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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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When Therapy Takes a Personal Toll

A Therapist Working with Abusers Reaches a Crossroads

Michelle Cacho-Negrette • 10/17/2017 • No Comments

By Michelle Cacho-Negrette - I made my first appointment with Gloria one autumn afternoon. I needed a still point, a peaceful promontory in the ocean of loud, unrepentant excuses I heard daily from the men I treated in a batterer-intervention program, men who committed unspeakable violence against those they claimed to love.

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Transforming Anger into Compassion

A Five-Step Process for Dealing with Angry Clients

Steven Stosny • 10/5/2017 • No Comments

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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The New Anatomy of Emotion

How Brain Science Can Teach Couples Emotional Literacy

Brent Atkinson • 10/5/2017 • 1 Comment

By Brent Atkinson - Even among couples who do make progress in therapy, a disheartening chunk relapse. Why? A lack of emotional literacy. Good clinicians help couples effectively calm their anger and fear circuits as well as stimulate the more vulnerable, connection-generating states. The therapist acts as a kind of neural chiropractor, making regular, finely tuned adjustments to each partner's out-of-sync brain.

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What's It Take to Beat Anxiety?

Optimizing Health, Mindful Awareness, and More

Margaret Wehrenberg • 9/14/2017 • 3 Comments

By Margaret Wehrenberg - The sensations of doom or dread or panic felt by anxiety sufferers are truly overwhelming—the very same sensations, in fact, that a person would feel if the worst really were happening. Here are a few anxiety-management techniques that can offer relief, and offer it quickly.

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Coping and Learning After a Client's Suicide

A Therapist Reflects on What He Might Have Done Differently

Frank Pittman • 9/7/2017 • 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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The Final Shot

A Therapist's Creativity Unifies a Fractured Group of Inner City Boys

Ken Hardy • 8/4/2017 • No Comments

By Ken Hardy - While working as a family therapist at a boys' school in the Philadelphia suburbs, I learned to use basketball to capture their attention and imagination, and ultimately bring all of us closer together.

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VIDEO: Ron Potter-Efron on Helping Clients with Anger Problems

"Building a Bridge" from the Old Brain to the New Brain

Ron Potter-Efron • 7/26/2017 • 1 Comment

Is it possible to overcome the typical oppositional response of a client with anger issues? According to Ron Potter-Efron, the key to working effectively with anger is first defusing reactivity by building a bridge from the response of the "old brain" to the "new brain." In this video clip, he explains how it’s done.

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When Grief, Guilt, and Anger Collide

Finding Meaning in Feelings That Can Complicate the Grieving Process

Sameet Kumar • 7/13/2017 • No Comments

By Sameet Kumar - While grief may never entirely fade, and the loss that caused it certainly won't be forgotten, it almost always changes and becomes incorporated into life, so the grieving person can move on. There are times, however, when grief doesn't take this relatively straightforward path toward resolution.

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Hard Lessons in Setting Limits

From Dutiful Daughter to Self-Aware Caregiver

Katy Butler • 6/15/2017 • No Comments

By Katy Butler - Five years ago, my 79-year-old father had a stroke, and my family entered a new life stage. Every family wound I thought I'd outgrown and every trusted defense that had seemed to work emerged again, carrying with it danger, and an opportunity for redemption.

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