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Keeping Secrets When Everyone Already Knows Them

A Therapist in Small-Town America Struggles with New Ethical Dilemmas

Jan Michael Sherman

By Jan Michael Sherman - When my wife and I moved to a place in the Yukon so small that when someone sneezed at one end of town, someone at the other end reached for the Kleenex, I quickly found that practicing therapy could get pretty tricky. Not only did everyone know everyone else's business, everyone was in everyone else's business.

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Doing Away with the "Blank Slate"

What Happened When One Therapist Decided to Self-Disclose

Jay Efran

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."

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Family Therapy Pioneer Salvador Minuchin on the Therapist's Self

Reflections on a Life, Legacy, and Growing Older

Salvador Minuchin

By Salvador Minuchin - A maverick and a visionary in the '60s and '70s, Salvador Minuchin transformed the very idea of what a therapist was supposed to be—a brash interventionist willing to make people change regardless of what they were feeling, or even knew they were feeling. Beyond that, he put forth a brand new model of psychotherapy—family therapy. In the following article, he reflects on his journey as a therapist and what clinicians need to do in order to master their craft.

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What Does a Son Owe a Mother?

A squeeze of the Hand

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs - For 58 years, from my birth until her death, my mother and I clashed over money and material values, cents and sensibilities. She may have felt entitled to a grand lifestyle, but I felt entitled to a less solipsistic mother—one who relished, not hated, my help. Years later, I found myself able to relax and just be her adult son in a way I’d never experienced.

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The Perils of Paying Too Much Attention

A Guide for Attending to Clients Without Getting Burned Out

Christine Caldwell

By Christine Caldwell - We've all experienced what happens when get tied up in our clients' knotted lives. But how do we attune to our clients' experiences and not get knotted up ourselves? In essence, self-care becomes more than just taking enough time off, balancing our practice, and getting good supervision. It involves getting our bodies back.

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What Do Transformative Therapy Moments Have in Common?

The Surprisingly Simple Way to Get Powerful Results Swiftly and Reliably

Bruce Ecker, Laurel Hulley

By Bruce Ecker and Laurel Hulley - There's a moment that we therapists savor above all. Before our eyes, a shift takes place and the client slips from the grip of a lifelong pattern. Three decades ago, we discovered that what distinguished the pivotal interactions was that we had completely stopped trying to counteract, override or prevent the client's debilitating difficulties.

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The Surprising Clinical Benefits of MDMA for Trauma

Could a Psychedelic Drug Be the Next Big Thing in Treatment?

Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - Michael Mithoefer, a clinical faculty member at the Medical University of South Carolina, has demonstrated remarkable early results using MDMA as a therapist-supervised treatment for chronic PTSD. His work is being approved by the FDA and could eventually clear a path for MDMA treatment clinics specializing in trauma.

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What You're Probably Missing in Therapy

Assessing Body Language, Voice, and More to Explore Clients' Inner States

Rob Fisher

By Rob Fisher - In therapy, it's important to notice the storyteller, not just the story. As therapists, we can notice and attend to outward signs of internal experience. The client may be looking down, squirming in her seat, or being very still, for instance. Each of these is an indicator of an internal experience as well as a set of beliefs and models of the world that underlie a client's behavior.

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Reclaiming Your Life After Unfathomable Trauma

A Therapist Shares Her Ordeal, and the Steps it Took to Reclaim Her Former Self

Janice Starkman Goldfein

By Janice Starkman Goldfein - On January 4, 1994, trauma became a lived reality for me. That evening, I was grabbed from behind and heard a low, menacing voice say, "If you cooperate, I won't hurt you." In the days, weeks, and months that followed, I struggled not to allow the attack to defeat me. I had to learn how to control the fear, stop the flashbacks, and handle the anger, while dealing with an overwhelming range and intensity of feelings.

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Esther Perel’s Growing Cultural Presence

Expanding the Conversation on Couplehood

Lauren Dockett, Rich Simon

By Lauren Dockett and Rich Simon - By questioning some of the fundamental premises of traditional marriage, couples therapist Esther Perel has become, at least for the moment, psychotherapy’s public face and most quotable voice. But what is she saying that’s so intriguing and makes her stand out from all the other relationship experts our field produces?

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