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March Quandary: My Client is Being Bullied and Her School Won’t Help!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford • 1 Comment

By Chris Lyford - Raisa is a sophomore in high school, and tells her therapist that the girls in her class are bullying her with insults like “slut” and “whore.” Her mother has been in touch with her school, but administrators say there’s not much they can do. Raisa is incredibly distressed. Here's how five therapists say they'd proceed.

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January Quandary: Should I Keep One Partner’s Secret in Couples Therapy?

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford • 3 Comments

By Chris Lyford - Mark and his wife, Nicole, have been in couples therapy for almost six months. But Mark recently requested an individual session, where he revealed he recently shared a kiss with an old girlfriend and has plans to rekindle their friendship. He's asked his therapist to keep the whole thing a secret. Here's how five clinicians say they'd tackle the situation.

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The Brené Brown Approach to Being Enough

The Power of Embracing Our Vulnerability

Mary Sykes Wylie • 1 Comment

By Mary Sykes Wylie - A pervasive sense of shame makes many of us feel unworthy of human connection. Why the shame? Because in this perfectionistic culture, most of us believe we’re “not good enough: not thin enough, rich enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, promoted enough” to be worthy of love. But research by professor and acclaimed TED speaker Brené Brown shows that some people have escaped the shame trap. How? They let themselves be vulnerable.

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A Week in the Life of a School Social Worker

Rapid-Fire Therapy, Creative Strategies, and Building Trust in an Instant

Howard Honigsfeld • 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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Inside the Mind of a Child with Asperger's

Here's an Exercise to Help Children with Asperger's Fit In

Diane Yapko • 4 Comments

By Diane Yapko - Teachers and parents who understand how Asperger's syndrome 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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Discovering the Real Life of Teens

The Key to Translating Youth Culture to Mystified Parents

Ron Taffel • No Comments

By Ron Taffel - What I've discovered, after talking with hundreds of teens, is that with their friends, they're almost a different species than when they're in the alien company of adults. If parents want to reclaim a connection with their children, they'll have to pay deep and respectful attention to a culture many of them abhor.

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The Liberating Power of Honesty

What People Don't Know Can Hurt Them. What They Don't Reveal Can Hurt Even More

Frank Pittman • No Comments

By Frank Pittman - When we therapists believe a secret's revelations would be dangerous, the client receives a frightening message about him- or herself and about the world. We may accept our patients and make psychodynamic, systemic or sociological excuses for them, while still conveying that their secret is unacceptable. Thus, while explicitly "supporting" them, we implicitly undermine their sense that they are fundamentally decent, acceptable people.

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The Challenges of Working with Suicidal Teens

Best Practices for When Work Becomes Dramatic and Unpredictable

Matthew Selekman • 2 Comments

By Matthew Selekman - Working with self-harming teens often seems like riding a runaway roller coaster, which keeps threatening to go off the rails altogether. To succeed, you have to be highly flexible and able to turn on a dime, as the circumstances demand.

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An Awareness of the Soul

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

Michael Ventura • 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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Coping and Learning After a Client's Suicide

A Therapist Reflects on What He Might Have Done Differently

Frank Pittman • 2 Comments

By Frank Pittman - I've been in full-time private practice for almost 30 years. In that time, three patients in my practice killed themselves. Each suicide has left me shell-shocked and questioning my therapeutic attitudes and methods. I did not expect Adam to be one of my casualties.

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