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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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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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When Your Client Drops a Last-Minute Bombshell

Four Common Scenarios and How to Handle Them

Daniela Gitlin

By Daniela Gitlin - When clients drop “bombshells” in the last few minutes of a session, it can be hard to end on time. Here's a framework for not only handling these unexpected moments, but welcoming them.

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July Quandary: My Client Uses Me in Inappropriate Hypothetical Examples!

Six Clinicians Give Their Take on This Tricky Clinical Scenario

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - A male client uses his therapist in hypothetical examples, which the therapist finds inappropriate. Recently, when they were discussing healthy dating habits, he said, “So if you and I went to a movie, would it be okay to hold your hand afterwards?” The therapist wants to bring it up in their next session but is unsure how to do so. Here's how six clinicians say they'd tackle the situation.

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Learning to Let Go

Sometimes, Too Much Investment in a Client's Recovery Keeps Everyone Stuck

Daphne de Marneffe

By Daphne de Marneffe - After decades in practice, I still find myself blindsided by certain clients in ways that both humble and mystify me. I’ve learned that if I’m going to be helpful to these clients, I have to work through something difficult in myself. Our ability to inhabit our clients' experiences is part of what makes us good therapists, but there’s always a delicate balancing act in not getting too involved.

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The Art of Not Trying Too Hard

For Some Clients, Our Best Efforts Might Be Having the Opposite Effect

Steven Shapiro

By Steven Shapiro - What stands in the way of connecting effectively? Sometimes difficulty stems, paradoxically enough, from trying too hard! Many clients, even if they're highly motivated, have only limited tolerance for emotional connection, interpersonal closeness, and sympathetic concern. Here are three guidelines that may help you form a solid alliance with your hard-to-reach clients.

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When Therapy Stalls: the Do’s, Don’ts, and a Practical Approach that Works

Psychotherapy Networker

Don’t wait till you get bored. Don’t wait till drastic action is the only option. Act as soon as you sense that progress is leveling off or your client is slipping backwards.

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