What to Do in the Very First Session
Anxious clients that voluntarily come to therapy rarely say, “I came here because I have no intention of changing right now.” And yet even clients who clearly have a desire to feel better may fight change at every turn by continually saying “yes, but” or otherwise embodying therapy’s least welcome visitor—resistance. And when both client and therapist are unclear about the source of resistance, it can bring the process of treatment to a halt.
Here's an Exercise That Makes Criticism Disappear
By Steve Andreas - I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been sent reeling from the slightest criticism, no matter how much positive feedback they get about their work. But some people experience this reaction daily or hourly. Many don’t even wait for someone else to criticize them: they provide it themselves, making it truly inescapable. Here's how to help them gain some perspective.
Bypassing the Limits of Feelings, Judgments, and Language
By Steve Andreas - When therapy goes wrong, it’s typically because we’ve entered our clients’ trance, joining them in their myopic misery. Therapy typically hangs on your ability to demonstrate more skill and awareness in using the trancelike qualities of human communication to move beyond the tunnel vision that can stall therapy and prevent change and healing from taking place.
Lesser-Known Ways of Strengthening the Therapeutic Alliance
By Steve Andreas - Getting immediate, nonverbal feedback from clients is essential to knowing how they’re responding in a session, and in maintaining the therapeutic relationship, which research shows is essential for successful therapy. Here are some strategies to increase your sensitivity to nonverbal shifts.
What if a Few Basic Principles Could Make Change Far Easier?
By Steve Andreas - What if there were a few basic principles and methods that make therapeutic change far simpler and easier than most people think is possible? Not only is this possible, but there’s already a coherent body of knowledge and practice to guide us in eliciting change in the moment, confirmed by longer-term follow-up in the real world. Here are seven practical principles for making sense out of the case study that follows.
Making Quick Work of Lasting Change
Some claim that much of psychotherapy is a pseudoscience, promising far more than it can deliver, with lengthy, expensive interventions for the common problems clients present. What if we could quickly bring about lasting therapeutic change by modifying a few, simple unconscious processes?
Letting Go of Hate: How to help clients change unconscious responses
Many well-intentioned therapists have suggested that their clients just “let go” of hate, as if it were a heavy load that they could simply drop to the ground.
Knowledge Doesn’t Replace Clinical Skill
Therapists were doing helpful work long before neuroscience made its official debut and the field developed a collective case of “brain fever.” In fact, at this stage of its development, neuroscience may be irrelevant to what needs to happen in therapy.
7 Questions to Ask When Therapy is Stuck
When therapy goes wrong, it’s typically because we’ve entered our clients’ trance, joining them in their myopic misery. Once there, our job is to break the spell, broaden the vision, and open ourselves to possibilities outside the tunnel.
Therapy’s Nonverbal Dance: Are You in Step with Your Clients?
Noticing a client’s nonverbal shifts isn’t enough. You must know what these shifts mean.