Topic - Families

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

Intimate Enemies

A Stepson Reconsiders a Long-Held Resentment

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs - A lot of blended families don’t really blend: the new “relatives” at first try to join together, but then they quietly distance themselves, however awkwardly, as differences and conflicts emerge, even as they try to pretend otherwise. My stepfather, Steve, and I made no such pretense—we were enemies from the start.

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What Really Gets Handed Down in a Family?

A Personal Essay from our Family Matters Department

Roberta Israeloff

By Roberta Israeloff - Our son was 30, the new girlfriend just a few years younger. They continued to date. She was funny and smart. They moved in together. “Is there some kind of family ring?” my son finally asked. Soon after, my mother-in-law took a turn for the worse. She wouldn’t get out of bed in the rehab center, and she’d lie instead curled up like a fetus. When we’d call, all she’d want to talk about were her things: her dishes and cups, jewelry, and the gifts and mementos she’d accrued over her lifetime. “Every single one of them has a story,” she’d say.

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Are You a "Permaparent"?

Your Adult Child Just Moved Back Home. But Is It Normal?

Martha Straus

By Martha Straus - Today, about 25 million young adults between between 18 and 34 are currently residing with their parents. In its basic form, this story holds that most emerging adults still living at home are wretched, entitled, or manipulative. But the new bungee family offers emerging adults---and our fragmented social fabric---a healing alternative, one that's injecting the best social capital available into the human mix.

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Promoting Positive Caregiving

Helping Clients Escape Negative Cycles in Caring for Aging Parents

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs and Julia Mayer - The bedraggled, beleaguered, and bereft family caregivers who come to us for therapy have a common litany of complaints. They feel overburdened by caregiving tasks, unacknowledged by those they’re caring for, and unsupported by family members who take their herculean efforts for granted. Here's how to help them approach the caregiving experience more positively.

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Creating Therapeutic Changes That Last

Why Changing Clients' Habits is Key to Making Therapy Stick

Steven Stosny

By Steven Stosny - With the exception of saints and literary characters, enduring change rarely happens as the result of being knocked off our feet by a spiritual or psychological whack upside the head. Perdurable change is gradual and mundane. It occurs by extending, supplementing, and altering the habits that shape perspectives and drive behavior. First comes the hard work; then comes the epiphany.

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The Remarriage Triangle

Working with Later-Life Recouplers and their Grown Children

Patricia Papernow

By Patricia Papernow -  Later-life recoupled families are appearing more and more often in therapists’ offices. Although divorce rates have dwindled in the United States over the last two decades, they’re soaring among people over 50, along with rates of remarriage. However, these later-life recouplers face many of the same challenges that younger stepfamilies do, complicated by the long-standing networks of relationships that come with this life stage.

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Strengthening Trauma Therapy by Bringing in the Family

Mary Jo Barrett on the Healing Potential of Families in Trauma Treatment

Mary Jo Barrett

By Mary Jo Barrett - Mostly, I think we avoid family therapy because families can be so exhausting, creating an atmosphere of great emotional volatility, which requires us to be on our toes all the time. But the therapy experience takes on an entirely different dimension when family members learn to be healing agents for each other. Clients, especially those who’ve been traumatized, often feel disconnected from themselves and somehow separate and cut off from other people.

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The Case for Porn

Can Pornography Actually Help our Relationships?

Ian Kerner

Porn is polarizing. Porn is confusing. Porn can be alarming. For therapists, porn can push us out of our comfort zone and trigger negative countertransference. One thing is for sure: porn is everywhere, and it’s here to stay. So what do therapists have to say about it?

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The Secret Ingredients for Effective Therapy in Inner-City Communities

Thelma Dye on Inspiring Hope at Harlem's Northside Center

Thelma Dye

When you do therapy in poor, underserved, inner-city communities, it’s important to be aware of the message your program communicates. For example, we never underestimate how important it is for people in the community to see our the environment at Northside Center for Child Development---a community-based agency in Harlem that’s provided outpatient mental health and educational services to children and families for 70 years---as a place that’s well cared for, inviting, and reflective of their culture. Regardless of training, the most important thing our therapists bring to the table is the strong belief that clients can get better, despite life circumstances.

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Functional Family Therapy: A New Road Map for Behavioral Change

Using FFT to Get Parents and Kids Motivated, Allied, and Committed to Change

Thomas Sexton

Over the years, I’ve found that I’ve needed a solid, research-backed clinical model, which would guide me in sessions and keep me grounded during conflicted family interactions. The one I use, based on 30 years of research on the most effective interventions with delinquent juveniles and their families, is Functional Family Therapy. Like other models, it provides a framework for conceptualizing the case and focusing on relational family patterns. But more importantly, it's a kind of “clinical GPS” system. It not only shows a way through rough, unmarked territory, but allows you to update decision points and recalibrate the therapy to fit changing circumstances and unexpected developments.

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