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What Successful Couples Are Doing Right

The Gottmans on Mastering the Brain’s Seven Pathways to Emotional Connection

John Gottman, Julie Gottman

By John and Julie Gottman - John and Julie Gottman have spent decades developing an evidence base for couples therapy, honing their techniques for stabilizing marriage through research with nearly 3,000 couples. In the following excerpt from their 2018 Networker Symposium keynote address, they explain what research has revealed about the crucial role the brain’s seven different command systems can play in enhancing the quality of couples’ emotional connection.

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Is Porn Incompatible with a Loving Relationship?

Talking Frankly About Secrecy, Shame, and New Levels of Intimacy

Joe Kort

By Joe Kort - Despite the undeniable harm that porn can do, we therapists need to bear in mind a fundamental fact: the overwhelming majority of people exposed to it don't become addicts. To begin to see porn in a more normalizing light, it can be helpful to understand the ways in which porn can be incorporated into a relationship without secretiveness or shame.

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Crossing to Safety

A Master Clinician Shares Her Most Therapeutic Moment

Courtney Armstrong

By Courtney Armstrong - Many people wonder how therapists manage to do the work they do. Of the thousands of meaningful sessions that take place in a therapist’s office, certain ones stand out. In the following storytelling piece, Courtney Armstrong shares a memorable moment from her own work.

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Learning to Let Go

Sometimes, Too Much Investment in a Client's Recovery Keeps Everyone Stuck

Daphne de Marneffe

By Daphne de Marneffe - After decades in practice, I still find myself blindsided by certain clients in ways that both humble and mystify me. I’ve learned that if I’m going to be helpful to these clients, I have to work through something difficult in myself. Our ability to inhabit our clients' experiences is part of what makes us good therapists, but there’s always a delicate balancing act in not getting too involved.

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The Heart of Emotional Intelligence

Illuminating the Connection Between What We Feel, What We Want, and How We Act

Steven Krugman

By Steven Krugman - Mentalization refers to the mind’s innate capacity to make sense of social experiences and implicitly know how to respond to them. But while mentalization fosters an empathic awareness of the moods and mindsets of others, it also enables us to know what our own states of mind and body mean.

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What is Love?

It Exists in the Most Ordinary Places. Here's How to Find It

Barbara Fredrickson

By Barbara Fredrickson - At work, you and your teammates celebrate a shared triumph with hugs and high fives. On your morning jog, you smile and nod to greet fellow runners and silently wish them a good day. After a trip that’s kept you apart for too many days, you share a long embrace with a family member. Can these everyday moments be called love? What exactly is love?

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What's the Best Way to Help Male Clients?

For Many Men, Therapy is a Lion's Den of Shame and Humiliation

Robert Garfield

By Robert Garfield - Group therapy is particularly appealing for men who experience traditional individual or couples approaches as being too alien or off-putting. There’s something comforting about being part of a group of guys dealing with similar issues. For men who consider entering couples therapy a stroll into a lion’s den of shame, humiliation and failure, a men's group can be both a crucial source of support and a kick in the pants.

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The Immigrant Experience, Revisited

Clinicians Feeling the Effects of New Immigration Policies Weigh In

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Immigrants in America have long faced an uphill battle. But the shifting political landscape of the past year and a half has proven psychologically destructive, not only to undocumented immigrants, but also to those with legal protections. It's also significantly burdened the clinicians who work with these populations.

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The Siren's Song of Neuroscience

Neural Reductionism Puts Therapists—and Their Clients—on a Slope of Declining Responsibility

Rick Hanson

By Rick Hanson - It’s perfectly natural to be enthralled by the explosive growth of neuroscience. But people come to therapists because they want something to change: they want to feel or act differently or understand themselves or others better. These changes of mind, of course, require changes of brain. But in many ways, the essence of therapy is developing inner strengths.

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What It Really Means to Apologize

...And Why Good Treatment Means Holding Wrongdoers Accountable

Harriet Lerner

By Harriet Lerner - There’s no greater challenge than listening to the anger and pain of someone who’s accusing us of causing it. To do so, people need to have a solid platform of self-worth to stand on, from which they can look out at their bad behavior and apologize because they see their mistakes as part of a much larger, complex picture of who they are as a human being.

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