Topic - Challenging Clients & Treatment Populations

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

August Quandary: How Do I Get Clients to Engage in Work Between Sessions?

Five Clinicians Weigh In

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - A therapist recommends exercises like journaling prompts and guided mediations that she feels would benefit her clients between sessions. Although they seem interested when she introduces the idea, they always “forget” or can’t find the time to follow through. She's unsure how to proceed. Here, five therapists share what they'd do.

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Transforming Anger into Compassion

A Five-Step Process for Dealing with Angry Clients

Steven Stosny

By Steven Stosny - Some therapists find themselves getting extremely reactive when clients lose their temper. Here's what you can do to better control your anger and anxiety in the presence of an angry client.

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Treating Self-Harm

Here's a Behavioral Contract That Clients Can Follow

Lisa Ferentz

By Lisa Ferentz - I used to think that repetitive self-injury could only be seen as pathological, and through contracts and other means tried to convince my clients that this behavior would only cause more problems. Now, I know that my job isn't to browbeat clients into change, but introduce them to healthier behaviors that bring the relief cutting often provides.

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What to Do When Your Client Cries

If It's Not Broken, Don't Fix It

Jay Efran

By Jay Efran - How can both joyful and tragic events elicit tears? This question puzzles many clinicians, including some who are considered experts in the field of emotional expression. The problem is that few of us have received explicit training in theories of emotion. And sometimes, clinicians can feel an urge to rush in and “fix things” that aren’t broken.

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VIDEO: David Burns on Overcoming Resistance

Exploring Why Clients Might Not Want to Change

David Burns

Do you have a client who you can't seem to help, no matter what techniques you try? In this brief video, master clinician David Burns—one of the developers of CBT and an expert in treating depression and anxiety—explains why we shouldn't automatically assume that clients actually want to change the problems they initially present in treatment.

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When Helping Doesn't Help

What to Do When Your Client Doesn't Want to Change

David Burns

By David Burns - What if a client's resistance to change reveals something positive, beautiful, and even healthy about them—something that we’ve overlooked? If we can learn to put unconscious resistance front and center in our clinical work, we can lessen or even eliminate our clients’ resistance altogether.

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What Works with Teen Clients

Forget Everything You Know About the Therapeutic Alliance

Janet Sasson Edgette

By Janet Edgette - It’s probably fair to say that most teens loathe the very idea of therapy. Yet, with confused and troubled adolescents needing our help more than ever, the gap between our grad school training and what works in real-life practice continues to widen.

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VIDEO: When Our Clients Help Us Overcome Our Greatest Fears

A Therapist Shares Her Most Memorable Clinical Experience

Lynn Lyons

Not all professional growth experiences come from classes, workshops, and consultation groups. Sometimes our clients can expand our comfort zones and teach us more about ourselves than we ever thought possible. Here, Lynn Lyons shares a moving, often hilarious, story about how her young client helped her become a stronger person and a better therapist.

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February Quandary: My Clients Are Asking Personal Questions!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - A therapist works from his home office, which means clients sometimes observe elements of his personal life. He's had clients ask about his electric car in the driveway, his dog, and where his kids go to school. He's gently asked these clients if they can stay on topic, but worries about seeming callous. Here are five creative examples of how other therapists have dealt with this.

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Transforming Kids' Problem Behaviors into Skills

This Impressive Approach Puts Them in the Driver's Seat

Ben Furman and Liu Haiying

By Ben Furman and Liu Haiying - Kids’Skills is a solution-focused and child-friendly approach to helping children overcome emotional and behavioral problems. Here, the therapist focuses on solutions, skills, and existing strengths, rather than the more traditional “problem-focused” interventions that have been already tried with little success.

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