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Erotic Intelligence

Reconciling Sensuality and Domesticity

Esther Perel

By Esther Perel - America, in matters of sex as in much else, is a goal-oriented society that prefers explicit meanings, candor, and "plain speech." I often suggest an alternative with my clients: "If you want to create more passion in your relationship, why don't you play a little more with the natural ambiguity of gesture and words, and the rich nuances inherent in communication."

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The Brené Brown Approach to Being Enough

The Power of Embracing Our Vulnerability

Mary Sykes Wylie

By Mary Sykes Wylie - A pervasive sense of shame makes many of us feel unworthy of human connection. Why the shame? Because in this perfectionistic culture, most of us believe we’re “not good enough." Professor and acclaimed TED speaker Brené Brown says that some people have escaped the shame trap. How? They let themselves be vulnerable.

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VIDEO: Esther Perel on Speaking About Sex

Getting Comfortable in Couples Therapy

Esther Perel

Many traditional approaches to couples therapy are built on the assumption that if you help a couple clear up the emotional issues in their relationship, sex will automatically get better. . . . But it doesn’t seem to work that way.

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VIDEO: Tara Brach on Facing Difficult Emotions

The Power of Deliberate Practice

Tara Brach

Our survival brain has hundreds of strategies for resisting emotional pain. But according to Tara Brach, clinical psychologist and renowned teacher of Buddhism, resisting pain only increases our suffering.

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VIDEO: Learning to Let Go of Trauma

Bessel van der Kolk on the Power of Creating a Narrative

Bessel van der Kolk

Imagine the helplessness of being unable to distinguish painful past experiences from present ones. According to Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score, this is what happens when a traumatic memory is triggered. Old emotional responses bubble up even when the current trigger has little to do with the original trauma.

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The Mentor Who Changed My Therapy Practice

…And How Two Little Words Changed Everything

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - While therapeutic skill is the product of years of practice and self-determination, most clinicians need a mentor: someone who takes them under their wing and inspires them to be a better therapist. The five clinicians whose stories you’re about to read all agree on one thing: seeing how their mentors practice left an indelible mark on their personal and professional development that still resonates today.

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Transforming Anger into Compassion

A Five-Step Process for Dealing with Angry Clients

Steven Stosny

By Steven Stosny - Some therapists find themselves getting extremely reactive when clients lose their temper. Here's what you can do to better control your anger and anxiety in the presence of an angry client.

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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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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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May Quandary: Is It Ever Okay to Break Confidentially If I Know My Client Is Dating an Abuser?

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Diedre was widowed about three years ago, but was excited to tell her therapist about a man she's started dating. She's very happy. As her therapist heard more, he realized this is the same man another client used to date, who slowly became controlling and abusive. Should Diedre's therapist share this info? Five therapists weigh in.

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