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VIDEO: Tara Brach on Facing Difficult Emotions

The Power of Deliberate Practice

Tara Brach

Our survival brain has hundreds of strategies for resisting emotional pain. But according to Tara Brach, clinical psychologist and renowned teacher of Buddhism, resisting pain only increases our suffering.

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Therapy, the Conversational Craft

Strategies for Improving Your Therapeutic Conversation Skills

William Doherty

By Bill Doherty - In this era of medical necessity and evidence-based therapies, it's easy to lose sight of the basic truth that psychotherapy is a special form of conversation: we heal not through prescriptions and procedures, but through talking and listening. What if we think of therapy as a conversational craft that we hone over a career with our clients and with a community of conversational healers?

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Therapy Needs More Than Just "Big Moments"

The Two Elements That Hold the Key to Change

David Waters

By David Waters - I used to get very excited when I thought that clients were about to embark on what I called a project—a course of action that crystallized a problem into a unifying undertaking. But however valuable creativity can be in setting up the conditions in which transformation may take place, change itself requires repetition and commitment to altering habits.

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Conversational Skill, the Common Denominator in Good Therapy

Are Specialization and Clinical Complexity Really Necessary?

Jay Efran

By Jay Efran and Rob Fauber - Over psychotherapy’s history, the search for new therapy techniques and fancier gimmicks has led the field lurching down one blind alley after another. But therapy is undeniably a form of conversation, not a medical treatment. It can never be fully scripted or manualized, and its value hinges on a few basic principles that have been known for a long time.

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Is "Resistance" in the Therapy Room Really Dead?

Using Resistance as a Chance to Improve Your Therapy Skills

Clifton Mitchell

By Clifton Mitchell - With all the recent developments in research, theory, and practice, we have more treatment options to choose from than ever before. Why then do so many practitioners still find client “resistance” a regular companion in their consulting rooms? After many years, I’ve learned that rather than seeing our clients’ frustrating reactions as obstacles that we need to overcome, we can use them as valuable information with which to steer the therapeutic conversation more skillfully.

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Psychotherapy Beyond the Books and Manuals

Why Psychotherapy Needs the Art of Conversation

Jay Efran and Mitchell Green

The growing emphasis on treatment manuals and empirically validated methods is a step in the wrong direction. Yes, the public needs to be protected from quacks, and managed care organizations certainly want some assurance that their money is being spent wisely. In the final analysis, however, the effectiveness of a client-therapist pairing is a function of their collaborative dialogue---a process that resists standardization. Therapy requires a certain creative ambiguity that can't be reduced to stock exercises or "bottled" like an antidepressant.

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The Art of Therapeutic Conversation

Jay Efran and Mitchell Green

The growing emphasis on treatment manuals and empirically validated methods is a step in the wrong direction. Yes, the public needs to be protected from quacks, and managed care organizations certainly want some assurance that their money is being spent wisely. In the final analysis, however, the effectiveness of a client-therapist pairing is a function of their collaborative dialogue--a process that resists standardization. Undoubtedly, one can specify general principles and guidelines, and therapy can be anchored in a contract that defines roles and sets boundaries. However, therapy also requires a certain creative ambiguity that can't be reduced to stock exercises or "bottled" like an antidepressant.

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