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Getting Anxious on Purpose

This Approach Can Reduce Anxiety Symptoms in as Little as Three Weeks

Reid Wilson

By Reid Wilson - My clinical experience indicates that clients who can be persuaded to provoke and endure their symptoms without resorting to relaxation exercises quickly become habituated to their fears. Here's the five-step treatment I've developed, based on the work of the top clinicians and researchers in the anxiety field.

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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 Five Dimensions of Good Anxiety Treatment

An Interview with Anxiety Researcher David Barlow

Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - Author David Barlow is widely considered the dean of anxiety researchers. In the following interview, he shares his thoughts on the nature of anxiety and what research has revealed about the most effective treatments for it.

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VIDEO: When Our Clients Help Us Overcome Our Greatest Fears

A Therapist Shares Her Most Memorable Clinical Experience

Lynn Lyons

Not all professional growth experiences come from classes, workshops, and consultation groups. Sometimes our clients can expand our comfort zones and teach us more about ourselves than we ever thought possible. Here, Lynn Lyons shares a moving, often hilarious, story about how her young client helped her become a stronger person and a better therapist.

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Trauma Therapy Meets Theater

An Unusual Program is Helping Vets Rewire from War

Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - Therapists know that words can heal. But what if the words were in iambic pentameter and delivered from a stage? Veteran and professional actor Stephan Wolfert is testing a PTSD intervention that for decades has been pairing classical theater training with the science of trauma.

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Does Energy Psychology Really Work?

Tapping Pioneer David Feinstein Shares What Made Him a Believer

David Feinstein

By David Feinstein - About a decade ago, something came along to challenge my bedrock beliefs about therapy: Energy Psychology, a method based on tapping on selected acupuncture points to address psychological problems. What could possibly have possessed a seen-it-all therapist like me to embrace an approach that many consider the latest incarnation of snake oil? What follows is the answer.

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The Healing Power of Uncertainty

Our Traditional Approaches to Anxiety Treatment Aren't Good Enough

Reid Wilson

By Reid Wilson - Therapy with anxious clients is most effective when I repeatedly challenge their underlying beliefs about how to handle distress. Anxious clients don't need my cleverness. They need therapeutic principles powerful enough to offset their faulty beliefs. I've learned to help my anxious clients by challenging three of their most basic life stances: their attitudes toward worry, certainty, and comfort.

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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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Treating OCD Without Co-Compulsing

When Traditional Therapy Won't Work

Martin Seif and Sally Winston

By Martin Seif and Sally Winston - It’s now clear that much of what therapists do for people suffering from OCD actually worsens the problem. Providing empathic reassurance, rational disputation, and coping skills to manage anxiety only serves to refuel the obsession. So how do you avoid the dead end of co-compulsing with your clients?

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Righting Psychotherapy's Reputation in the Media

Bessel van der Kolk and the New York Times

Kathleen Smith

By Kathleen Smith - It’s no secret that psychotherapy has had an image problem in the media. Real and fictional clinicians on TV and in the movies are regularly portrayed as jargon-spouting caricatures, or are often shown to break ethical codes without blinking, displaying more personal problems than their clients. But a bigger part of the problem may be that, on the whole, therapists haven’t done a particularly good job explaining what we do or how it works.

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