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Should You Take Sides in Couples Therapy?

Why Psychotherapy's Views on Male Intimacy Need to Change

Terry Real • 12/1/2017 • No Comments

By Terry Real - The pressure to be hard, logical, independent, and stoic all too often sets men up to be emotionally distant, arrogant, and numb to their own feelings. These aren't pathological aberrations; they're the defining characteristics of manhood in our culture. That's why I break one of marital therapy's cardinal rules. I side with the woman.

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The Liberating Power of Honesty

What People Don't Know Can Hurt Them. What They Don't Reveal Can Hurt Even More

Frank Pittman • 11/23/2017 • No Comments

By Frank Pittman - When we therapists believe a secret's revelations would be dangerous, the client receives a frightening message about him- or herself and about the world. We may accept our patients and make psychodynamic, systemic or sociological excuses for them, while still conveying that their secret is unacceptable. Thus, while explicitly "supporting" them, we implicitly undermine their sense that they are fundamentally decent, acceptable people.

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The Therapeutic Relationship, Revisited

A Man Discovers a Safe Guide, and a Real Person, in His New Therapist

Stephen Lyons • 11/21/2017 • 1 Comment

By Stephen Lyons - My work with Sara began in an uninspiring, windowless, downtown suite that she shared with another therapist. But before long, my therapy hour was the high point of my week. She came to show me that there were places I needed to go—vital, hidden places—that I couldn't get to all by myself. She showed me that she was a trustworthy guide. But after Sara suffered a devastating loss, I saw clearly, all at once, that she didn't simply exist to meet my needs.

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The New Anatomy of Emotion

How Brain Science Can Teach Couples Emotional Literacy

Brent Atkinson • 10/5/2017 • 1 Comment

By Brent Atkinson - Even among couples who do make progress in therapy, a disheartening chunk relapse. Why? A lack of emotional literacy. Good clinicians help couples effectively calm their anger and fear circuits as well as stimulate the more vulnerable, connection-generating states. The therapist acts as a kind of neural chiropractor, making regular, finely tuned adjustments to each partner's out-of-sync brain.

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Coping and Learning After a Client's Suicide

A Therapist Reflects on What He Might Have Done Differently

Frank Pittman • 9/7/2017 • 2 Comments

By Frank Pittman - I've been in full-time private practice for almost 30 years. In that time, three patients in my practice killed themselves. Each suicide has left me shell-shocked and questioning my therapeutic attitudes and methods. I did not expect Adam to be one of my casualties.

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After an Affair, How Much Should Be Shared?

How to Have an Honest Discussion Without Accusations and Defensiveness

Shirley Glass • 8/28/2017 • No Comments

By Shirley Glass - How much to share and when to share are issues that confront every couple trying to recover from the discovery of infidelity. I actively structure the timing and the process of disclosure because I've found that revealing the details of an affair is seldom constructive in the presence of uncontrolled emotional intensity or unresolved ambivalence about the future of the marriage.

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Helping Women Work Through "Aloneness"

Why Being Apart from Others Also Means Being in the Presence of Oneself

Florence Falk • 5/26/2017 • No Comments

By Florence Falk - More women may be living alone today than at any time in human history. Yet "aloneness" is virtually invisible as a subject of even passing concern in the social and cultural zeitgeist. Shouldn't we, as therapists, pay more attention to it? I believe we need to take a more systematic and comprehensive therapeutic approach to the role that aloneness can play at every stage of women's lives, whether they're single or married, young or old.

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What Makes Couples Therapy Techniques Stick?

Three Ways to Replicate Progress Outside the Consulting Room

Carolyn Daitch • 4/18/2017 • No Comments

By Carolyn Daitch - We not only have to teach our clients how to interrupt old coping mechanisms, generated by fear and anger, but also how to integrate new coping skills permanently into their response repertoire. Successfully combating and overriding firmly ingrained behaviors in this manner requires practice, and 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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Affair Repair

Two Contradictions That Can Help Couples on the Brink Restore Connection

Michele Weiner-Davis • 4/1/2017 • 1 Comment

By Michele Weiner-Davis - Couples therapy can be difficult and dicey, especially when there’s an affair in the mix. To keep afloat in the emotional tumult, most therapists cling to certain hard-and-fast rules that form the foundation of their work. One therapist learns some surprising lessons when she reevaluates those tenets.

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Is It Possible to Divorce Well?

Three Buddhist Practices for Helping Partners Split Amicably

Ashley Davis Prend • 3/7/2017 • 2 Comments

By Ashley Davis Prend - I've drawn three simple, uncomplicated steps from Buddhist philosophy to help hostile spouses cultivate a spirit of nonviolence, generosity, and compassion toward their ex-partners. Counterintuitive as it seems, practicing these steps can help people find the kind of inner wisdom and peace that acts as an antidote to their self-destructive and aggressive impulses.

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