Topic - Anxiety/Depression

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We've gathered Psychotherapy Networkers most popular posts and arranged them here by topic.

Helping Therapy Clients Learn Habits for Happiness

Gretchen Rubin on the Power of External Motivation

Ryan Howes

For her 2009 book, The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin spent a year test-driving dozens of techniques and notions that purport to make people happier. More recently, Rubin explored the nature of habit and challenges some basic psychotherapy principles to propose that, rather than awareness and insight, many people just need more external motivation to make the changes they need in their lives. In the following conversation, she focuses on what she considers limitations of psychotherapy as a road map for change.

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VIDEO: Changing the Brain to Take In the Good

Rick Hanson on 5 Simple Steps to Use Right Away

Rick Hanson

Our brains are very good at learning from the negative—that's what helped our distant ancestors learn what to avoid of they wanted to stay alive. But it interferes with our lives today when we react to stressful situations as if they were life and death. They're usually not.In this brief clip, Rick Hanson, author of Buddha's Brain and Hardwiring Happiness, walks us through surprisingly simple steps that can shift our memory systems to internalize positive experiences and states with equal efficiency.

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A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Solution for Losing Weight

Judith Beck on Why CBT Could Be Your Best Weight Loss Strategy

Judith Beck

Why is it so difficult to lose weight and keep it off? From the viewpoint of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the reason isn’t hard to find: knowing what to do and knowing how to get yourself to do it are entirely separate skills. When it comes to changing behavior, especially long-term, habitual patterns, getting yourself to do something different, even when you know it’s good for you, depends largely on what you tell yourself: that is, on your thinking. Outlined here is a program I’ve developed for nonpsychiatric (and noneating-disordered) individuals that utilizes the basic principles of CBT to address overeating directly.

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Raising Healthy Children Through Parent Communities

Strategies for Raising and Disciplining Children in the 21st Century

Ron Taffel

On top of losing faith in a secure future, mothers and fathers deal with everyday dilemmas that make a joke of traditional rules and childrearing practices. Unfortunately, many therapists still seem to believe that reliable solutions to the problems families face can be readily found in standard evidence-based protocols. But mental health workers underestimate the importance of having people discuss ordinary concerns on their own turf---in churches, synagogues, and community centers. There’s nothing like understanding that you’re not alone to raise the spirits and strengthen the spine.

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Tools for Managing Effective Couples Therapy

Bringing Struggling Couples Out of Their Comfort Zones

Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson

If we now recognize how inescapably relational and interconnected people are, why do most of us continue to work primarily with individuals---most of whom grapple with serious, persistent problems in their intimate relationships? Part of the reason, of course, is that so many clients themselves avoid couples therapy. Sometimes they resist because they aren't motivated, or because they fear the unpleasant things their partners might say about them. Being an effective couples therapist requires us to develop skills we may not come by naturally and to spend a lot of time feeling unsure of our capabilities.

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The Internal Family Systems Approach to Psychopharmacology

Frank Anderson on Using IFS to Explore Clients' Feelings About Medication

Frank Anderson

As both a prescriber and a therapist, I believe that the chemical effect of pills is only part of their impact. The other part may seem a little weird, I warn clients, but it has to do with their thoughts, feelings, and expectations around the medications they take—in other words, their relationship with their drugs. I emphasize that for some people, more may be riding on this relationship, the source of so much hope and potential disappointment, than on any other in their life.

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Therapy Confronts the DSM-5

Therapists React to the Latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual

Martha Teater

Since few people argue that mental health professionals can treat people or do research without some sort of diagnostic system, we’ll have to make friends with latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. But how are ordinary clinicians across the country adapting to its specifics? As someone who’s given dozens of workshops on DSM-5 and trained thousands of therapists in its use, I’ve had a front-row seat on how psychotherapists have reacted to the changes it means for their practice.

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Psychotherapy Enters the Assisted Suicide Debate

Untangling the Controversy Behind the Right-to-Die Movement

Jordan Magaziner, Jordan Magaziner

At a time when medical technology has become increasingly adept at keeping people alive, some people are voicing a feeling within a growing part of the population that the goal may not always be keeping a terminally ill person alive at all costs. But even though there's support for the idea that, under certain circumstances, it might be more humane to help people at the end of life bring about their own death peacefully and quickly, the right-to-die effort is plagued with controversy.

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Creative Therapy with the Humor Antidote

Using Playfulness to Move Stuck Clients Into Recovery

Cloe Madanes

When clients are deeply stuck, they have lost all sense of perspective, all capacity to see any possible humor or lightness in their problem or in their lives. Emotionally and cognitively, they’re trapped in their own sad story. In these cases, the approach that I’ve found most useful is a kind of soft shock therapy in the form of a humorous paradoxical directive. Playful, humorous strategies can be like therapeutic life preservers, which keep both therapist and client afloat until both can get back to shore. Humor reboots the emotions and enables us to look at our situation with fresh eyes.

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Getting to the Hidden Cause of Anxiety

David Burns on the Origin of His Hidden Emotion Technique

David Burns

When I first began my career in CBT, it seemed to work a lot better than medications and talk therapy, and clients liked it. Sometimes, the results were fast and spectacular. But something was missing. It seemed obvious that negative thoughts triggered anxiety, but what caused the negative thoughts? What was it inside a person that made him or her so vulnerable to intense anxiety and insecurity? Then one day, one of my patients got me to thinking about anxiety in an entirely new way.

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