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Against the Odds

On the Front Lines of Inner City Social Work

Howard Honigsfeld, Howard Honigsfeld

By Howard Honigsfeld - As a school social worker in a South Bronx elementary school, the kids I see have a vast range of personal, social, economic, and medical issues. With so much stacked against these children, what can a school counselor do? The rewards of time, dogged persistence, and ordinary kindness in a supportive school environment can work their own kind of wonders.

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Neutrality Is Sabotaging Couples Therapy

How Taking Sides Gets to the Heart of Conflict

Terry Real, Terry Real

By Terry Real - My own experience as a couples therapist has taught me that we aren't doing clients a favor by soft-pedaling difficult issues. More than adopting any particular methodology of change, we can be far more direct and challenging to clients who come to us than we've previously acknowledged. By and large, people are neither fragile nor stupid. If you show them how they're getting in their own way and what behaving more skillfully looks like, they'll be grateful.

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The Gay Man in the Straight Marriage

Exploring the Uncharted Territory of a "Mixed-Orientation Marriage"

Jeff Levy

By Jeff Levy - Gay men married to women frequently describe their experiences in therapy as confusing and polarizing, facing a strong bias toward full disclosure and divorce. My work with gay and bisexual men over the past 10 years has taught me to see psychotherapy as a place to hold dynamic tensions without easy, premature resolutions.

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What Makes Couples Therapy Stick?

Three Ways to Maintain Progress Outside the Consulting Room

Carolyn Daitch

By Carolyn Daitch - Successfully combating and overriding firmly ingrained behaviors requires practice. It's our job as therapists to help clients learn how and when to practice these skills, and then make sure they go home and do it.

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When Three Threatens Two

Must Parenthood Bring Down the Curtain on Romance?

Esther Perel, Esther Perel

By Esther Perel - Sex makes babies. So it is ironic that the child, the embodiment of the couple's love, so often threatens the very romance that brought that child into being. But the brave and determined couple who maintains an erotic connection is, above all, the couple who values it. They know that it's not children who extinguish the flame of desire: it's adults who fail to keep the spark alive.

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Wrestling with Our Clinical Choices

Do Any of Really Know What's Right?

David Treadway, David Treadway

By David Treadway - How do any of us therapists know what’s good enough in the unfolding of people’s lives? I know I practice an often intuitive craft, not an exact and predictable science. The truth is that all too often, like most practitioners, I can never be quite sure how much difference my bit part plays in the unfolding drama of clients' lives.

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Getting Real in Couples Therapy

Ignoring the Destructive Patterns in Front of Us Does Our Clients a Disservice

Terry Real, Terry Real

By Terry Real - It's disrespectful to clients not to let them in on the truth about what we witness regularly in our offices as they play out their relationships in front of us: the ways they deal with their partners are often self-centered, unfeeling, and counterproductive. I believe that in order to teach our clients how to be authentic and connected, we must be real with them ourselves.

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VIDEO: What Infidelity Looks Like

All Types of Cheating Have This in Common

Tammy Nelson, Tammy Nelson

Of course, sexual affairs are red flags for infidelity, but there are common elements that make any outside relationship an infidelity. Sex therapist Tammy Nelson explains what they are and how to spot them.

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Returning to Connection

A Couple on Brink of Divorce Finally Learns to Show Vulnerability

Silvina Irwin, Silvina Irwin

By Silvina Irwin - It’s my first session with Jeff and Miranda. “Honestly, I don’t know why I’m here,” Miranda spits out. “He's cheated on me since we started dating 25 years ago." Can I avoid doing further damage to their precarious relationship? Do I tell Miranda to run for the hills? What if Miranda takes a leap of faith and decides to trust Jeff once more—and he betrays her yet again?

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Introducing Mindfulness to Clients

Making Exercises a Regular Part of Clients' Lives in and Outside the Therapy Room

Shai Lavie, Shai Lavie

By Shai Lavie - In essence, the therapeutic task is to model compassion and understanding as we guide clients through their pain-filled internal landscapes. For exploring these wilder shores of the self, we can take no more promising a journey of discovery than in the vessel of our own mindful body awareness.

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