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What Comedians Can Teach Us About Therapy

A Comic-Turned-Therapist's Guide to Dealing with Unruly Clients

Kirsten Lind Seal • 8/16/2018 • 1 Comment

By Kirsten Lind Seal - Before I became a therapist, I spent 20 years as a professional performer, during which time I was a regular at standup comedy clubs. Many of the skills I learned as a performer have proven readily transferable to therapy, namely the skill of using humor to defuse tension, create alliance, and challenge what we often call resistance in difficult clients.

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When Your Client Won't Commit to Change

How to Accept Opposition and Still Get Results

David Johnson • 3/29/2018 • 3 Comments

By David Johnson - In my several decades of practice, one skill that’s served me well in this field is my ability to leave work at the office. But every once in a while, I see clients whose situation intrigues, moves, or confounds me in a way that keeps them in my thoughts in between sessions, even if I’m often not sure what it is about them that continues to haunt me. Such was the case with Matthew.

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Why It's So Hard for Young Adults to Leave Home

...And How to Convert the Nest into a Net

Brad Sachs • 3/23/2018 • 4 Comments

By Brad Sachs - The current generation of families is confronted with what appears to be a substantial upsurge in young adults who can't seem to make the transition from home-centered adolescent to independent adult. Here's why, and what we can do about it.

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The Frequently Overlooked Reason Some Kids Misbehave

A New Treatment Offers Hope for the Undiagnosable

Karen Smith • 2/20/2018 • 3 Comments

By Karen Smith - The delicate interaction between the brain and body known as sensory integration allows us to live without being driven to distraction by the cacophony of sensory experience that bombards us every day. But for some children, sensory integrative dysfunction impairs the ability to judge accurately whether the sensation is important or trivial, and therefore, how to respond logically and efficiently.

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Mastering the Art of Therapeutic Judo

A Three-Step Process for Cooling Volatile Emotions from the Very First Session

Thomas Sexton • 2/9/2018 • 1 Comment

By Thomas Sexton - Based on 30 years of research on the most effective interventions with delinquent and violent juveniles and their families, I’ve found that the research-backed clinical model Functional Family Therapy guides me in sessions and keeps me grounded. Here's how it works.

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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 • 1/31/2018 • 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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My Nightmare Client, My Greatest Gift

Sometimes Our "Worst" Clients Are Our Best Teachers

Martha Straus • 1/6/2018 • 1 Comment

By Martha Straus - My young client, Brian, can reduce even confident mid-life adults to an infantile puddle, one provocative comment at a time. He's a therapist's nightmare. But he’s also the universe's gift to me. He measures my commitment to the work, to him, to my ideas about therapy, to my best self.

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Repairing the Father-Daughter Disconnect

Five Principles That Build Engagement and Trust on Both Sides

Cara Brendler • 5/11/2017 • No Comments

By Cara Brendler - Bridging the gap between fathers and daughters is one of the great challenges for family therapists. The most familiar dynamic we see is estrangement: fathers and daughters orbiting in separate worlds, each invisible to the other. Here are five approaches that I’ve developed and used throughout the years that have proven to be effective in many situations like this.

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Busting the Myths of the ODD Child

The Surprising Technique That Turns Opposition on Its Head

James Levine • 4/29/2017 • 1 Comment

By James Levine - Children diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) inspire many myths. School personnel and even parents believe that these children enjoy frustrating others and are impossible to teach. But children with chronically oppositional behavior typically are unaccustomed to articulating their needs, wants, and experiences in problem-solving ways. Here's how a collaborative approach to therapy can make all the difference.

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When Helping Doesn't Help

What to Do When Your Client Doesn't Want to Change

David Burns • 3/20/2017 • 2 Comments

By David Burns - What if a client's resistance to change reveals something positive, beautiful, and even healthy about them—something that we’ve overlooked? If we can learn to put unconscious resistance front and center in our clinical work, we can lessen or even eliminate our clients’ resistance altogether.

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