Topic - Professional Development

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

How Psychotherapy Helps Us Recover the Beauty in Our Lives

Questions for Helping Therapy Clients Reclaim Meaning

Michael Ventura

Many walk into the therapist's consulting room exactly at the moment that they have been stripped to the core of their being. While not at the physical meeting-point of life and death, they are often at its emotional and spiritual equivalent. One element they seek and are desperate for is beauty; they present a situation that's cut them off from experiencing beauty. All of which leaves us facing one piercing question: What is beautiful in your life? The therapist-client relationship is just about the last functioning shared space in this country where this question can be asked and, more important, heard. Which is why it's so crucial that therapists find a way to ask it.

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Addressing Race Therapeutically in Black Relationships

Testimonials from the 2015 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium

Symposium Student Scholars

Today I attended a workshop called “Working with Black Couples: Overcoming Myths and Stereotypes,” led by Dr. Christiana Awosan. Being an African American female, this talk was very emotional and I was able to identify with some of the stereotypes that have been placed on black single heterosexual women. A big problem in black relationships, Christiana said, is not that black men and women don’t want to stay together. It’s that they don’t know how to sustain their relationship. Race is a huge contextual factor in why black couples have a hard time working through their issues. But nobody seems to be talking about this or giving voice to their oppressive experiences within society.

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The Therapeutic Goldmine of Song, Dance, and Mindfulness

Testimonials from the 2015 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium

Symposium Student Scholars

John Kabat-Zinn sparked my interest when he recounted the time Oprah asked him, "Is there life after death?" His reply to her: "Oprah, I'm interested in the question, 'Is there life before death?'" Living fully is dependent on our capacity to practice mindfulness. The idea that acknowledging a feeling, even acknowledging pain, can reduce suffering is so powerful. Over time, I have realized what John Kabat-Zinn illustrated so beautifully this morning. Mindfulness is realized in a world full of human beings, people waiting to be seen and heard, and in search of ways to live more joyfully and with less suffering. We therapists have the privilege of being present for people who are doing just that. In this moment, I feel gratitude.

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Addressing Race and Culture in the Therapy Room

Testimonials from the 2015 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium

Symposium Student Scholars

As a family therapist, I know the power of thinking relationally, collaborating, and working across difference to find the many places where we actually share similarities. I found that at the Networker Symposium, where I had the pleasure of attending a workshop led by Christiana Awosan. Her presentation called practitioners, researchers, and educators alike to ask tough questions when working with Black couples. She invited us to consider the context that Black heterosexual men and women are coupling within, related to the experiences of slavery and racism, both as it was experienced over 250 years ago and also in how it still persists in our society today. There are truly The Colors of Tomorrow that we are living today.

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Improving Therapy Through Song, Mindfulness, and Self-Care

Testimonials from the 2015 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium

Symposium Student Scholars

I attended the Networker Symposium's Creativity Day because I figured I might take a couple interesting facts home with me or meet a few nice people the day before the large crowds came for the conference. I was pleasantly surprised at how incredible the Symposium was from the very second that Creativity Day started. From the traditional African music to the wonderful choreography on stage, I was energized for the day to begin. By the time I saw Jon Kabat-Zinn, I was inspired. I was blown away by how personable and intellectual he was with regard to mindfulness, along with how well he was able to translate his knowledge to the crowd.

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Taking the Pulse of Psychotherapy

We're Older. Are We Better?

Rich Simon

There’s been a decline in the public’s utilization of psychotherapy as a consequence of the rise of what might be called the Gang of Three: DSM, Big Pharma, and Managed Care. Today, we appear to be an atomized and poorly organized field that’s lost economic ground to other approaches promising mental health consumers improved wellbeing. But while recognizing the missed opportunities and missteps we’ve made as a profession, the contributors to our latest issue of the Networker also point to what we need to do to make a more concerted and effective stand to reclaim lost territory.

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How Effective is Modern Psychotherapy?

The Qualities of Good Therapy, and Where Today's Clinicians Stand

Mary Pipher

Over the past few decades, therapy has made great strides. However, there are areas in which I think therapy may have also gotten worse. The essence of therapy remains the relationship, and the greatest gift to a client with virtually any problem is a focused, curious, empathic listener. But right now, pressure to speed up therapy can undercut the sanctity of the therapeutic relationship. Like good cooking, I think good therapy takes time. In many ways, we’re treating people in therapy offices as if it were 1960. But it’s a really different time, and there are a lot of issues we’re not approaching because we don’t know how.

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Embracing Creativity and Play in Therapy

Taking Risks in the Therapy Room to Create Change

David Waters

In these days of Managed Care and Therapeutic Minimalism, my biggest concern about therapy is that we don't ask enough of it. Too often, we don't push ourselves or our clients hard enough to make the changes that make a real difference in people's lives. It's taken me more than 30 years to realize that it's the combination of two strange bedfellows---imagination and repetition---that holds the key to change. To move clients out of their ruts, their numbness, and their stuck places, we need to get their attention and start their adrenaline going at a rate that wakes them up and helps them to experience the fullness of life again.

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Mary Pipher on Leaving Our Biases outside the Consulting Room

Finding Respect for All Clients

Mary Pipher

From the moment I met the Correys in my waiting room, I was baffled about why they were together. Frank was tall, good looking and suave; Donna dowdy and sullen. Every other week for a year, I saw them, during which time I tried pretty much every trick in my therapeutic arsenal. And in spite of all my efforts, the Correys were one of my most spectacular failures. Gradually, I let my own values prejudice me against Donna. In the end, I learned that with no respect, there can be no connection. And without connection, therapy loses its meaning.

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The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Approach to Overcoming Depression

Judith Beck Explains Her Method of Depression Treatment

Judith Beck

The hallmark of cognitive therapy is understanding clients’ reactions—emotional and behavioral—in terms of how they interpret situations. The repeated themes in people’s thinking and behavior finally make sense once we understand the basic way they view themselves, their world, and other people. But cognitive therapy goes beyond helping people understand their thoughts and behaviors in sessions. People actually get better by making small changes in their thinking and behavior every day. As therapy progresses, homework assignments and relapse prevention become essential parts of the approach.

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