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The Legacies of Cultural and Historical Trauma

My Story

Anita Mandley, Anita Mandley

By Anita Mandley - I not only have an expanded vision of trauma these days, but an increased sense of mission to help other therapists see the larger context of what we carry inside. It’s not a matter of dredging up a painful past, but of normalizing our interconnectedness and the emotions and behaviors that come out of it.

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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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Confronting Inherited Trauma

My Journey into Family Constellations

Lauren Dockett, Lauren Dockett

By Lauren Dockett - Many therapists know their way around family systems. But what if they could create three-dimensional experiences to help clients shed the pain of lingering traumas that can get passed down through generations? As research into the epigenetics of trauma develops, a reporter looks into an unusual approach to healing.

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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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Young and Restless

A Special Story from Our Family Matters Department

Dick Anderson, Dick Anderson

By Dick Anderson - When you’re young, a car isn’t just a car—it can be a freedom machine.

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Dying as a Rite of Passage

There's a Gap Between How We Hope to Die and How We Really Do

Katy Butler, Katy Butler

By Katy Butler - There’s a gap nowadays between how we hope to die, and how we really do. More than three-quarters of Americans hope to die at home like their ancestors, but more than two-thirds die in hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions. It doesn’t have to be this way. There’s a pathway to a peaceful, empowered death, even in an era of high-technology medicine.

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Using Conversation in Therapy

Following the Spark to Create Connection

Ron Taffel, Ron Taffel

By Ron Taffel - As a field, we've been unconscious of the nature of the conversation that energizes our models and techniques. Without it, treatment can be a textbook exercise lacking the power to make clients feel a truly alive and personal connection with their therapist.

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When Depression Runs in the Family

Being Haunted Isn't the Same as Being Cursed

Martha Manning, Martha Manning

By Martha Manning - My family is haunted by depression. My mother can trace it back in her family at least six generations. When it hits, it hits hard. My own battle with depression has focused on developing an understanding of the commonalities I share with my mother and grandmother, appreciating aspects of our shared legacies as some of the things I most valued in myself. Being haunted is not the same as being cursed.

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VIDEO: Esther Perel on the Legacy of Salvador Minuchin

From the Symposium's Celebration of a Family Therapy Visionary

Esther Perel, Esther Perel

A maverick and a visionary in the ’60s and ’70s, Salvador Minuchin put forth a brand new model of psychotherapy—family therapy. In the following video clip from the 2017 Symposium dinner event celebrating Minuchin's work, couples therapist Esther Perel shares her memories of working alongside Minuchin when she was just beginning work as a young therapist.

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Revisiting Masculinity in the Age of #MeToo

40 Years After Therapy's Feminist Corrective, More Clinicians Are Talking About Gender. Are You?

Lauren Dockett, Lauren Dockett

By Lauren Dockett - We live in a time when gender identity has gained a new visibility under the banner of #MeToo. But therapists are struggling with how to actually address the highly charged issues it can raise in the therapy room. The goal this time is a more encompassing conversation about the way society genders and is gendered that has profound implications for both men and women.

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