Topic - Families

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

The Art of Not Knowing the Answer

A Trauma Specialist Shares Her Most Therapeutic Moment

Mary Jo Barrett

By Mary Jo Barrett - My very first case was the Byford family. The father was serving a six-month sentence for domestic abuse. During a home visit several months into treatment, the daughter, Laura, announced, “Dad is getting out of jail today! And he’s coming here!” My mind went blank. Her mother looked at me. Suddenly, it was as though I passed whatever strength I had to her, and she then passed it back to me.

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My Father's Ranch

A Daughter Wrestles with Bittersweet Memories and a New, Looming Threat

Alicia Muñoz

By Alicia Muñoz - Sometimes family legacies can stir up complicated feelings and outright conflict.

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Past and Future

A Family Dinner Leads to Reflecting on a Legacy

Roberta Israeloff

By Roberta Israeloff - To my mother, who inherited the holiday after my grandmother's death, producing the seder was nothing short of a colossal chore—a feeling she'd communicate with every pot she slammed on the stove. Now, it's my turn.

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Therapy's Transformational Moments

Finding Hope in Seemingly Hopeless Times

Barry L. Duncan

By Barry Duncan - A recent consult I did illustrates the intrinsic rewards of healing involvement and intimate connection. It also taught me that anything is possible—that even the bleakest sessions can have a positive outcome if you stay with the process.

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When Siblings Become Caregivers

Three Ways to Defuse Confrontation

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs - Nothing reveals the fault lines in sibling relationships like the seismic shift caused by an aging parent's sudden decline. Brothers and sisters can quickly become locked in conflict about what's best for Mom and Dad. Here's how to help them forget their old rivalries and cooperate with one another.

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A Late-Life Lesson in Love

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Jeanne Folks

By Jeanne Folks - It's difficult to describe my shock as my mother opens the front door and ushers me into the house of my youth. She's aged-shrunken, with poorly dyed blond hair and the familiar rigidity in her hands and body. Her once beautifully straight teeth are crooked, and one tooth is missing. It's been eight years since my last visit.

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Loving Wholeheartedly

Fraught Parent-Child Relationships Can be an Opportunity for Personal Growth

Leonard Felder

By Leonard Felder - Every now and then, we're lucky enough to meet someone who feels driven to let go of old emotional baggage and find the kind of freedom that comes with being able to love wholeheartedly, without inner reservation. When that person is a client, they're a great lesson to us in our own lives.

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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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