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The Golden Rule of Habit Change

Lessons on Expert Productivity

Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - At times, the line between stable and stuck-in-a-rut can become a bit blurry. So we turned to New York Times journalist Charles Duhigg, author of the bestseller The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business to see if he’d share how his findings may help us therapists, both personally and professionally.

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VIDEO: Peter Levine on Trauma Treatment's "Greatest Tool"

Tapping into the Power of the Body

Peter Levine

According to trauma specialist Peter Levine, the body is the therapist's greatest tool in helping clients understand and heal from a traumatic event. So rather than focus on the event itself, Levine asks clients to focus on how their body manifests the trauma. In this brief video clip, he shares his method.

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Breaking the Habit Loop

An Expert Explains What It Really Takes to Change Behavior

Jared DeFife

By Jared DeFife - It’s time for a new year and a new you, right? Unfortunately, some old acquaintances aren’t too soon forgotten, and our bad habits tend to follow us into the New Year. Rather than try to change them outright, New York Times reporter and bestselling author Charles Duhigg says we should pay more attention to analyzing and diagnosing what he calls The Habit Loop.

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Myths and Realities of the Asperger's Experience

Normalizing and Mobilizing Clients and Their Families

Richard Howlin

By Richard Howlin - Adults with Asperger's syndrome often behave as if they were confused actors walking onto a stage and being the only ones who don't know the lines or the plot. One of my initial goals in therapy is to help them realize the role their brain plays in their everyday practical and social understanding. Then, we embark on a step-by-step process of skill training, life planning, and helping clients integrate their unusual and obsessive talents into a productive life.

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The Brain's Key

A Three-Step Process for Undoing Negative Emotional Learnings

Bruce Ecker

By Bruce Ecker, Robin Ticic, and Laurel Hilley - While most neuroscientists once believed that implicit memories, avoidance reactions, and rigid schemas were locked permanently in the brain’s synaptic pathways, brain research shows that, under certain conditions, we can not only unlock these neural pathways, but actually erase them and substitute new learning.

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Everyday Heroism

Philip Zimbardo Reflects on His Work on Human Connections and Positive Change

Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - Social psychologist Philip Zimbardo may be most well-known for his notorious Stanford Prison Experiment. More recently, however, he's pivoted his work to focus on human connections and positive change. He founded a clinic that helps clients push past self-imposed limits around shyness and established a program that frames heroism as a continual, everyday choice.

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Inside the Asian Immigrant Experience

Dealing with Ongoing Discomfort as a Perpetual Outsider

Tazuko Shibusawa

By Tazuko Shibusawa - I was born in Japan, but spent my earliest childhood years in Michigan with my family. Since World War II, the image of Asians as a model minority has held, with increasing numbers of immigrants from all over Asia. But we Asian Americans are under tremendous pressure to prove ourselves, and we continue to be on guard against outbreaks of racial hatred.

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Change the Way You Learn

Communities of Practice Could Be Your Pathway to Clinical Mastery

Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - As therapists, we often lead isolated professional lives, seeing client after client without meeting regularly with our colleagues to talk openly about our work, ask questions, or share ideas. In the following interview, Etienne Wenger, a groundbreaking social-learning theorist, explains how and why we should change this.

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The Power of the Emotional Brain

Using Brain Science to Spark Behavioral Change

Brent Atkinson

By Brent Atkinson - Throughout history, we’ve been operating under a great deception—we tend to believe that our thoughts and actions result largely from our conscious intentions. In fact, while our rational mind has a degree of veto power, the inclinations that fuel our perceptions, interpretations, and actions primarily come from neural processes that operate beneath the level of awareness. The emotional brain plays a crucial role in the machinery of rationality: the brain generates quick, gut-level emotional reactions that collectively serve as a guidance system for reasoning.

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Three Easy Steps for Unlocking Learned Emotions in the Consulting Room

Memory Reconsolidation in Action

Bruce Ecker, Robin Ticic, and Laura Hulley

Neuroscience has yet to magically transform psychotherapy, making all that was opaque, hidden, and out of control now clear, open, and well regulated. Yet a new wave of neuroscience centered on memory reconsolidation offers us specific knowledge of the steps through which people change their subcortical minds deeply and transformationally, altering their understanding of how the world functions, what their most intimate relationships mean to them, and how to expand their ability to respond flexibly to life’s challenges.

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