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What to Do When Your Client Cries

If It's Not Broken, Don't Fix It

Jay Efran

By Jay Efran - How can both joyful and tragic events elicit tears? This question puzzles many clinicians, including some who are considered experts in the field of emotional expression. The problem is that few of us have received explicit training in theories of emotion. And sometimes, clinicians can feel an urge to rush in and “fix things” that aren’t broken.

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VIDEO: Steve Andreas on Heading Off Resistance

What to Do in the Very First Session

Steve Andreas

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.

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Stealthy Change, Healthy Change

Three Ways to Practice Presence

Donald Altman

By Donald Altman - Helping clients make changes isn't always easy. How can we stealthily introduce change through mindfulness? It may not be as daunting as it sounds. Here are three easy-to-use practices for getting started.

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Against the Odds

On the Front Lines of Inner City Social Work

Howard Honigsfeld

By Howard Honigsfeld - As a school social worker in a South Bronx elementary school, the kids I see have a vast range of personal, social, economic, and medical issues. With so much stacked against these children, what can a school counselor do? The rewards of time, dogged persistence, and ordinary kindness in a supportive school environment can work their own kind of wonders.

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June Quandary: My Client Ghosted Me!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Sara, 26, had been attending weekly therapy three months, and had developed concrete strategies with her therapist to help her manage her depression and anxiety. He thought they'd developed a strong bond, but Sara has missed her last two sessions. Her therapist texted her after the first missed session to ask if everything was okay, but still hasn’t heard anything. He keeps worrying he might've done something wrong. Should he reach out again? Here, five therapists weigh in.

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VIDEO: David Burns on Overcoming Resistance

Exploring Why Clients Might Not Want to Change

David Burns

Do you have a client who you can't seem to help, no matter what techniques you try? In this brief video, master clinician David Burns—one of the developers of CBT and an expert in treating depression and anxiety—explains why we shouldn't automatically assume that clients actually want to change the problems they initially present in treatment.

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VIDEO: Is Therapy Really a Science?

...Or is It a Conversational Craft?

William Doherty

What do the masters of truly good therapy have in common? According to couples therapist Bill Doherty, they know how to balance their desire to guide therapy with their ability to empathically listen. It's this quality that drives home the truth about therapy—at its heart, this work isn't a science. It's a craft.

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When Helping Doesn't Help

What to Do When Your Client Doesn't Want to Change

David Burns

By David Burns - What if a client's resistance to change reveals something positive, beautiful, and even healthy about them—something that we’ve overlooked? If we can learn to put unconscious resistance front and center in our clinical work, we can lessen or even eliminate our clients’ resistance altogether.

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VIDEO: What Therapists Need to Know About Polyvagal Theory

...And How to Use Touch in Therapy

Deb Dana

Using touch in therapy can have a huge impact on your clients' healing processes. Here, therapist Deb Dana explains the science behind the power of touch in sessions and what types of touch elicit which emotional responses.

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Is Antidepressant Ketamine a Game-Changer?

Despite Its Growing Popularity, Some Therapists are Cautious

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - In just a few years, the number of clinics administering ketamine, an anesthetic-turned-antidepressant, has spiked rapidly. After about six ketamine infusions, 70 to 80 percent of participants with treatment-resistant depression no longer experience symptoms, and usually within hours. But despite the hype, some therapists are recommending caution.

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