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August Quandary: How Do I Get Clients to Engage in Work Between Sessions?

Five Clinicians Weigh In

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - A therapist recommends exercises like journaling prompts and guided mediations that she feels would benefit her clients between sessions. Although they seem interested when she introduces the idea, they always “forget” or can’t find the time to follow through. She's unsure how to proceed. Here, five therapists share what they'd do.

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Transforming Anger into Compassion

A Five-Step Process for Dealing with Angry Clients

Steven Stosny

By Steven Stosny - Some therapists find themselves getting extremely reactive when clients lose their temper. Here's what you can do to better control your anger and anxiety in the presence of an angry client.

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Moving in Our Own Way

A Catatonic Client Teaches a Dance Therapist What It Means to Connect

Jody Wager

By Jody Wager - I'm a dance and movement therapist. All my life, I’ve loved to move, to feel a sense of expansiveness and connection unfurl throughout my body. So imagine my surprise as a young intern when my supervisor assigned me to work with a man diagnosed with catatonia.

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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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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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Overcoming Standoffs with Tough Teens

...And the Three Questions You Should Ask Them in the Very First Session

Matthew Selekman

By Matthew Selekman - Trying to get in the door with provocative, therapy-savvy adolescents can be a challenging task for even the most seasoned of therapists. I've developed several engagement strategies that I regularly use, singly or in combination, that have consistently helped me to establish a therapeutic alliance with even the toughest teen client.

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Getting "Ghosted" by Clients

Four Stories from Therapists, and What They Learned from Their Experience

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - We've all seen it happen. Maybe some of us are even guilty of it ourselves: Sometimes it's easier to simply ignore people than respond when they reach out. But this disappearing act, or "ghosting" as it's become commonly known, also happens to therapists quite often. Here, four clinicians share their stories.

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Handling Unexpected Intimacy Issues

Not a Sex Therapist? No Problem

Stephen Snyder

By Stephen Snyder - It’s a shame that so many therapists shy away from talking about sex in the consulting room, believing that they don’t have sufficient expertise. The reality is that any well-trained therapist can help clients understand, and in many cases even resolve, sexual problems—simply by using their natural curiosity, some common sense, and a few key tools.

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November Quandary: My Client Hasn’t Paid Me but Still Wants to Meet!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Carla has been seeing her therapist for almost six months. She’s been good about paying for sessions in the past, but she recently lost her job, is short on cash, and has missed her last five payments. She still wants to see her therapist weekly, but says she’s unsure when she’ll be able to pay in full. This isn't sustainable for him. Here's how five therapists say they'd respond.

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What Basketball Taught Me About Therapy

Learning to Stay in the Game with Challenging Clients

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs - Basketball has taught me many lessons. I learned about trust, relationships, and teamwork. I learned the power to regulate feelings. It would shape my clinician's game too. I developed a knack for handling male aggression, as well as physical decline and loss.

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