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Marijuana and Mental Health

How Concerned Should Psychotherapists Be?

Tori Rodriguez, Tori Rodriguez

By Tori Rodriguez - 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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Are You Suffering from "Nightblindness"?

Curing Our Culture of Insomnia

Rubin Naiman, Rubin Naiman

By Rubin Naiman - Traditionally, sleep and darkness have had positive connotations. Yet many of us don't go gently into the night: we knock ourselves out with alcohol, sleeping pills, or sheer exhaustion. Our widespread fear of and disregard for darkness may be the most critical, overlooked factor in the contemporary epidemic of sleep disorders.

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

The Distinctions between Neuroscience and Psychotherapy

Dan Siegel, 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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VIDEO: Peter Kramer on Antidepressants and Your Practice

Today's Medications Are Leagues Above Their Predecessors

Peter Kramer, Peter Kramer

We've all heard of the undesirable side effects of certain medications that are used therapeutically. But according to psychiatrist Peter Kramer, author of the renowned Listening to Prozac, many of today's antidepressants not only have fewer side effects, but give psychotherapists more flexibility in their treatment options.

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VIDEO: Frank Anderson on Bridging the Chasm between Psychotherapy and Psychiatry

How to Discuss Meds with Your Clients

Frank Anderson, Frank Anderson

Psychotherapists are usually on the front lines of mental health treatment, trained to spot and assess everything from changes in mood to unusual physical reactions. But given all their expertise, why don’t more of us make judgment calls when it comes to medication? And why do so many therapists show only a perfunctory interest in the ups and downs of their clients’ reactions to psychiatric medications?

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Helping Therapy Clients Learn Habits for Happiness

Gretchen Rubin on the Power of External Motivation

Ryan Howes, 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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Three Tips for Boosting Your Clinical Wisdom

Strengthening the Therapeutic Alliance with Concern, Reflection, and Insight

Ronald Siegel, Ronald Siegel

Within the older traditions originally inspired by psychoanalysis, self-knowledge had a place of honor in both treatment and training that it no longer occupies. The question our field faces at this point is whether this older tradition that revered clinical wisdom is still relevant. Here are some of the characteristics of wisdom identified by both researchers and therapists alike.

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Therapy Enters the Digital Age

Is Telemental Health the Future of Psychotherapy?

Kathleen Smith, Kathleen Smith

More and more clinicians today are adapting to meet the demands of the digital world and fit into the schedules and lifestyles of clients no longer willing to follow the traditional pattern of once-a-week sessions in a therapist’s office. In a consumer-driven mental health marketplace, individuals with anxiety disorders want services from the comfort of their homes. For veterans living in rural areas, remote group and individual psychotherapy for trauma offers treatment possibilities that weren’t available even a few years ago. But although telehealth has been around for decades, many clinicians are still unsure about the clinical, ethical, and legal issues that emerge as distance therapy becomes a more accepted practice.

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Technology: Tool for Therapeutic Connection, or a Hindrance?

Psychologist Sherry Turkle on the Impact of Virtual Intimacy

Richard Simon and Mary Sykes Wylie

In our high-tech, computer-obsessed age, author and psychologist Sherry Turkle's key mission has become to unravel "how our increasingly intimate relationship with technology...changes the way we see ourselves as people. It isn't so much what technology is doing for us, but what it's doing to us." More and more, as Turkle sees it, we're the machine, and the machine is us. Our electronic stuff is just too useful, too pleasurable, too seductive to give up. But that seductiveness incurs significant costs, which we've barely begun to appreciate. What impact will this, or any of our deepening infatuations with all things cyber, have on our ability to connect face-to-face with each other, in real time?

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The Rise of Therapy's Positive Psychology Movement

Martin Seligman Injects Thinking Positively into the Therapy World

Mary Sykes Wylie, Mary Sykes Wylie

How did Martin Seligman come to be known as the "father" of something called positive psychology, a movement that could change the face of psychotherapy as we know it? With his scientific study of what makes people happy and good, Seligman overturned therapy's culture of victimology, obsessed with the study of what's wrong with people---with their emotional lives, their relationships, their physical brains, and why they fail and feel bad. If people could be taught to feel bad, Seligman supposed, perhaps they could also be taught to feel good.

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