Topic - Families

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

The Stories That Bind Us

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Janine Roberts

By Janine Roberts - When I was eight years old, I reached into Mom's jewelry drawer and found a folded piece of paper that read: “I want to die here in the meadow. The lupine and Indian paintbrush around me.” Not long ago, my granddaughter was born. She taught me anew how we want to connect and be seen—something Mom needed from me.

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Reframing the "Burden" of Caretaking

Why Accepting Help is Empowering for Those Receiving and Giving

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs - For those who've spent their lifetimes taking pride in giving generously to others, suddenly being on the receiving end of care because of illness or age-related infirmity can be tormenting. For many, rejecting help is regarded as a measure of one's courage and determination in battling family crises brought on by old age or disease. Here are some ways of overcoming this common tendency to refuse help.

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Jump-Starting Conversation in Family Therapy

The Difference Between Guiding and Intervening

Mike Nichols

By Mike Nichols - How do you get family members to talk together productively? Enactments can be among the most valuable tools for getting a family's communication going. But cultivating these conversations—and making sure not to overmanage them—is harder than it sounds.

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Kinship Without Connection

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Mark Matousek

By Mark Matousek - One ordinary day last year, an email appeared from someone I didn’t know, a Jim who lived in Phoenix. It explained that his mother had found a book of mine online, realized I was looking for her ex-husband, and passed the book along to her son. Jim had read the book, done the math, and deduced that we had the same missing father. We agreed to meet three weeks later.

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Mastering the Art of Therapeutic Judo

A Three-Step Process for Cooling Volatile Emotions from the Very First Session

Thomas Sexton

By Thomas Sexton - Based on 30 years of research on the most effective interventions with delinquent and violent juveniles and their families, I’ve found that the research-backed clinical model Functional Family Therapy guides me in sessions and keeps me grounded. Here's how it works.

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Family Therapy Pioneer Salvador Minuchin on the Therapist's Self

Reflections on a Life, Legacy, and Growing Older

Salvador Minuchin

By Salvador Minuchin - A maverick and a visionary in the '60s and '70s, Salvador Minuchin transformed the very idea of what a therapist was supposed to be—a brash interventionist willing to make people change regardless of what they were feeling, or even knew they were feeling. Beyond that, he put forth a brand new model of psychotherapy—family therapy. In the following article, he reflects on his journey as a therapist and what clinicians need to do in order to master their craft.

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What Does a Son Owe a Mother?

A Squeeze of the Hand

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs - For 58 years, from my birth until her death, my mother and I clashed over money and material values, cents and sensibilities. She may have felt entitled to a grand lifestyle, but I felt entitled to a less solipsistic mother—one who relished, not hated, my help. Years later, I found myself able to relax and just be her adult son in a way I’d never experienced.

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The Art of Facing an Impossible Task

A Social Worker Finds Inspiration in a Father-Daughter Memory

Hope Payson

By Hope Payson - When I was about 10 years old, I climbed into the cab of my father's truck to join him for an evening of snowplowing. I basked in the rare opportunity to be alone with a man I didn't know well. Decades later at work, I recall that snowplow ride. I'm sitting across from a human blizzard of a woman—someone barely two steps away from drugs that have buried her family alive.

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When Jailers are Prisoners, and Prisoners are Jailers

Salvador Minuchin on Helping Families Redefine Their Stories

Salvador Minuchin

By Salvador Minuchin - In most cases when a child carries a problem, the goal of family therapy focuses on transferring the ownership of the symptom from the intrapsychic machinery of the child to the interpersonal drama of parents and child affecting each other.

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The Ride Home

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

David Treadway

By David Treadway - With his father's help, a young therapist contemplates the biggest gamble of his life.

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