Topic - Cultural, Social & Racial Issues

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

Making Space for Race

Creating and Holding Connection with Black Teenagers

Ken Hardy

By Ken Hardy - Therapy with teenagers has to be about creating and holding a connection. As a therapist, I'm like a spider trying to lure my clients into a web that will support them. While I try to use the context of racism to help African American teenagers understand their situations, verbalize, and vent their feelings, I also want them to develop inner resources and tools for handling the adversity they face in more useful and productive ways.

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A Special Daughter's Special Night

A Personal Essay from our Family Matters Department

Richard Holloway

By Richard Holloway - My daughter is beautiful: she has long, flowing, blonde hair, blue eyes, elegant features, and stands about 5’ 10” tall. She’s now 18, a senior, and this June will be her graduation. It’s a prospect I greet with mixed emotions. She’s autistic and has difficulty with everyday interactions and expressing herself coherently. So in the winter of her junior year, even though the prom was just around the corner, we never imagined she’d go. (A personal essay from our Family Matters department)

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High Lonesome

Braving the Quest for True Belonging

Brene Brown

By Brené Brown - High lonesome is a type of music in the bluegrass tradition that captures the mood of isolation many people feel today, as we turn away from one another and toward blame and rage. Our challenge as a nation is to reclaim human connection and true belonging even as, more and more, we sort ourselves into antagonistic tribes. But to do that, we’ll need to choose courage over comfort.

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Exploring America's Crisis of Identity

For the Field of Therapy, Group Identity is an Unexplored Territory

Michael Ventura

By Michael Ventura - What might therapists contribute to understanding and healing the intense political polarization going on all around us? We came across an unusually prescient article by longtime contributor Michael Ventura that still offers a provocative perspective on our current cultural ferment. We've republished it—and provided an excerpt in this blog—in the belief that, in some ways, it still seems as relevant today as when it first appeared 10 years ago.

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Can We Help Heal Divided Communities?

One Therapist Hits the Road with the Better Angels to Find Out

William Doherty

By William Doherty - After the 2016 Presidential election, I discovered a new professional mission—to work on healing the divide among ordinary Americans—or in couples therapy terms, to prevent a long-term civic divorce. Through an organization called Better Angels, I decided to embark on a bus tour to see what I could learn about shifting the standoff between Red and Blue America.

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VIDEO: Bill Doherty on the Rewards of Civic Commitment

Creating Space for a Conversation About Civic Commitments

William Doherty

Sometimes our clients have commitments to groups or causes that enrich their lives and social connections. But very often, says couples therapist Bill Doherty, therapists don't inquire about these elements of our clients' lives. In fact, he adds, there seems to be a bias against doing so. In the following clip from his 2017 Networker Symposium Keynote address, Doherty explains how exploring civic commitments can also advance therapy.

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VIDEO: Dan Siegel on the Therapist's Mission in the Modern Age

Attending to How We Relate to Each Other and the Planet

Dan Siegel

In this video clip from his 2015 Networker Symposium Keynote address, "Healing and Hope in the Human Age," psychiatrist and bestselling author Dan Siegel explores how human consciousness can evolve to meet the unprecedented challenges we face on a planet we're altering in ways never before contemplated.

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Hacking Happiness

Four Ways Positive Psychology Can Help Us Use Social Media Better

Jonah Paquette

By Jonah Paquette - Since the wonders of technology aren’t going away any time soon, the challenge facing all of us is how to make enlightened choices as we navigate our course through the digital age. Research from positive psychology has identified key factors that offer a helpful frame in considering how we use can best use technology and social media to enhance our well-being.

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Loving Our Devices

When Does Attraction Turn Into Addiction?

Lauren Dockett

By Lauren Dockett - More and more therapists, regardless of how they feel about internet addiction as a diagnosis, are advising clients about the healthy use of their digital devices.

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Everyday Heroism

Philip Zimbardo Reflects on His Work on Human Connections and Positive Change

Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - Social psychologist Philip Zimbardo may be most well-known for his notorious Stanford Prison Experiment. More recently, however, he's pivoted his work to focus on human connections and positive change. He founded a clinic that helps clients push past self-imposed limits around shyness and established a program that frames heroism as a continual, everyday choice.

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