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The World of Gender Fluidity

Understanding Gender-Variant Clients

Margaret Nichols, Margaret Nichols

By Margaret Nichols - As cultural attitudes about gender variance have undergone a profound shift, much of what therapists believed about what it means to be transgender is now hopelessly outdated. But how do people know that they’re the wrong gender? And what does that kind of knowing mean for our assumptions about males and females as “opposite sexes”?

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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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Growing Up Transgender

Parents and Their Transgender Children Find a Healing, Validating Community

Marian Sandmaier, Marian Sandmaier

By Marian Sandmaier - Until very recently, most families with transgender children had never met another family like theirs. Now, parents and children from the trailblazing Ackerman Institute’s Family & Gender Project talk about their experience of joining a healing community that offers acceptance and a validating mirror of their own experience.

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VIDEO: Joe Kort on Doing Your Best Work with LGBTQ Clients

The Myth of Sex Addiction, Common Mistakes, and More

Joe Kort, Joe Kort

Is the sex addiction model doing more harm than good? What's the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity? And what are the most common mistakes therapists make when working with LGBTQ clients, and how can you avoid them? Sex therapist Joe Kort answers these questions and more.

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What Therapists Need to Know About Working with Teenage Girls

Author Lisa Damour Explains the Seven Transitions into Adulthood

Ryan Howes, Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - In the following interview, New York Times columnist and author Lisa Damour gives us a glimpse at the map she’s developed for both therapists and parents trying to help teenage girls make their way through the treacherous, often bewildering landscape of adolescence in today’s world.

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Why Do We Find Sexuality Scary?

Uncovering the Sexual Secrets We Keep from Ourselves

Michael Ventura, Michael Ventura

By Michael Ventura - Sexuality is scary because it's where we meet ourselves most directly, without filters, without verbiage, and, if we go far enough, without fixed roles. It's where we meet ourselves with and through the Other—this Other with whom we journey into the realm; this Other, a partner as fluid we are.

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How to Overcome Your Fear of Couples Therapy

What's at Stake When We Only Treat One Partner

Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson

By Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson - Many clients avoid couples therapy, and many clinicians themselves prefer not getting involved in it. Sometimes clients fear the unpleasant things their partners might say about them. And for us, a one-on-one relationship can be pretty rewarding. Being an effective couples therapist requires us to develop skills we may not come by naturally. Here's how to do it.

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Larger than Life

Marianne Walters Was Family Therapy's Foremost Feminist

Mary Sykes Wylie, Mary Sykes Wylie

Marianne Walters didn't invent a brilliant new therapeutic paradigm, publish a large and magisterial body of research, or establish her own unique school of clinical practice. Yet Walters probably had as great an impact on the overall clinical zeitgeist of family therapy as any of the master theory-builders and gurus. Along with her three comrades in arms---Betty Carter, Peggy Papp, and Olga Silverstein---she formed The Women's Project in Family Therapy in 1977, once called "the first, biggest, longest-running feminist road show." It was a combination feminist think tank and SWAT team, which, in public workshops all over the country, challenged the underlying sexism in some of the most basic notions of family therapy.

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Bad Couples Therapy

Betting Past the Myth of Therapist Neutrality

William Doherty, William Doherty

Most therapists learn couples therapy after they get licensed--through workshops and by trial and error. Most specialize in individual therapy, and work with couples on the side. So it's not surprising that the only form of therapy that received low ratings in a famous national survey of therapy clients, published in 1996 by Consumer Reports, was couples therapy. The state of the art in couples therapy isn't very artful. I'll start with beginners' mistakes and then describe how couples therapy can go south, even in the hands of experienced therapists.

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Wired for heterosexuality or homosexuality?

Today’s Video: The difference between the gay and straight brain

Rich Simon, Rich Simon

It’s a topic that has been at the center of countless debates, both rational and irrational. Is there a clear biological difference between the heterosexual and homosexual brain? According to Louann Brizendine, author of The Female Brain and The Male Brain, the answer is predictably complicated.

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