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My Nightmare Client, My Greatest Gift

Sometimes Our "Worst" Clients Are Our Best Teachers

Martha Straus • 1/6/2018 • 1 Comment

By Martha Straus - My young client, Brian, can reduce even confident mid-life adults to an infantile puddle, one provocative comment at a time. He's a therapist's nightmare. But he’s also the universe's gift to me. He measures my commitment to the work, to him, to my ideas about therapy, to my best self.

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VIDEO: Martha Straus on the Power of Predictability with Kids

The Cornerstone of a Strong Therapeutic Alliance

Martha Straus • 12/27/2017 • No Comments

Familiarity and predictability aren't always the best course of action when we're trying to encourage our clients to change, but there are times when they can provide much-needed comfort. According to Martha Straus, an expert in working with kids and teens, young people are among those who need this familiarity the most, especially when they've experienced attachment trauma. In the following clip, she explains how regular appointments and check-in phone calls serve a healing purpose.

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How to Foster a "Good Divorce"

Eight Ways to Helps Kids and Parents Reorganize Amidst Pain and Chaos

Maria Isaacs • 12/21/2017 • No Comments

By Maria Isaacs - The fundamental goal of a good divorce is simple yet challenging: children must experience their parents as a working partnership that reliably nurtures and protects them, regardless of how estranged the parents may be from each other. Here are eight ways to help this process along.

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Has Helicopter Parenting Gone Too Far?

The Truth About Risk and Responsibility

Michael Ungar • 12/5/2017 • No Comments

By Michael Ungar - What I'm finding through my clinical work and research is that families that bubble-wrap their children may prevent their healthy maturation. Helping parents look back and explore their own narratives challenges the need for excessive control of their child. The parent's role shifts from emphasizing protection to becoming a facilitator of experiences that build capacity, common sense, and positive relationships.

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Inside the Mind of a Child with Asperger's

Using the "Social Stories" Exercise to Help Children with Asperger's Fit In

Diane Yapko • 11/24/2017 • 1 Comment

By Diane Yapko - Aaron, who has Asperger's syndrome (AS), has great difficulty intuitively understanding the intentions or feelings beneath the literal meanings of words. To him, the world is a baffling place. But teachers and parents who understand how AS affects children can use small behavioral interventions throughout the day to help them learn new skills and adapt their own rigid desires and expectations in order to be more flexible and likeable to peers.

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A Child’s Respect is Bestowed, Not Extracted

How Much Parental Authority Do We Really Need?

Janet Sasson Edgette • 10/13/2017 • No Comments

By Janet Sasson Edgette - Preoccupied with commanding deference, some parents fail to recognize that a child’s respect is always something bestowed, not extracted. Thus, they end up forfeiting the opportunity to remain credible influences on their children in favor of levying control, which is a poor and costly approach to relationship building.

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The Case for the Older Therapist

Five Therapeutic Lessons That Only Come with Age and Practice

Walter Lowe • 10/12/2017 • 1 Comment

By Walter Lowe - Time and practice, practice, practice count as much or more than formal instruction in becoming an expert at therapy or just about anything else—medicine, law, carpentry, fire-fighting, or violin-playing. The longer you've been at it, the more deeply knowledgeable and skilled at the work you're likely to be.

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The Power of Play

How to Use a Fast Road to Connection with Children

Dafna Lender • 10/12/2017 • No Comments

By Dafna Lender - If my experience is any indication, most beginning therapists are also offered little to no basic training in clinical work with kids. Why is this? The kinds of interventions that are most effective with children are based in play. Play is a remarkably powerful therapeutic tool, backed up by cutting-edge research, and teaching families how to apply it at home can bring about profound systemic changes.

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A Week in the Life of a School Social Worker

The Challenges—and Rewards—of Work in an Inner City School

Howard Honigsfeld • 9/26/2017 • No Comments

By Howard Honigsfeld - Public School 48, where I’m on staff as a social worker, sits on a block between a juvenile detention center and a strip club. A week of work can be exciting, frustrating, and often hair-raising—anything but boring.

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An Awareness of the Soul

What Does It Mean to Really Get in Touch with Yourself?

Michael Ventura • 9/21/2017 • No Comments

By Michael Ventura - When I was 5 years old, I experienced something that made me feel viscerally, mentally, emotionally, and inescapably connected to everything and everyone around me, while feeling what I can only describe as a sense of privacy so deep and unassailable that "loneliness" doesn't begin to describe it. Thirty-five years later, I felt it again.

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