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Jump-Starting Conversation in Family Therapy

The Difference Between Guiding and Intervening

Mike Nichols

By Mike Nichols - How do you get family members to talk together productively? Enactments can be among the most valuable tools for getting a family's communication going. But cultivating these conversations—and making sure not to overmanage them—is harder than it sounds.

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Kinship Without Connection

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Mark Matousek

By Mark Matousek - One ordinary day last year, an email appeared from someone I didn’t know, a Jim who lived in Phoenix. It explained that his mother had found a book of mine online, realized I was looking for her ex-husband, and passed the book along to her son. Jim had read the book, done the math, and deduced that we had the same missing father. We agreed to meet three weeks later.

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Can Open Relationships Work?

How to Know When They're Right (or Not) and How to Set Ground Rules

Rick Miller

By Rick Miller - Even for healthy couples, opening up a relationship in a way that’s not destructive is hard work and requires a great deal of communication around what is and isn’t acceptable. Yet even with these guidelines established, helping couples navigate this territory is a challenge. Here are some best practices.

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Trapped in a Wall-Less Prison

Bridging the Racial Gulf by Listening to Untold Stories

Ken Hardy

By Ken Hardy - I’ve spent the last four decades of my life working with young people who live their lives hidden in the shadows of invisibility as far as white society is concerned. Too many therapists charged with helping them fail to see the untold stories in their lives of family dysfunction, poverty, and racial oppression. And no real conversation about race can begin until, as a society, we’re willing to listen to those stories.

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Mindfulness Practice, Revisited

Making Mindfulness Practices Relevant for People of Color

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Is mainstream mindfulness relevant to people of color and does it honor their unique cultural experiences? Some experts say more needs to be done on this front, and are taking steps to make mindfulness practices more racially sensitive.

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A New Stretch of the River

Learning to Age with New Openness in Our Hearts and Minds

Mary Pipher

By Mary Pipher - As we age, our bodies and relationships change, and the pace of change accelerates. At 70, we’re unlikely to be able to function as we did in our 50s. We require fresh visions and new paradigms for framing our experiences. What worked yesterday will not be sufficient for tomorrow.

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New to Therapy? Let Instinct Be Your Guide

Doing Therapy Well Requires a Certain Kind of Freedom

Frank Dattilio

By Frank Dattilio - Often, therapy trainees in supervision feel more secure approaching every clinical encounter strictly "by the book," and are frequently so afraid of making mistakes that they stifle their own capacity for therapeutic intuition and emotional connection with their clients. Sometimes freeing their therapeutic imagination requires bold steps.

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VIDEO: Jack Kornfield on What Really Heals

How to Create an Invitation for Connection

Jack Kornfield

Trained as a Buddhist monk and clinical psychologist, Jack Kornfield has been a pioneer in bringing meditation, mindfulness, and Buddhist psychology to the West. In the following clip from his Networker keynote address, he shares how to embody a fuller spiritual wisdom in your work with clients to heal difficult emotions, create calm focus, and connect deeply with others.

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Six Ways to Find Comedy in Even the Darkest Moments

Shaking Your Clients Loose from Their Tragic Stances

Frank Pittman

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.

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Therapists Talk Gun Violence

Brainstorming Ways to Make a Difference

Lauren Dockett, Ron Taffel

By Ron Taffel and Lauren Dockett - Therapists are often at the center of cultural conversations around large-scale shootings. At the 2018 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, they came together to discuss ways to prevent further gun violence in their communities and schools. Here's what happened.

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