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Against the Odds

On the Front Lines of Inner City Social Work

Howard Honigsfeld

By Howard Honigsfeld - As a school social worker in a South Bronx elementary school, the kids I see have a vast range of personal, social, economic, and medical issues. With so much stacked against these children, what can a school counselor do? The rewards of time, dogged persistence, and ordinary kindness in a supportive school environment can work their own kind of wonders.

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Learning to Relish the Challenge

A Motivation Expert Weighs in on the Downside of Overpraise

Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - Should we praise children, students, clients, and ourselves for being smart people who earn top marks? According to motivation expert and bestselling author Carol Dweck, praising intelligence often creates people devoid of resilience and motivation. It’s far more important, she says, to enhance people’s ability to tackle adversity and persevere.

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A Paradigm of Wholeness

Offering Medication as the Primary—And Often Only—Treatment Isn't Working

Henry Emmons

By Henry Emmons - Today, medication management remains the primary role of most psychiatrists. In my view, it’s not working well, either for our patients, or for ourselves. Feeling deeply that something was missing in my own psychiatry practice, I developed a three-stage process for treating depression through more holistic, integrative work.

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Tony Robbins on “The Art of Fulfillment”

Being Content Doesn’t Have to Mean Choosing Happiness Over Success

Psychotherapy Networker

The bad news? We all have a two-million-year-old brain that keeps us constantly anxious and self-critical. The good news? It doesn’t have to define who we are. In this video clip from his interview with Networker Editor Rich Simon, life strategist and 2018 Symposium presenter Tony Robbins explains how a coaching edge can help your clients find happiness and success.

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How to Get Clients to Do Their Homework

Step 1: Don't Call It "Homework"

Bill O'Hanlon

By Bill O'Hanlon - The best way to ensure clients' cooperation is to make the assignments relevant for them. Task assignments are designed to bring about changes in the presenting problem. We try to make sure they are relevant to clients by having a mutually agreed upon definition of the problem being addressed and then collaboratively designing tasks that relate to it. In fact, when the tasks derive from a collaborative relationship, they often don't feel like tasks at all.

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The Beethoven Factor

Three Qualities of People Who Triumph Under Adversity

Paul Pearsall

By Paul Pearsall - Quantum leaps of thriving sometimes happen. However, most thrivers rarely recognize their invincibility in a short period of magnificent epiphany. Like Ludwig van Beethoven, they have periods of dismal lows and unrealistic highs. Through it all, thrivers maintain the key characteristic of thriving.

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How to Improve Your Therapy Using Play and Emotion

Why Good Therapy Means Tapping Into the Client's Emotional Brain

Courtney Armstrong

How many times have you surprised yourself by jumping at the scary part of a movie? You know the villain in the movie isn’t real, but your emotional brain ignores this logic and leaps into action. In essence, the emotional brain is our unconscious mind, and scientists estimate that it controls about 95 percent of what we do, think, and feel at any given moment. As therapists, we have to be a provocative guide, creating experiences that go beyond the intellect to reach a deeply human place, prompting clients to believe they can relate to themselves and the world in a new way.

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Functional Family Therapy: A New Road Map for Behavioral Change

Using FFT to Get Parents and Kids Motivated, Allied, and Committed to Change

Thomas Sexton

Over the years, I’ve found that I’ve needed a solid, research-backed clinical model, which would guide me in sessions and keep me grounded during conflicted family interactions. The one I use, based on 30 years of research on the most effective interventions with delinquent juveniles and their families, is Functional Family Therapy. Like other models, it provides a framework for conceptualizing the case and focusing on relational family patterns. But more importantly, it's a kind of “clinical GPS” system. It not only shows a way through rough, unmarked territory, but allows you to update decision points and recalibrate the therapy to fit changing circumstances and unexpected developments.

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Helping Therapy Clients Learn Habits for Happiness

Gretchen Rubin on the Power of External Motivation

Ryan Howes

For her 2009 book, The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin spent a year test-driving dozens of techniques and notions that purport to make people happier. More recently, Rubin explored the nature of habit and challenges some basic psychotherapy principles to propose that, rather than awareness and insight, many people just need more external motivation to make the changes they need in their lives. In the following conversation, she focuses on what she considers limitations of psychotherapy as a road map for change.

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