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Self-Compassion for Painful Emotions

An Eight-Step Practice for Parents

Susan Pollak

By Susan Pollak - Often when we have an intense emotion, we respond to it as a call to action. We feel we have to “do” something. Yet emotions reveal important information, and they’re here for a reason. It’s good to get curious about them, to notice them, to allow ourselves to feel them in the body, rather than push them away. Here's an eight-step process for doing so.

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Erotic Intelligence

Reconciling Sensuality and Domesticity

Esther Perel

By Esther Perel - America, in matters of sex as in much else, is a goal-oriented society that prefers explicit meanings, candor, and "plain speech." I often suggest an alternative with my clients: "If you want to create more passion in your relationship, why don't you play a little more with the natural ambiguity of gesture and words, and the rich nuances inherent in communication."

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VIDEO: Esther Perel on Speaking About Sex

Getting Comfortable in Couples Therapy

Esther Perel

Many traditional approaches to couples therapy are built on the assumption that if you help a couple clear up the emotional issues in their relationship, sex will automatically get better. . . . But it doesn’t seem to work that way.

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Burnout Reconsidered

What Supershrinks Can Teach Us

Mark Hubble, Scott Miller

By Scott Miller, Mark Hubble, and ⁠Françoise Mathieu - An entire industry has sprung up to address the problem of compassion fatigue, but research indicates that the most commonly proposed answer, improved self-care, doesn’t work. In fact, the study of the most highly effective clinicians suggests that burnout isn’t related to caring too much, but continuing to care ineffectively.

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After the Affair

Two Case Studies Illustrate the Opportunities Moving Forward

Don-David Lusterman

By Don-David Lusterman - My goal is not merely to help these couples weather the crisis and patch things up, but to help them understand how both spouses created the marital context that made an affair possible, and how the crisis itself can be the spring board to a healthier, more satisfying relationship.

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Finding the Path Back

Couples Therapy After an Affair

Leo Fay

By Leo Fay - Every therapist knows that the disclosure of an extramarital affair can create an explosive crisis undermining the foundation of trust necessary to sustain a relationship. In the midst of that turbulence, our job is to help couples find a pathway to a new understanding of themselves and their marriage. Here's a protocol I've found especially helpful.

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Something's Missing from Family Therapy

Twenty-Five Years Later, a Poignant Message from the Late Betty Carter Still Resonates

Betty Carter

By Betty Carter - In order to understand the particularity of almost any couple's personal experience, we need to adjust our lens to include not only their private domestic encounters, but the much larger political and social struggle about the politics of relationships beyond the walls of home.

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VIDEO: Learning to Let Go of Trauma

Bessel van der Kolk on the Power of Creating a Narrative

Bessel van der Kolk

Imagine the helplessness of being unable to distinguish painful past experiences from present ones. According to Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score, this is what happens when a traumatic memory is triggered. Old emotional responses bubble up even when the current trigger has little to do with the original trauma.

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VIDEO: Being a Therapist Isn't Always Easy

A Message from Zach Taylor, Director of Continuing Education

Zach Taylor

How can we help you become an even more effective therapist? As we grow, we never want to forget that this is about you and all the amazing people who practice psychotherapy.

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Can You Keep a Secret?

A Story of How One Therapist Changed Her Mind About Keeping Secrets

Evan Imber-Black

By Evan Imber-Black - Decades ago, a family walked into one therapist's office and utterly destroyed her beliefs about keeping secrets.

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