Topic - Challenging Clients & Treatment Populations

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

My Nightmare Client, My Greatest Gift

Sometimes Our "Worst" Clients Are Our Best Teachers

Martha Straus

By Martha Straus - My young client, Brian, can reduce even confident mid-life adults to an infantile puddle, one provocative comment at a time. He's a therapist's nightmare. But he’s also the universe's gift to me. He measures my commitment to the work, to him, to my ideas about therapy, to my best self.

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November Quandary: How Do I Bring Up My Client’s Rigid Perfectionism?

Five Clinicians Weigh In

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - A client sees his perfectionism as an advantage, even though it ramps up his anxiety, exacerbates his sense of shame, and keeps him living a very rigid life. He brushes off his therapist every time she brings it up. Five therapists weigh in with how they'd respond.

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VIDEO: Handling Microaggressions in Therapy

An Eight-Step Process for Talking About It With Your Clients

Anatasia Kim

Let's say your client lets a microaggression slip during a session. Do you bring it up? Therapist and author Anatasia Kim shares her eight-step process for having a conversation with clients when this happens.

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October Quandary: Addressing the Idea of Meds with a Depressed Client

Five Clinicians Weigh In

Chris Lyford

Sandra has been struggling with depression for many years. A psychiatrist has prescribed her an antidepressant, but she’s told her therapist she doesn’t like the “idea” of meds and doesn’t take them regularly. He's not sure how best to explore the issue with her. Five clinicians share how they'd proceed.

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VIDEO: Crossing to Safety

A Master Clinician Shares Her Most Therapeutic Moment

Courtney Armstrong

Many people wonder how therapists manage to do the work they do. Of the thousands of meaningful sessions that take place in a therapist’s office, certain ones stand out. Here, therapist Courtney Armstrong shares the story of working with her most memorable client.

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September Quandary: Will a No-Suicide Contract Help My Client Stay Safe?

Four Clinicians Weigh In

Chris Lyford

A new clinician is working with a client who’s expressed some suicidality at times. She's worried about him and thinks it might be a good idea to have him sign a no-suicide contract, but she's heard mixed things about them and isn't sure what to do. Here, four therapists offer their advice.

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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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