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The Heart of Emotional Intelligence

Illuminating the Connection Between What We Feel, What We Want, and How We Act

Steven Krugman

By Steven Krugman - Mentalization refers to the mind’s innate capacity to make sense of social experiences and implicitly know how to respond to them. But while mentalization fosters an empathic awareness of the moods and mindsets of others, it also enables us to know what our own states of mind and body mean.

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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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How Effective is Modern Psychotherapy?

The Qualities of Good Therapy, and Where Today's Clinicians Stand

Mary Pipher

Over the past few decades, therapy has made great strides. However, there are areas in which I think therapy may have also gotten worse. The essence of therapy remains the relationship, and the greatest gift to a client with virtually any problem is a focused, curious, empathic listener. But right now, pressure to speed up therapy can undercut the sanctity of the therapeutic relationship. Like good cooking, I think good therapy takes time. In many ways, we’re treating people in therapy offices as if it were 1960. But it’s a really different time, and there are a lot of issues we’re not approaching because we don’t know how.

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The Rebirth of Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment

How Marsha Linehan Revolutionized Therapy with DBT

Katy Butler, Katy Butler

For decades, most clinicians who had a choice avoided borderline clients, while agency staff (who couldn't) went through the motions with a sense of futility. Therapy consisted of guarding against "manipulation" and mining the borderline's reactions to the therapist for clues to her fragmented inner world. It was hard on clients---and on therapists as well. Then, in 1991, a behavioral psychologist and Zen student at the University of Washington named Marsha Linehan introduced an alternative. Her treatment was called Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT.

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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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Revolution on the Horizon

DBT Challenges the Borderline Diagnosis

Katy Butler, Katy Butler

DBT was no walk in the park: it required team treatment, including weekly individual therapy, a year-long "skills training" class, telephone coaching and supportive supervision for the therapist. But it offered clients and therapists alike a way out of chaos--a systematic clinical package that integrated the technical and analytical strengths of behaviorism, the subtleties of Zen training, the warmth and acceptance of relationship-centered therapies and the often undervalued power of psychoeducation.

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The End of Innocence

Reconsidering Our Concepts of Victimhood

Dusty Miller

As a systems therapist, incest survivor, and recovering alcoholic, I've lived through several stages of our culture's attempt to come to terms with child sexual abuse--as a victim in the silent 1950s; as a therapy client in the oblivious 1960s and 1970s; and as a psychotherapist in the 1980s and 1990s, when once-dismissed accounts of abuse filled my therapy practice (and my television screen) only to be partly discredited within the decade during another swing of the cultural pendulum.

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The Precarious Present

Why is it So Hard to Stay in the Moment?

Robert Scaer

When a client reports repetitive intrusions, we may wonder about a tendency toward obsessiveness or the possibility of depression and/or anxiety. While all of these interpretations may have some validity, I believe that much more is at stake. I propose that in many of these moments of body-mind intrusion, our brain is trying to protect us from mortal danger arising from memories of old, unresolved threats. In short, we're in survival mode.

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Living With the Devil We Know

We May be Anxious, but not to Change

David Burns

As therapists, we typically assume that a person suffering from severe anxiety is eager and motivated to receive the help we offer. But we should never naively underestimate clients’ hidden antipathy to change, despite their discomfort.

 

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