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Treating Self-Harm

Here's a Behavioral Contract That Clients Can Follow

Lisa Ferentz

By Lisa Ferentz - I used to think that repetitive self-injury could only be seen as pathological, and through contracts and other means tried to convince my clients that this behavior would only cause more problems. Now, I know that my job isn't to browbeat clients into change, but introduce them to healthier behaviors that bring the relief cutting often provides.

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VIDEO: The Self-Compassion Approach to Trauma Treatment

Creative Strategies That Dig Deeper

Lisa Ferentz

It’s important to honor all of your client’s inner parts in therapy. But accessing them to fully engage in healing work isn’t always easy. Here, trauma therapist Lisa Ferentz explains her creative approach for helping clients access these tough-to-reach inner parts.

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Stop Treating Eating Disorders Like Just Bad Habits

How to Empower Clients to Heal with Parts Work

Lisa Ferentz

By Lisa Ferentz - It's unproductive to deal with an eating disorder as though it were simply a bad habit. Therapy has the greatest impact when I step away from the temptation to get into a power struggle and empower clients to do a large part of the healing work themselves.

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My Greatest Clinical Learning Experience

Finding the "Genuine Hero" in Even Your Most Troubled Clients

Lisa Ferentz

By Lisa Ferentz - In the early days of the trauma field, clients were seen as one-dimensional bundles of dysfunction and pain, who needed to relive their trauma before progress could be made. But an increased interest in post-traumatic growth has allowed many therapists to see that insight and healing can occur not only in the midst of devastating experiences, but even because of them.

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VIDEO: Lisa Ferentz on Planting the Seeds for Post-Traumatic Growth

Removing the Glass Ceiling for Trauma Survivors

Lisa Ferentz

It’s not always easy to tell trauma survivors in the midst of deep suffering that one day they’ll find meaning in what happened to them. But according to trauma specialist Lisa Ferentz, trauma survivors can emerge from their nightmarish experiences stronger than before, and there's a sensitive, measured way to go about planting the seeds for post-traumatic growth.

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Thinking Outside the Gift

A Story of Navigating a Tricky Ethical Issue Creatively

Lisa Ferentz

By Lisa Ferentz - Sometimes, clients give us the gifts they want for themselves but don’t feel worthy of receiving. And sometimes, by helping them see the attributes in themselves that they admire in us, we can help them reconnect with those qualities.

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May/June Issue of Psychotherapy Networker

Five Therapists Share Their Stories of Vulnerability and Possibility

Rich Simon

By Rich Simon - In the newest issue of Psychotherapy Networker, which came out this week, Editor Rich Simon explains how stories connect us like nothing else can. We invited five therapists—all experts in their specialties—to share their stories of vulnerability and possibility.

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A New Appreciation for Human Resilience

Rich Simon on Embracing Vulnerability as Strength

Rich Simon

By Rich Simon - Clearly, therapists must always respond with empathy, understanding, and attuned clinical expertise to clients’ suffering. But in their urgency to relieve pain, therapists must not overlook the rich possibilities for health and growth within every person, without which even the most skilled clinician in the world can do nothing. In the end, all clients must, to some extent, be their own healers.

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VIDEO: Helping Trauma Survivors Find a New Normal

How to Help Clients Do More than Just Recover

Lisa Ferentz

There’s no question that helping clients return to a basic functional level should be the main goal with trauma survivors. But what if clients could not only eliminate traumatic stress, but also come away from treatment feeling more resilient and with a fuller sense of self? Lisa Ferentz explains her concept of Post-Traumatic Growth.

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