality time, personal gifts, acts of service, or physical touch.
An Interview with Steve Silberman on the Intricacies of Autism and Asperger's
When it comes to autism, how do we separate truth from fiction? Steve Silberman is a Bay Area writer who, for his Wired article “The Geek Syndrome,” dove into Silicon Valley culture in 2001 to explore the contribution of people on the autism spectrum to the dot-com boom. He followed up that article with years of research and study, culminating in his new book, Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. In a recent conversation, Silberman teased out the intricacies of autism as a pathology and as a different way of seeing the world.
Carol Dweck on the Perils of Praise to a Growth Mindset
Should we praise children, students, clients, and ourselves for being smart people who earn top marks? According to renowned motivation expert Carol Dweck, Stanford professor and bestselling author of Mindset, praising intelligence often creates fragile people, devoid of resilience and motivation. It’s far more important, she says, to enhance people’s ability to tackle adversity and persevere. In other words, reward hard work and good strategies, not talent. In the following interview, Dweck discusses the implications of her research for psychotherapy.
Gretchen Rubin on the Power of External Motivation
For her 2009 book, The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin spent a year test-driving dozens of techniques and notions that purport to make people happier. More recently, Rubin explored the nature of habit and challenges some basic psychotherapy principles to propose that, rather than awareness and insight, many people just need more external motivation to make the changes they need in their lives. In the following conversation, she focuses on what she considers limitations of psychotherapy as a road map for change.