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The Labels We Use

When It Comes to Addiction, Sometimes a Diagnosis is a Client's Best Motivator

Margaret Wehrenberg • No Comments

By Margaret Wehrenberg - The labels we use to describe clients’ behaviors have important therapeutic implications. Sometimes using the word addiction and explaining its neurological basis can help clients focus on the consequences of their behavior. But how do we parse the tenuous line between addiction and habit?

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Anxiety: A Modern Phenomenon?

Scott Stossel on Coping with Anxiety in Today's World

Esther Perel • No Comments

Given the “record levels of anxiety” we seem to be seeing around the world, surely we must today be living in the most anxious age ever. How can this be? Economic disruption and recent global recession notwithstanding, we live in an age of unprecedented material affluence. Life expectancies in the developed world are long and growing. But perhaps the price of progress and improvements in material prosperity has been an increase in the average allotment of anxiety.

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The Chemistry Behind Couples Therapy

Pat Love Explains the Science of Effective Sex Therapy

Pat Love • No Comments

Our culture speaks of "falling" in love. Other societies have compared infatuation to divine revelation, and to psychosis. We often say, in jest, that this experience of hurricane-force passion is "like a drug." But that oft-quipped analogy may turn out to be no joke. Some scientists now believe that the frenzied euphoria of romantic love may well be a bona fide, altered state of consciousness, primarily brought on by the action of phenylethylamine (PEA), a naturally occurring, amphetamine-like neurotransmitter. And if our desire problems are at least partly innate, then maybe we don't need to feel quite so ashamed and despairing about the muddle we're in.

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Revolution on the Horizon

DBT Challenges the Borderline Diagnosis

Katy Butler, Katy Butler • No Comments

DBT was no walk in the park: it required team treatment, including weekly individual therapy, a year-long "skills training" class, telephone coaching and supportive supervision for the therapist. But it offered clients and therapists alike a way out of chaos--a systematic clinical package that integrated the technical and analytical strengths of behaviorism, the subtleties of Zen training, the warmth and acceptance of relationship-centered therapies and the often undervalued power of psychoeducation.

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Positive Aging

Robert Hill • No Comments

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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The End of Innocence

Reconsidering Our Concepts of Victimhood

Dusty Miller • No Comments

As a systems therapist, incest survivor, and recovering alcoholic, I've lived through several stages of our culture's attempt to come to terms with child sexual abuse--as a victim in the silent 1950s; as a therapy client in the oblivious 1960s and 1970s; and as a psychotherapist in the 1980s and 1990s, when once-dismissed accounts of abuse filled my therapy practice (and my television screen) only to be partly discredited within the decade during another swing of the cultural pendulum.

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The Neurobiology of Worry

Today’s Video: How the Brain Creates Neurobiology Ruts

Rich Simon • No Comments

In this brief video clip, Margaret Wehrenberg, cognitive behaviorist and author of The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques, offers some facts about the neurochemical process behind excessive worry. She explains how highly driven people engaging in repetitive worry can literally create a neurobiological pathway in their brains that’s like a worry rut.

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What Makes Psychotherapy Possible

Today’s Video: Clarifying the Fundamental Task of Therapy

Rich Simon • No Comments

Stephen makes it clear that hard scientific evidence now exists for what most therapists instinctively know: successful therapy depends utterly on establishing a safe, caring, mutually trustworthy, stable relationship with a client.

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What Distinguishes the Male and Female Brain?

How the Evolutionary Story Lives within Each of Us

Rich Simon • No Comments

Why do young boys tend to roughhouse while young girls lean towards relational play? According to Louann Brizendine, these and many other differences observed between men and women from their earliest years are hardwired—not the product of social conditioning.

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How to Make Clients Feel Safe

Today's Video: Bringing Polyvagal Theory into Your Practice

Rich Simon • No Comments

How can therapists acquire neuroscientific knowledge without becoming brain scientists themselves? Even more pressing, what real-life practical therapeutic implications, if any, can truly be drawn from neuroscience?

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