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How to Develop a Safety Plan with Suicidal Clients

A Process of Inquiry That Promotes Empathic Connection

Douglas Flemons • 9/19/2017 • No Comments

By Douglas Flemons - Suicide assessment is a high-stakes process infused with uncertainty. However, even the best scales can be unreliable when they’re completed in the midst of an emotional crisis. Rather than outsourcing your decision-making to an instrument, it's important that therapists learn how to conduct a conversational evaluation that builds on their therapeutic skills.

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Helping Couples Process the Trauma of Sickness

How Illness Can Leave Marriage on the Rocks

Jeri Hepworth • 8/3/2017 • 2 Comments

By Jeri Hepworth - As human beings vulnerable to a wide variety of infirmities, we need to know at the deepest level that our partners will stick around even when our bodies betray us. And yet, even though we generally agree that abandoning an ailing partner is unacceptable, we don't really appreciate how high a toll a serious medical problem can take on a relationship.

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Is Teen Suicide Contagious?

Clinicians Weigh in on the Controversy around 13 Reasons Why

Chris Lyford • 7/24/2017 • No Comments

By Chris Lyford - 13 Reasons Why has become one of Netflix’s most watched features, in part for how it confronts the subject of young adult suicide. But the notion that it glorifies self-harm has led suicide-prevention agencies, school boards, and therapists to speak out.

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When Grief, Guilt, and Anger Collide

Finding Meaning in Feelings That Can Complicate the Grieving Process

Sameet Kumar • 7/13/2017 • No Comments

By Sameet Kumar - While grief may never entirely fade, and the loss that caused it certainly won't be forgotten, it almost always changes and becomes incorporated into life, so the grieving person can move on. There are times, however, when grief doesn't take this relatively straightforward path toward resolution.

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Does Sheryl Sandberg's New Book Miss the Mark on Grief?

One Expert Pushes Back

Candyce Ossefort-Russell • 7/5/2017 • 5 Comments

By Candyce Ossefort-Russell - I was appalled when I encountered the heavily publicized resilience book by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy. Their book’s consistent message seems to be that grievers need to stop feeling dangerous “negative” emotions and bounce back to “normal” as quickly as possible, so that they don’t become “trapped” or “broken” by their pain. My experience as a widow and a grief counselor has taught me exactly the opposite.

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Hard Lessons in Setting Limits

From Dutiful Daughter to Self-Aware Caregiver

Katy Butler • 6/15/2017 • No Comments

By Katy Butler - Five years ago, my 79-year-old father had a stroke, and my family entered a new life stage. Every family wound I thought I'd outgrown and every trusted defense that had seemed to work emerged again, carrying with it danger, and an opportunity for redemption.

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The Immigrant's Odyssey

Acknowledging Losses and Celebrating Victories

Priska Imberti • 4/18/2017 • No Comments

By Priska Imberti - Today, therapists are much more likely than they were decades ago to take into consideration the ways that race, class, gender, and culture powerfully affect individual psychology and family relationships. However, we still tend to neglect exploring the various immigration experiences to discover how they’ve transformed the inner world of our immigrant clients. Only by understanding their aspirations and validating the difficulties of their journey can we help them heal.

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A Late-Life Lesson in Love

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Jeanne Folks • 4/13/2017 • 1 Comment

By Jeanne Folks - It's difficult to describe my shock as my mother opens the front door and ushers me into the house of my youth. She's aged-shrunken, with poorly dyed blond hair and the familiar rigidity in her hands and body. Her once beautifully straight teeth are crooked, and one tooth is missing. It's been eight years since my last visit.

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Pets: Our Most Unassuming Teachers

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Michael Hoyt • 3/24/2017 • No Comments

By Michael Hoyt - A man reflects on the death of a beloved pet, his burial, and the ones that came before.

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On the Front Lines of Crisis Work

What Keeps a Clinician Going in High-Stakes Therapy?

Gary Weinstein • 3/19/2017 • No Comments

By Gary Weinstein - I've been doing crisis work for nearly 30 years. I've confronted a number of forks in my professional road, opportunities to take a less demanding route. But I've chosen to continue on this path, accompanying others who've been suddenly, often brutally, cast out of life's safety zones. The reasons I stay aren't simple, and they continue to shift and surprise me.

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