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Marijuana and Mental Health

How Concerned Should Psychotherapists Be?

Tori Rodriguez

By Tori Rodriguez - The more marijuana legalization reaches mainstream acceptance, the more the divisions of opinion within the mental health field—presumably the professionals who have the most scientifically informed perspective on the debate—become apparent.

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Diagnosing and Treating Subtle Bipolar II

A Perspective on "Depression Plus"

James Phelps

By James Phelps - Treatment for bipolar disorders used to focus on medication, but like many other mood specialists, I’ve found that most clients don’t get the help they need with medication alone, or even with established therapy approaches in combination with medication. Instead, a combination of new, lesser-known therapies plus medications has been shown to produce substantial gains in mood stabilization and daily functioning.

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Sorting Through the Bewildering World of Therapeutic Apps

Left to Our Own Devices

Marian Sandmaier

By Marian Sandmaier - Today, we’re entering a new and fast-expanding universe of emotional self-help—one populated by smartphone apps. They offer tools for everything from depression, social anxiety, and binge eating to phobias, postpartum problems, and substance abuse recovery. Since solace-by-app is here to stay, how might clinicians become a meaningful part of this mental health game changer, in ways that might benefit both themselves and their clients?

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Raising Healthy Children Through Parent Communities

Strategies for Raising and Disciplining Children in the 21st Century

Ron Taffel

On top of losing faith in a secure future, mothers and fathers deal with everyday dilemmas that make a joke of traditional rules and childrearing practices. Unfortunately, many therapists still seem to believe that reliable solutions to the problems families face can be readily found in standard evidence-based protocols. But mental health workers underestimate the importance of having people discuss ordinary concerns on their own turf---in churches, synagogues, and community centers. There’s nothing like understanding that you’re not alone to raise the spirits and strengthen the spine.

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Assessing the State of Psychotherapy

Is Today's Therapy Losing Out to Science and Psychopharmacology?

Mary Sykes Wylie

The bad news was made official in 2010, though everybody in the head-shrink business had long suspected as much: psychotherapy was in decline, or even in freefall. You might think this trend represents people’s preferences for the quick fix of a pill, rather than a slog through talk therapy, but you’d be wrong: surveys have consistently shown that depressed and/or anxious people and their families would rather talk to a real, live, human therapist than fill a prescription. So in what appears to be the twilight of the psychopharm gods, why aren’t therapy practitioners rising up, throwing off their chains, and reconquering lost mental health territory?

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Creating a Therapeutic Alliance with the Troubled Teen

Matthew Selekman on How to Make Teen Therapy Engaging

Matthew Selekman

Building rapport with provocative teens in therapy can be a challenging task for even the most experienced therapists. A teen client can be a master at putting up the invisible force field while pushing our buttons, or telling us what we want to hear and side-stepping responsibility. Through the years, I’ve developed several engagement strategies that I regularly use, singly or in combination, that have consistently helped me establish a therapeutic alliance with even the toughest teen client.

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Mission Possible

The Art of Engaging Tough Teens

Matthew Selekman

Trying to get in the door with provocative, therapy-savvy adolescents can be a challenging task for even the most seasoned of therapists. Some adolescent clients are masters at putting up the invisible force field while pushing our buttons, or telling us what we want to hear and side-stepping responsibility. Through the years, I've developed several engagement strategies that I regularly use, singly or in combination, that have consistently helped me to establish a therapeutic alliance with even the toughest teen client.

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How Conversation Sparks Therapeutic Change

The Search for the Unspoken Self

Ron Taffel

When we trust ourselves to follow the signals of life that the patient emits in seemingly casual conversation, we increase our chances of stepping outside the confines of our theoretical models to enjoy an unexpected encounter.

 

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A New Approach to Diagnosis

Getting Beyond the Limits of Diagnostic Categories

Rich Simon

Darrel Regier, vice chair of the DSM-5 Task Force and director of the APA’s research division, argues that DSM-5 is less about assessing fixed characteristics in clients than it is about guiding clinicians to think more dimensionally about diagnosis.

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The Decline And Fall Of Parental Authority...

...and What Therapists Can Do About It

Ron Taffel

American parents today face a perfect storm of cultural and social circumstances that undermine the very foundations of parental authority. In response, mothers and fathers are beginning to see therapists as irrelevant and to challenge the entire social, educational, and economic context of childrearing.

 

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