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What Writers and Therapists Have in Common

Rekindling Our Moral Imagination and Courage

Mary Pipher • 7/11/2017 • 2 Comments

By Mary Pipher - Both good writing and effective therapy rely on the ability to move beyond the self to understand how the world looks and feels to another person. Here, an author and psychotherapist argues that this quality of "moral imagination" is crucial to our ability to face the enormous challenges that face us, not only in our consulting rooms, but in the wider world we share with one another.

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VIDEO: Charlotte Resnick on Helping Kids Find the Answers Inside

Here's a Fun Exercise That Gets Your Young Clients Participating

Charlotte Reznick • 6/7/2017 • 6 Comments

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a magic therapy wand to wave in front of our young clients and give them all the answers they need? What if this magic wand could conjure rainbow lizards and talking dogs to sit on our clients’ shoulders, bypass their defense systems, and whisper good, therapeutic advice in their ears? That’s exactly the kind of approach Charlotte Reznick uses with her young clients.

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Adjusting the Unconscious

What if a Few Basic Principles Could Make Change Far Easier?

Steve Andreas • 4/10/2017 • 2 Comments

By Steve Andreas - What if there were a few basic principles and methods that make therapeutic change far simpler and easier than most people think is possible? Not only is this possible, but there’s already a coherent body of knowledge and practice to guide us in eliciting change in the moment, confirmed by longer-term follow-up in the real world. Here are seven practical principles for making sense out of the case study that follows.

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How to Help Clients Detoxify Criticism

Techniques to Reframe Criticism as Positive Feedback

Steve Andreas • 4/29/2016 • 1 Comment

By Steve Andreas - I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been sent reeling from the slightest criticism, no matter how much positive feedback they get about their work. But some people experience this reaction daily or hourly. Many don’t even wait for someone else to criticize them: they provide it themselves, making it truly inescapable. Here's how to help them gain some perspective.

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What Therapists Need to Know About Autism

An Interview with Steve Silberman on the Intricacies of Autism and Asperger's

Ryan Howes • 1/22/2016 • No Comments

When it comes to autism, how do we separate truth from fiction? Steve Silberman is a Bay Area writer who, for his Wired article “The Geek Syndrome,” dove into Silicon Valley culture in 2001 to explore the contribution of people on the autism spectrum to the dot-com boom. He followed up that article with years of research and study, culminating in his new book, Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. In a recent conversation, Silberman teased out the intricacies of autism as a pathology and as a different way of seeing the world.

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Why Egalitarian America Needs Dominant Sex

Relationship Advice from Sex Therapist Esther Perel

Esther Perel • 7/16/2015 • No Comments

America seems to be a goal-oriented society that prefers explicit meanings, candor, and "plain speech" to ambiguity and allusion. But ironically, some of America's best features, when carried too punctiliously into the bedroom, can result in very boring sex. I often suggest an alternative with my clients: "There's so much direct talk already in the everyday conversations couples have with each other," I tell them. "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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Giving Therapy Clients a Little Push for Big Change

Balancing Long-Term Therapy Goals with Instant Remedies

David Waters • 5/14/2015 • No Comments

What first made me fall in love with being a therapist was the idea that I could make a living by having conversations that cut through everyday pretenses, got directly to the heart of the matter, and helped people change their lives. That was then, and this is now. Today as a profession---and as a society---we're much more fearbound and rule conscious than we used to be. Yet the sacred space of the therapy room is the ideal place to really exercise your creativity. It's taken me more than 30 years to realize that it's the combination of two strange bedfellows---imagination and repetition---that holds the key to change.

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The Merits of Applying Brain Science in Therapy

Using the Brain to Explain Fear and Anxiety Objectively

Louis Cozolino • 4/30/2015 • No Comments

The aspects of our brains that evolved 50,000 years ago—which give us astonishing powers of thought, logic, imagination, empathy, and morality—also share skull space with the ancient brain equipment that we've inherited from our mammalian and reptilian forebears over the past several million years, including the neural circuitry involved in fear and anxiety. Some therapists bristle at the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy, calling it irrelevant or reductionistic. But information about the brain and how it evolved helps us communicate with clients about their problems in an objective and non-shaming manner. It's hard to grasp how the brain could be irrelevant to changing the mind.

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VIDEO: Getting around Kids' Defense Systems

Using Animal Friends

Charlotte Reznick • 4/20/2015 • 1 Comment

It can be hard to get around your young clients’ defense systems so that the good, therapeutic information gets through. Charlotte has a way to get around that.

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How Effective is Modern Psychotherapy?

The Qualities of Good Therapy, and Where Today's Clinicians Stand

Mary Pipher • 3/20/2015 • No Comments

Over the past few decades, therapy has made great strides. However, there are areas in which I think therapy may have also gotten worse. The essence of therapy remains the relationship, and the greatest gift to a client with virtually any problem is a focused, curious, empathic listener. But right now, pressure to speed up therapy can undercut the sanctity of the therapeutic relationship. Like good cooking, I think good therapy takes time. In many ways, we’re treating people in therapy offices as if it were 1960. But it’s a really different time, and there are a lot of issues we’re not approaching because we don’t know how.

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