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A Shared Mission

Therapist-Police Partnerships are Changing How Communities Tackle Mental Illness

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - For almost a year, therapist Courtney Tran has been embedded in the Aurora Police Department as part of a two-year Department of Justice initiative designed to improve the way law enforcement tackles mental health issues. But getting a program like this off the ground can be an uphill battle.

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VIDEO: What's the Difference Between Brain and Mind? Dan Siegel Explains

The Distinctions between Neuroscience and Psychotherapy

Dan Siegel

With all the buzz about brain science, is it possible to lose sight of the mind? Dan Siegel, a pioneer in the applications of brain science to psychotherapy, says that the mind is much bigger than the brain. In the following video clip, he explains what this means for psychotherapy.

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Examining Our Identities and Biases in the Consulting Room

Kenneth Hardy on How to Properly Address Racial, Ethnic, and Sexual Differences

Ken Hardy

Anyone who wishes to move outside the consulting room to address racial, ethnic, or sexual differences must rely on the bedrock belief that everyone has redeemable parts, and you can find them if you have the will and the patience to look. The creation of "the other" is the dynamic at the heart of divorce and personal antagonisms, and it has always been central to racism, sexism, homophobia, and ethnic persecution. Since realizing this, I've come to see that my work isn't about educating the unenlightened: it's about helping people see the insidious impact of turning a person or a group into "the other."

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How Mindfulness Can Help Us Shop with Less Anxiety

Confronting the Mental Health Consequences of our Devotion to Materialism

April Lane Benson

In our consumer-driven economy, we've long been asking material things to do what they really can't: regulate our emotions, improve our social status, and turn us into our ideal selves. The closer one examines the psychology of shopping, the more intricacy and nuance we discover in our decisions about what and why we buy. Whether we're shopping for a plant, a pair of pumps, or a political candidate, it's a way we search for ourselves and our place in the world. As mental health professionals, we can help the many whose consumption is driven by emotional needs to discover what it is they're really shopping for and how to get it.

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Why the Current Trauma Model Fails Victims of Abuse

A New Way to Help Traumatized Clients Relieve Guilt, Shame, and Isolation

Susan Clancy

Today, after more than twenty-five years, predictions based on the trauma model have not proved accurate. There appears to be no direct, linear relationship between the severity of the abuse and the psychosocial difficulties victims experience in adulthood. Worst of all, we have developed no clearly effective treatments for sexual abuse victims. They continue to suffer from psychological and social problems in the aftermath of their abuse, and mental health professionals still have not reached a consensus as to exactly why or what precisely to do to help them recover. Here's what needs to change.

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Proven Strategies for Branding Your Therapy Practice

Concrete Steps for Growing and Managing Finances and Clients

Joe Bavonese

For therapists, traditional ways of getting the word out---a discrete ad here, a few hints to colleagues there, even a fancy website---just won’t cut it anymore. In a sound-bite-saturated world of information overload, having a brand that stands out is the only way to attract potential clients.

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Where Do Therapists Stand on Marijuana Legalization?

Therapy Grapples with the Drug's Pros and Cons

Tori Rodriguez

More than 20 states have enacted laws to allow the sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and others have moved to reduce criminal penalties for possession of small amounts. But the more marijuana legalization reaches mainstream acceptance, the more the divisions of opinion within the mental health field---presumably the professionals who have the most scientifically informed perspective on the debate---become apparent.

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Antidepressants and Therapy, a Strange Alliance

With Psychopharmacology So Popular, Do We Still Need Therapy?

Scott Miller

In the last decade, a vast intellectual and emotional sea change has taken place. We now inhabit a culture where many people hold the view that their emotional pain is "biochemical" and can be cured by simply taking a pill. In this prevailing cultural script, therapy is sometimes ignored altogether. These views have taken on the luster of scientific truths. But they are not truths. They are myths. Our culture's exaggerated faith in these psychiatric medications rests not on science, but on brilliant marketing by a profit-driven industry. Outcome research has not found these drugs to be any better than therapy, and only marginally better than placebos.

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Escaping the Trance of Depression

Using Bill O'Hanlon's Marbling Technique with Clients

Bill O'Hanlon

In recent years, we’ve learned that repeating patterns of experience, attention, conversation, and behavior can “groove” the brain; that is, your brain gets better and faster at doing whatever you do over and over again. This includes “doing” depression, feeling depressed feelings, talking about depression, and so forth. Thus, we can unintentionally help our clients get better at doing depression by focusing exclusively on it. To counter this effect, I like to use a method that I call “marbling.”

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Positive Aging

Robert Hill

From a practical point of view, it would seem that growing old portends misery, not happiness. However, in spite of the harsh realities of aging, most of us believe that old age is still worthwhile. This optimistic attitude has been fueled by the Positive Psychology movement, which champions the idea that how we think about our day-to-day living shapes what it means to be happy.

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