Topic - Professional Development

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

Solutions for Moving Beyond the Therapeutic Impasse

Three Strategies for Making Progress with Stuck Clients

Steve Andreas

When clients get immersed in their problems, they often suffer from a kind of tunnel vision, focused on a small range of experiences, with their bad feelings taking center stage. When therapy goes wrong, it’s typically because we’ve entered our clients’ trances with them, joining them in their myopic misery. Once caught in such a trance, we need to break the spell, broaden our vision, and open ourselves to new possibilities. Here are three ways to do it.

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Using Play in Therapy to Solve Emotional Problems

Why Creative Strategies are the Therapist's Best Tool

Courtney Armstrong

How many times have you surprised yourself by jumping at the scary part of a movie? It isn’t enough to be a kind, supportive guide on clients’ journeys. We have to be a provocative guide, creating experiences that trigger their curiosity and desire to know more. Human behavior and motivation are driven mostly by the emotional brain---the brain centers that mediate “primitive” emotions and instincts and respond to sensory-rich experiences, not intellectual insights.

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Giving Therapy Clients a Little Push for Big Change

Balancing Long-Term Therapy Goals with Instant Remedies

David Waters

What first made me fall in love with being a therapist was the idea that I could make a living by having conversations that cut through everyday pretenses, got directly to the heart of the matter, and helped people change their lives. That was then, and this is now. Today as a profession---and as a society---we're much more fearbound and rule conscious than we used to be. Yet the sacred space of the therapy room is the ideal place to really exercise your creativity. 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.

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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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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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