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What Therapists Can Learn from Actors

Using the Body as an Emotional Tuning Fork

Mark O'Connell, 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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Putting an End to the Blame Game

A Tool for Helping Partners See Both Sides

Alicia Muñoz, Alicia Muñoz

By Alicia Muñoz - Giving up being right doesn’t mean you give up your convictions. It means honoring a multiplicity of viewpoints. Rumi says, “Somewhere beyond right and wrong, there is a garden. I will meet you there.” For couples, this garden is their relationship.

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VIDEO: Michael Alcée on Doing Therapy with Introverts

What Works and What Doesn't

Michael Alcée, Michael Alcée

Psychologist and speaker Michael Alcée says therapists need to pay more attention to the introverts in their practice, to help them manage their anxiety and realize their hidden strengths. Here's how he does it.

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Jump-Starting Conversation in Family Therapy

The Difference Between Guiding and Intervening

Mike Nichols, Mike Nichols

By Mike Nichols - How do you get family members to talk together productively? Enactments can be among the most valuable tools for getting a family's communication going. But cultivating these conversations—and making sure not to overmanage them—is harder than it sounds.

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Raising Boys Right

How to Help Closed-Off Young Men Cross the Communication Divide

Adam Cox, Adam Cox

By Adam Cox - As we raise and support the next generation of boys, it's vital that we give them the tools to be full participants in society by helping them find the words to define themselves and relate to others. To do so, therapists and parents alike must explore new means of engaging silent youngsters, going beyond the business-as-usual inquiries about thoughts and feelings.

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Adjusting the Unconscious

What if a Few Basic Principles Could Make Change Far Easier?

Steve Andreas, Steve Andreas

By Steve Andreas - What if there were a few basic principles and methods that make therapeutic change far simpler and easier than most people think is possible? Not only is this possible, but there’s already a coherent body of knowledge and practice to guide us in eliciting change in the moment, confirmed by longer-term follow-up in the real world. Here are seven practical principles for making sense out of the case study that follows.

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Is Asking for a Pre-nup a Relationship Killer?

Here's a Mirroring Exercise to Help Partners Empathize and Compromise

Olivia Mellan, Olivia Mellan

By Olivia Mellan - After years of doing therapy and coaching in areas relating to money conflicts, I've discovered one constant about prenuptial agreements: whoever broaches the subject is labeled the bad partner. Yet prenuptial agreements have a role to play in helping couples plan and commit to their future together, particularly when they've been married previously. When handled well, they can even make a marriage stronger.

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Are You There for Me?

Understanding the Foundations of Couples Conflict

Susan Johnson, Susan Johnson

On the first day of a clinical placement in my doctoral program during the early 1980s, I was assigned to a counseling center and told by the director that because of unexpected staffing problems, I'd be seeing 20 couples a week. I'd never done any couples therapy, but I did have considerable experience as a family and individual therapist with emotionally disturbed adolescents--a tough, challenging group of clients if ever there was one! So my first thought when given this new assignment was, "After what I've done, how hard can this be?" I plunged in and almost immediately was appalled by how hard it actually could be!

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Are You There for Me?

Understanding the Foundations of Couples Conflict

Susan Johnson, Susan Johnson

And yet, I wondered, if we didn't have a theory of adult love and emotion, how could we truly understand what marriage was all about, let alone help couples make any real changes? Furthermore, even if we began to understand more about how love actually played out in marriage, what could we possibly do, as therapists, to bring it back into the process of therapy with troubled couples?

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