Topic - Aging

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

Stronger Medicine

Anti-Depressants Haven't Made Therapy Obsolete

Michael Yapko

Americans have a history of valuing quick-fix solutions to difficult problems. But the simplistic psychopharmacological approach to depressive disorders underestimates the remarkable human capacity for self-transformation. We have the ability to use imagination and intelligence to change our life circumstances, our attitudes and emotions, even, to some extent, our personalities. It is the privilege of our profession to be able to help troubled people along this path, and though medications may make this journey less arduous, in the long run, therapists are indispensable for getting their clients to this destination.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Redefines Mental Health

How Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis Started a Psychotherapy Revolution

Mary Sykes Wylie

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is arguably the most successful therapy ever developed. In only about 40 years, it’s gone from the almost accidental innovations of two disenchanted psychoanalysts to the most widely practiced and promulgated approach in the world. Independently coinvented by Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis, CBT is brief, usually 16 sessions or fewer, thus much cheaper than that once-famous other brand, psychodynamic therapy. But where did this streamlined, efficient, practical therapy come from? And what made it so revolutionary?

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Positive Psychology Approaches to Aging Gracefully

How Therapists Can Boost Happiness for Elderly Clients

Robert Hill

More people are living into very old age than ever before. But with a greater life expectancy, the prime question for the growing elderly population has moved from "How long will I live?" to "If I'm going to live a long time, how can I be happy in the process?" The realm of Positive Psychology offers specific actions and habits of mind that we can learn to help the process of aging become a more positive experience for our clients and ourselves. Here are a few ways to construe growing old as meaningful and worthwhile, regardless of the challenges that old age inevitably presents.

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Breaking the Cycle: OCD Treatment that Works

Therapy Techniques for Treating OCD Clients

Martin Seif and Sally Winston

Many people with OCD aren’t easy to diagnose or treat. Clients with OCD can present as panicky, depressed, and agoraphobic, as well as with a wide range of personality problems and relationship issues. But by locating the obsessive thought that initially raises anxiety distress and the compulsive thought that provides the temporary relief, therapists can help these clients break their self-reinforcing cycles of anxious arousal and counterproductive stress-reducing behavior.

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Jay Haley Takes Family Therapy to Task

The Story of Family Therapy's Unabashed Founding Father

Mary Sykes Wylie

Jay Haley was an unlikely candidate to become a founder of the early family therapy movement. An outsider to the field, he had no formal training in psychology or psychotherapy. But as someone who translated the abstruse concepts of cybernetics—the rules, sequences, and feedback loops that guide self-regulating machines—into the lingua franca of family therapy, Haley helped give the field its organizing principles.

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Empathy Becomes a Physical Force

The Wonders of Engaging Mirror Neurons in Therapy

Babette Rothschild

Empathy is the connective tissue of good therapy. It's what enables us to establish bonds of trust with clients, and to meet them with our hearts as well as our minds. Empathy enhances our insights, sharpens our hunches, and, at times, seems to allow us to "read" a client's mind. I first recognized the physical force of empathy as a college student. When I copied the swaggering gait of a cocky young man, for example, I'd momentarily feel more confident---even happier---than before. I found this secret street life fascinating and fun, but I didn't think much about it until a few years later, when I started practicing clinical social work.

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Making Family Therapy Happen

Reconnecting Split Families in the Consulting Room

Elena Lesser Bruun

When someone has been cut off by a family member, he or she often feels immense hurt, incomprehension, rage, rejection, and a sense of injustice. Of course, this can be true for the initiator of a cutoff as well. Even when someone initiates a cutoff for legitimate reasons, the initiator is still likely to experience regret, sadness, and longing for what might have been. Helping families heal cutoffs is painstakingly delicate work, and comes with a high risk for stumbling over buried land mines. But by taking the right steps toward initial reconciliation and properly managing in-session discussions, it's possible to mend broken ties in a way that satisfies everyone.

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The Rebirth of Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment

How Marsha Linehan Revolutionized Therapy with DBT

Katy Butler, Katy Butler

For decades, most clinicians who had a choice avoided borderline clients, while agency staff (who couldn't) went through the motions with a sense of futility. Therapy consisted of guarding against "manipulation" and mining the borderline's reactions to the therapist for clues to her fragmented inner world. It was hard on clients---and on therapists as well. Then, in 1991, a behavioral psychologist and Zen student at the University of Washington named Marsha Linehan introduced an alternative. Her treatment was called Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT.

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Therapy in the New World of Kids and Teens

Ron Taffel on How Today's Child Therapist Can Build Rapport

Ron Taffel

While at first glance, 21st-century adolescents appear impossibly cool---cooler than we could have ever been ourselves---teens today are running hot with cultural forces that have redefined the nature of their consciousness and experience of selfhood. Therapy with adolescents needs to change fundamentally. We may not have the power to alter the techno-pop culture that defines so much of teen experience today, but by focusing treatment squarely on how to engage adolescents in a vital relationship, we can make an enormous difference in their lives.

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Ethics of the Greater Therapeutic Alliance

Do Dual Relationships Really Threaten Psychotherapy?

Arnold Lazarus

I believe that some elements of our ethical codes have become so needlessly stringent and rigid that they can undermine effective therapy. Take, for example, the almost universal taboo on "dual relationships," which discourages any connection outside the "boundaries" of the therapeutic relationship, such as lunching or socializing. These "boundary crossings," are rarely harmful and may even enhance the therapeutic connection. My experience with Mark and Sally was one such boundary crossing.

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