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The Cure Myth

We Need to Start Treating Anxiety and Depression as Chronic Conditions

Margaret Wehrenberg

By Margaret Wehrenberg - I’ve begun to put aside my idealized view that unless people overcome their difficulties once and for all, therapy is somehow a failure. That perspective seems simplistic and disconnected from the realities of what psychotherapy can actually provide. Evidence continues to accumulate that many people who have anxiety and depression suffer bouts of it all their lives, even after a good response to therapy.

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The Perils of Empathy at Full Throttle

Four Strategies to Protect Yourself Against Vicarious Traumatization

Babette Rothschild

By Babette Rothschild -  It's our gift for empathy that draws us to our work. And yet, empathy at full throttle—felt and projected 100 percent with our bodies, hearts, and minds—has its risks.

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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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Engaging Ourselves Compassionately

Richard Schwartz Explains the IFS Approach to Mindfulness

Richard Schwartz

By Richard Schwartz - Mindfulness allows us to separate from our irrational self-statements. But what if it were possible to transform this inner drama, rather than just keep it at arm’s length, by taking mindfulness one step further?

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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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VIDEO: Richard Schwartz on Being a Compassionate Witness to Yourself

How Internal Family Systems Gives Traumatized Clients Their Power Back

Richard Schwartz

According to Richard Schwartz, the originator of Internal Family Systems therapy, the natural state of the mind is to be subdivided into parts, which carry the memories, beliefs, and emotions that make up what we call our personality. In the following video from his 2015 Networker Symposium keynote address, he explains how we can become healing attachment figures for these wounded inner parts.

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The Paradox of Acceptance

Richard Schwartz Shares What Wise Buddhists Have Known for Centuries

Richard Schwartz

By Richard Schwartz - We normally think of the attachment process as happening between caretakers and young children, but the more you explore how the inner world functions, the more you find that it parallels external relationships, and that we have an inner capacity to extend mindful caretaking to aspects of ourselves that are frozen in time and excluded from our normal consciousness.

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Examining Our Identities and Biases in the Consulting Room

Kenneth Hardy on How to Properly Address Racial, Ethnic, and Sexual Differences

Ken Hardy

Anyone who wishes to move outside the consulting room to address racial, ethnic, or sexual differences must rely on the bedrock belief that everyone has redeemable parts, and you can find them if you have the will and the patience to look. The creation of "the other" is the dynamic at the heart of divorce and personal antagonisms, and it has always been central to racism, sexism, homophobia, and ethnic persecution. Since realizing this, I've come to see that my work isn't about educating the unenlightened: it's about helping people see the insidious impact of turning a person or a group into "the other."

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Empathy Becomes a Physical Force

The Wonders of Engaging Mirror Neurons in Therapy

Babette Rothschild

Empathy is the connective tissue of good therapy. It's what enables us to establish bonds of trust with clients, and to meet them with our hearts as well as our minds. Empathy enhances our insights, sharpens our hunches, and, at times, seems to allow us to "read" a client's mind. I first recognized the physical force of empathy as a college student. When I copied the swaggering gait of a cocky young man, for example, I'd momentarily feel more confident---even happier---than before. I found this secret street life fascinating and fun, but I didn't think much about it until a few years later, when I started practicing clinical social work.

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Should Depression Be Treated as a Chronic Condition?

Rethinking How We Deal with Depression

Margaret Wehrenberg

I’ve begun to put aside my idealized view that unless people overcome their difficulties once and for all, therapy is somehow a failure. More and more, that perspective seems simplistic and disconnected from the realities of what psychotherapy, no matter how skillful the clinician may be, can actually provide. So what if we start to think differently about this? What if we view anxiety and depression—especially generalized anxiety and dysphoric states of mild and moderate depressions—not as disorders that will be cured, but as chronic, relapsing, remitting disorders?

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