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What to Do When Your Client Cries

If It's Not Broken, Don't Fix It

Jay Efran

By Jay Efran - How can both joyful and tragic events elicit tears? This question puzzles many clinicians, including some who are considered experts in the field of emotional expression. The problem is that few of us have received explicit training in theories of emotion. And sometimes, clinicians can feel an urge to rush in and “fix things” that aren’t broken.

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Stealthy Change, Healthy Change

Three Ways to Practice Presence

Donald Altman

By Donald Altman - Helping clients make changes isn't always easy. How can we stealthily introduce change through mindfulness? It may not be as daunting as it sounds. Here are three easy-to-use practices for getting started.

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June Quandary: My Client Ghosted Me!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Sara, 26, had been attending weekly therapy three months, and had developed concrete strategies with her therapist to help her manage her depression and anxiety. He thought they'd developed a strong bond, but Sara has missed her last two sessions. Her therapist texted her after the first missed session to ask if everything was okay, but still hasn’t heard anything. He keeps worrying he might've done something wrong. Should he reach out again? Here, five therapists weigh in.

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VIDEO: David Burns on Overcoming Resistance

Exploring Why Clients Might Not Want to Change

David Burns

Do you have a client who you can't seem to help, no matter what techniques you try? In this brief video, master clinician David Burns—one of the developers of CBT and an expert in treating depression and anxiety—explains why we shouldn't automatically assume that clients actually want to change the problems they initially present in treatment.

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When Helping Doesn't Help

What to Do When Your Client Doesn't Want to Change

David Burns

By David Burns - What if a client's resistance to change reveals something positive, beautiful, and even healthy about them—something that we’ve overlooked? If we can learn to put unconscious resistance front and center in our clinical work, we can lessen or even eliminate our clients’ resistance altogether.

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Overcoming Standoffs with Tough Teens

...And the Three Questions You Should Ask Them in the Very First Session

Matthew Selekman

By 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. 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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Five Things Seasoned Therapists Wish They'd Known

. . . And the One Question You Should Always Ask Your Clients

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Whether they’ve been practicing for three months or three decades, therapists are continuously honing their craft. But much of what we learn through trial and error, and hours upon hours sitting across from clients, we were never taught in grad school. So we asked some seasoned therapists to pass on the lessons they wish someone had told them when they were first starting out.

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Getting "Ghosted" by Clients

Four Stories from Therapists, and What They Learned from Their Experience

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - We've all seen it happen. Maybe some of us are even guilty of it ourselves: Sometimes it's easier to simply ignore people than respond when they reach out. But this disappearing act, or "ghosting" as it's become commonly known, also happens to therapists quite often. Here, four clinicians share their stories.

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What Therapists Can Learn from Actors

Using the Body as an Emotional Tuning Fork

Mark O'Connell

By Mark O'Connell - Today, as a psychotherapist, I approach my work much as I did in my former vocation as an actor: with the faith that my instrument—my body, my self—can serve as an emotional tuning fork to locate the inner lives of each and every client, regardless of our exterior differences.

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What Works with Teen Clients

Forget Everything You Know About the Therapeutic Alliance

Janet Sasson Edgette

By Janet Edgette - It’s probably fair to say that most teens loathe the very idea of therapy. Yet, with confused and troubled adolescents needing our help more than ever, the gap between our grad school training and what works in real-life practice continues to widen.

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