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Inside the Asian Immigrant Experience

Dealing with Ongoing Discomfort as a Perpetual Outsider

Tazuko Shibusawa • 6/6/2017 • No Comments

By Tazuko Shibusawa - I was born in Japan, but spent my earliest childhood years in Michigan with my family. Since World War II, the image of Asians as a model minority has held, with increasing numbers of immigrants from all over Asia. But we Asian Americans are under tremendous pressure to prove ourselves, and we continue to be on guard against outbreaks of racial hatred.

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The Power of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Using Meditative and Mindfulness Practices to Redefine Emotion

Ryan Howes • 5/1/2015 • 2 Comments

We Americans believe profoundly not only in the pursuit of happiness, but in our unalienable right to obtain it. Despite roughly 5,000 years of written evidence to the contrary, we believe it isn’t normal to be unhappy. But according to Steven Hayes, the creator of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), it’s suffering and struggle that are normal---and not the reverse. Furthermore, dealing with our inevitable psychic struggles by trying to get rid of them doesn’t work and may actually make them worse. In this interview, he explains the origins of ACT and what he sees as its future.

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Mary Pipher on Leaving Our Biases outside the Consulting Room

Finding Respect for All Clients

Mary Pipher • 1/22/2015 • No Comments

From the moment I met the Correys in my waiting room, I was baffled about why they were together. Frank was tall, good looking and suave; Donna dowdy and sullen. Every other week for a year, I saw them, during which time I tried pretty much every trick in my therapeutic arsenal. And in spite of all my efforts, the Correys were one of my most spectacular failures. Gradually, I let my own values prejudice me against Donna. In the end, I learned that with no respect, there can be no connection. And without connection, therapy loses its meaning.

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War-Borne PTSD Enters the DSM

How Veterans Forced Mental Health to Confront the New Trauma

Mary Sykes Wylie • 12/9/2014 • No Comments

Before the 1970s, almost no mental health authorities imagined, much less expected and prepared for, traumatic reactions to war to emerge years after the conflict ended. But after they returned stateside, almost 50 percent of Vietnam veterans began breaking down, months or even years later. By the late 1970s, it had become obvious to many therapists that the old diagnostic system had fatal flaws. DSM-II seemed to have been written for a world in which serious trauma virtually never occurred. While the veterans were struggling for recognition on one front, another campaign was being waged---which included some of the same people---on another, to get traumatic stress back into the DSM.

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My Most Spectacular Failure

Voluntary Simplicity Meets Shop Til You Drop

Mary Pipher • 10/20/2014 • No Comments

I will never forget the Correys, who were referred to me by their family doctor in western Nebraska. Every other week for a year, I saw them, during which time I tried pretty much every trick in my therapeutic arsenal. I spent hours discussing their case with trusted colleagues and read up on their particular problems. I don't know how many nights' sleep I lost worrying about how to get these folks on the right track. And in spite of all my efforts, the Correys were one of my most spectacular failures.

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The Politics of PTSD

How a Diagnosis Battled Its Way into the DSM

Mary Sykes Wylie • 9/4/2014 • 3 Comments

During Vietnam, there were proportionately far fewer reported cases of trauma on the actual battlefield than there'd been in previous wars. The primary reason seems to have been that soldiers had one-year rotations and knew that if they could just hold themselves together for 12 months--often with a little help from their friends, marijuana and heroin--they'd be free. But after they returned stateside full of relief and happy to be alive, many of them--up to 50 percent according to the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Survey of 1988--began breaking down, months or even years later. Why?

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Facing Our Client Prejudices

How to Transform Assumptions about Overweight Clients

Judith Matz • 4/30/2014 • 7 Comments

I’m comfortable working with clients on all types of issues, but I notice that when I meet with clients whom I consider fat, I feel a sense of disapproval toward them. How can I change my attitude?

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