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The Cure Myth

We Need to Start Treating Anxiety and Depression as Chronic Conditions

Margaret Wehrenberg

By Margaret Wehrenberg - I’ve begun to put aside my idealized view that unless people overcome their difficulties once and for all, therapy is somehow a failure. That perspective seems simplistic and disconnected from the realities of what psychotherapy can actually provide. Evidence continues to accumulate that many people who have anxiety and depression suffer bouts of it all their lives, even after a good response to therapy.

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Embracing Emotion in Couples Therapy

Susan Johnson on Creating a Road Map Through Couples Conflict

Susan Johnson

By Susan Johnson - Neuroscientists have recently established emotion is the prime force shaping how we cope with life’s challenges. Psychotherapists are beginning to learn how to work with emotion, rather than trying to control it or creating change through purely cognitive or behavioral means.

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Has Happiness Been Taken Too Far?

Three Reasons Happiness is Sometimes Harmful

Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener

By Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener - A common theory holds that happiness is humanity’s natural resting state. But positive emotions and thoughts aren’t always useful. Here are several often overlooked research results about a happy mindset that sound a warning.

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The Unlikely Case for Exposure Therapy

Calling Up Qualities of Strength and Resilience in Anxious Clients

Reid Wilson

By Reid Wilson - The only way for anxious clients to incorporate corrective information was for them to access the intense arousal associated with that specific fear and then linger in that state long enough, without blocking or muting their thoughts or feelings, to learn at a primal level that they’re safe. This summons qualities of strength and resilience in clients that therapists often miss.

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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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VIDEO: Are You Comfortable Talking about Sex with the Couples You See?

Esther Perel on How to Strengthen this Essential Capacity and Why It’s So Important

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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A Brain Science Strategy for Overwriting Traumatic Memories

Creating Juxtaposition Experiences to Relieve Trauma Symptoms

Bruce Ecker

What we clinicians have learned in recent years about the intricacies of the brain's implicit memory systems has certainly helped us better recognize the linkage between distressing or traumatic experiences and many of the previously puzzling symptoms clients bring to our offices. But now brain science is beginning ...

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Hypnotic Language in the Consulting Room

Bill O'Hanlon on the Power of Giving Permission in Therapy

Bill O'Hanlon

As therapists, we must recognize the complexity and ambivalence at the core of human experience. People run into problems when their lives are dictated by rigid beliefs that make the stories they're living out too restrictive, for example: "I must always be perfect," or "I should always smile and be happy." But permission counters these commands and prohibitions. The therapist who offers permission goes beyond accepting clients as they are and moves into encouraging them to expand their life stories and their sense of themselves.

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