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Finding Strength in the Symptom

Breaking Free from the Limits of Our Medical Treatment Model

Courtney Armstrong • 3/15/2018 • No Comments

By Courtney Armstrong - As therapists, we’re taught to be master detectives, methodically investigating our clients’ symptoms in search of the source of their pain. But if we spend too much time preoccupied with them, we’re likely to miss important clues to their hidden strengths. I’ve learned that turning a symptom into a client’s ally can transform the whole experience of therapy for both the therapist and client.

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Finding Strength in the Family Narrative

The Vital First Step in Helping Parents and Children Tap Into Their Resilience

Michael Graziano • 2/1/2018 • No Comments

By Michael Graziano - I've found that preparing clients to become involved in finding their own solutions to their problems is a vital first step in helping them tap their resilience. Resilience-based therapy isn't about giving clients a set of action directions, but rests first on helping them enlarge their own mental framework by looking at the problem differently and realizing that there are many options for resolving it.

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#MeTooManyTimes

How the Latest Movement Against Sexual Predation is Rattling Some Therapy Clients

Lauren Dockett • 1/27/2018 • No Comments

By Lauren Dockett - Many therapists who specialize in sexual abuse and trauma are reporting that the #MeToo movement and the ongoing accusations of sexual assault and harassment against powerful, public men are deeply affecting their clients.

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Lessons from Therapy with Adolescent Girls

Four Tips for Strengthening the Therapeutic Alliance

Martha Straus • 8/22/2017 • 1 Comment

By Martha Straus - For me, working with girls is what I do with the greatest interest and passion. I have wells of empathy to draw on, and can stay attuned with them more easily than with males. Our bond is implicit, and by being as fully authentic, connected, and present as I know how, I help them make it explicit. Here are four of the biggest lessons I've learned in my therapeutic work with adolescent girls.

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VIDEO: Rick Hanson on Using Brain Science to Build Inner Strengths

Cultivating Positive Emotions, Attitudes, and Virtues in Ourselves and Others

Rick Hanson • 8/16/2017 • No Comments

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. In the following clip from his Symposium Keynote, he explains how understanding the brain can help therapists and their clients grow inner strengths.

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Turning Panic into Power

Hidden Strengths Can Be the Key to Healing Trauma

Courtney Armstrong • 9/30/2016 • 4 Comments

By Courtney Armstrong - As therapists, we’re taught to be master detectives who methodically investigate our clients’ symptoms in search of a “culprit”—the source of their pain. But if we spend too much time preoccupied with symptoms, we’re likely to miss important clues to hidden strengths, which can transform the experience of psychotherapy.

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Brené Brown on Vulnerability as a Crucial Strength

Escaping the Shame Trap

Mary Sykes Wylie • 9/19/2016 • 1 Comment

By Mary Sykes Wylie - A pervasive sense of shame makes many of us feel unworthy of human connection. Why the shame? Because in this perfectionistic culture, most of us believe we’re “not good enough: not thin enough, rich enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, promoted enough” to be worthy of love. But research by professor and acclaimed TED speaker Brené Brown shows that some people have escaped the shame trap. How? They let themselves be vulnerable.

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A New Appreciation for Human Resilience

Rich Simon on Embracing Vulnerability as Strength

Rich Simon • 9/9/2016 • No Comments

By Rich Simon - Clearly, therapists must always respond with empathy, understanding, and attuned clinical expertise to clients’ suffering. But in their urgency to relieve pain, therapists must not overlook the rich possibilities for health and growth within every person, without which even the most skilled clinician in the world can do nothing. In the end, all clients must, to some extent, be their own healers.

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Appreciating the Strengths and Contributions of Introverts

Author Susan Cain Explains the Link Between Solitude and Creativity

Ryan Howes • 8/19/2016 • No Comments

By Ryan Howes - More often than not, we tend to give preference to the people we see as more social, gregarious, and comfortable in the limelight and in crowds. But according to Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, maybe it’s time the world came to appreciate the strengths and contributions of the 50 percent of Americans who are introverts.

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The Unlikely Case for Exposure Therapy

Calling Up Qualities of Strength and Resilience in Anxious Clients

Reid Wilson • 8/10/2016 • No Comments

By Reid Wilson - The only way for anxious clients to incorporate corrective information was for them to access the intense arousal associated with that specific fear and then linger in that state long enough, without blocking or muting their thoughts or feelings, to learn at a primal level that they’re safe. This summons qualities of strength and resilience in clients that therapists often miss.

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