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VIDEO: Helping Clients Envision Personal Transformation

...While Still Validating Their Pain

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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VIDEO: Joan Borysenko on Sitting with Our Darkest Moments

Moving through a Place between "No Longer" and "Not Yet"

Joan Borysenko

In our stressful, tech-obsessed, and data-based world, psychologist Joan Borysenko reminds us that the nonlinear, nonquantitative wisdom of the heart and spirit is the source of peace, healing, and joy. In the following clip from her Symposium keynote, she explains how resilience is more than just "bouncing back"—it's transformative.

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VIDEO: Dafna Lender on Harnessing Your Social Engagement System

Strategies for Building the Therapeutic Alliance More Easily

Dafna Lender

We all know therapists who seem magically able to establish a powerful sense of trust and connection with even the most distrusting clients. But are there specific behaviors common to exceptionally gifted therapists that we can study, practice, and cultivate?

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Therapy's Transformational Moments

Finding Hope in Seemingly Hopeless Times

Barry L. Duncan

By Barry Duncan - A recent consult I did illustrates the intrinsic rewards of healing involvement and intimate connection. It also taught me that anything is possible—that even the bleakest sessions can have a positive outcome if you stay with the process.

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VIDEO: My First Client, My Greatest Teacher

Sue Johnson Shares a Story of Personal and Professional Transformation

Susan Johnson

In the following video from her 2018 Networker Symposium storytelling piece, couples and family therapist Sue Johnson shares a therapeutic moment that stands out from all others, one that left her with a deepened sense of what it means at the core to be a therapist.

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The Hearing

A Therapist Shares Her Most Transformative Session

Kirsten Lind Seal

In our own small way, the Networker has tried to revive the ancient, tribal practice of storytelling. At our third annual Symposium storytelling event, Kirsten Lind Seal shared the story of her attempt to rescue an immigrant client in a desperate situation.

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Is Therapy About Transformation, or Small Breakthroughs?

Learning to Separate Our Hopes for Our Clients from Their Goals for Themselves

William Doherty

By William Doherty - Are therapists more like shamans or family doctors? Explorers of human depths or more like Siri on your iPhone, just directing you from one place to another? I'm a skeptic about whether any clinical approach is good at getting clients consistently to the promised land of transformation. Maybe therapy is better understood as being about breakthroughs—small, medium, and large—rather than about transformation.

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High Lonesome

Braving the Quest for True Belonging

Brene Brown

By Brené Brown - High lonesome is a type of music in the bluegrass tradition that captures the mood of isolation many people feel today, as we turn away from one another and toward blame and rage. Our challenge as a nation is to reclaim human connection and true belonging even as, more and more, we sort ourselves into antagonistic tribes. But to do that, we’ll need to choose courage over comfort.

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Mindfulness Meets Internal Family Systems

Helping Clients Move from Acceptance to Transformation

Richard Schwartz

By Richard Schwartz - Many therapeutic attempts to integrate mindfulness help clients notice negative emotions from a place of separation and extend acceptance toward them. But what if it were possible to transform this inner drama, rather than just keep it at arm’s length? The goal of Internal Family Systems (IFS) is to build on this important first step of separating from and accepting these impulses, and then take a second step of helping clients transform them.

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Temperament: A Factor of Nature or Nurture?

How Therapists Can Help Us Accept and Break Free from Our Dispositions

Marian Sandmaier

New investigations are beginning to shed new light on a question that's hounded psychotherapy for more than a century: what's the relationship between nature and nurture, and what does it mean for the human project of change? As we come to understand more about the complex process of temperament development, therapists may be able to better help clients master one of life's trickiest balancing acts---making peace with one's inborn nature while knocking against its boundaries, in search of a larger self.

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