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Psychotherapy's Role in the Wider World

The Case for a New Kind of Self

William Doherty

By William Doherty - At this time of fragmentation and division, therapists need to recognize that we’re in the glue business. We know something about helping people connect, about how to form a healthy “we” out of self and other. But first our society needs us to recover our conviction and passionate intensity as a profession, our belief that we have something to offer beyond symptom reduction.

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Helping Traumatized Communities Become Their Own Healers

After Decades, a 77-Year-Old Therapist and His Global Program Show No Signs of Slowing Down

Marian Sandmaier

By Marian Sandmaier - For almost 25 years, Jim Gordon and his team at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine has worked in war zones, refugee camps, and communities struck by natural disasters and mass shootings, both in the United States and internationally. And still doing this work at 77, he has no plans to slow down.

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VIDEO: Addressing Political Stress in the Consulting Room

Reevaluating What's Appropriate to Discuss in Therapy

William Doherty

It's no surprise that, with all the political infighting going on, many people are anxious about the direction of our country. But is there room to discuss political matters with clients, or does this constitute an ethical breach? According to therapist Bill Doherty, clinicians are not only well-equipped to discuss politics, but sometimes have a duty to do so. In the following video clip from his 2017 Networker Symposium Keynote address, Doherty explains how to get the ball rolling.

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VIDEO: Bill Doherty on the Rewards of Civic Commitment

Creating Space for a Conversation About Civic Commitments

William Doherty

Sometimes our clients have commitments to groups or causes that enrich their lives and social connections. But very often, says couples therapist Bill Doherty, therapists don't inquire about these elements of our clients' lives. In fact, he adds, there seems to be a bias against doing so. In the following clip from his 2017 Networker Symposium Keynote address, Doherty explains how exploring civic commitments can also advance therapy.

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Therapy Outside Your Comfort Zone (and Zip Code)

How a Trip to Nepal Uncovered a Professional Calling

Jeffrey Kottler

By Jeffrey Kottler - Each year, thousands of poor Nepalese girls "disappear" from their villages. On an impulse, an American therapist winds up devoting himself to ending these disappearances.

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Psychotherapy's Duty to the Wider World

Reflections on the Challenges and Rewards of Volunteer Work

Jeffrey Kottler

By Jeffrey Kottler - Who has time to change the world when we already have our hands full trying to make a living and get through the obstacle course of a normal work week? It's not impossible. I now spend several months each year working in remote regions of Nepal, helping lower-caste girls, who are at the greatest risk of being forced into early marriage or trafficked into sex slavery. It's when I'm here that I feel most alive, and at least for the few months after I return, I feel a new clarity and focus about what's most important.

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The Healing Combination of Therapy and Disaster Relief

How an Uncommon Blend of Therapy and Volunteerism is Changing the World

Chris Lyford

Fifteen years ago, psychotherapist Jeffrey Kottler never imagined he’d be stuffing nine duffel bags full of antibiotics and suture kits for a return trip to Nepal. But since founding Empower Nepali Girls (ENG) to provide scholarships to at-risk children, he's returned to the country several times each year with a small team to rescue girls from probable futures in sex slavery, putting them on the path to careers in medicine, engineering, and teaching. And Kottler isn't alone in his relief efforts. In fact, many therapists are redefining what it means to create a connection, the resulting product being an uncommon blend of therapy, relief work, and social justice advocacy. Here are a few of their stories.

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