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How I Came to Rethink Children’s Challenging Behaviors

Doing Away with the Blame Game

Mona Delahooke

By Mona Delahooke - What’s at the root of children’s aggressive, defiant, and oppositional acts? And how can we better help the children who exhibit these behaviors? Polyvagal Theory shows that the drive to avoid threat and secure safety is what guides human behavior. As such, what we often label as “bad” behaviors are actually fight-or-flight behaviors.

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VIDEO: Is Therapy Really a Science?

...Or is It a Conversational Craft?

William Doherty, William Doherty

What do the masters of truly good therapy have in common? According to couples therapist Bill Doherty, they know how to balance their desire to guide therapy with their ability to empathically listen. It's this quality that drives home the truth about therapy—at its heart, this work isn't a science. It's a craft.

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It's Never Too Late

Dan Siegel Shares a Life-Changing Therapeutic Moment

Dan Siegel, Dan Siegel

By Daniel Siegel - A therapist’s skill base and experience are vital to good therapy. But they’re rarely enough. The following story, taken from Daniel Siegel's 2017 Networker Symposium Dinner Storytelling piece, highlights the need to bring vulnerability and some measure of risk into the treatment room, letting go of any secret ambition to become a Master of the Therapeutic Universe. There’s no such person.

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Does Neuroscience Matter?

The Biological Power of the Talking Cure

Louis Cozolino, Louis Cozolino

By Louis Cozolino - Some therapists bristle at the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy, calling it irrelevant or reductionistic. But it's hard to grasp how the brain could be irrelevant to changing the mind. Knowing about neuroscience is invaluable for therapists, not because it offers specific new techniques or clinical theories, but because it provides a deeper understanding of the biological power of the "talking cure."

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VIDEO: Building Inner Strength with Brain Science

Cultivating Positivity and Virtue in Yourself and Your Clients

Rick Hanson, Rick Hanson

Weaving together insights from evolutionary biology, modern neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness practices, neuropsychologist Rick Hanson claims the difficulty at the core of human experience is our perpetual struggle to overcome the negativity bias wired into our brains. Here, he explains how understanding the brain can help therapists and their clients grow inner strengths.

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VIDEO: Helping Clients Envision Personal Transformation

...While Still Validating Their Pain

Courtney Armstrong, Courtney Armstrong

How do you help clients access resourceful states when they’re feeling hopeless and helpless? In this short video, trauma specialist Courtney Armstrong explains.

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Wrestling with Our Clinical Choices

Do Any of Really Know What's Right?

David Treadway, David Treadway

By David Treadway - How do any of us therapists know what’s good enough in the unfolding of people’s lives? I know I practice an often intuitive craft, not an exact and predictable science. The truth is that all too often, like most practitioners, I can never be quite sure how much difference my bit part plays in the unfolding drama of clients' lives.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Revisited

CBT Isn't as Manualized as You Think, Says Judith Beck

Mary Sykes Wylie , Mary Sykes Wylie

By Mary Sykes Wylie - Today, cognitive behavioral therapy is among the most widely practiced and promulgated approach in the world. But for all its mantle of scientific rigor and official approval, many therapists find CBT's "lab therapy" hard to love, if not downright dislikable. In the following interview, renowned CBT clinician Judith Beck explains how the method works, and why it's gotten a bum rap.

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A Polyvagal Primer

A Three-Part Exercise That Taps Into the Nervous System to Create Safety and Trust

Deb Dana, Deb Dana

By Deb Dana - The three elements of our autonomic nervous system—ventral, sympathetic, and dorsal—act as our largely subconscious surveillance system, working in the background to read subtle signals of safety or threat. That’s why I help clients create a clear map of their own autonomic nervous systems, so they become aware of their patterns of response to ease and distress.

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Using Neuroscience in Therapy

Shifting Emotional States in an Instant

Frank Anderson, Frank Anderson

By Frank Anderson - Most extreme reactions resulting from trauma fall under one of two categories: sympathetic hyperarousal and parasympathetic blunting. Understanding what happens in the nervous system when clients experience either orients me on how to go beyond my immediate reactions when confronted with trauma symptoms in the therapy room.

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