Topic - Children/Adolescents

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How to Prepare for Insurance Company Treatment Reviews

Tips for Proving Your Therapy is Medically Necessary

Barbara Griswold

While treatment review has always been a part of insurance reimbursement, therapists in the last few years have reported an increase in such phone calls from insurance companies. But what’s the health plan looking for when reviewing for medical necessity? What does the language of medical necessity sound like, and how can you learn to speak it fluently? Here are a few tips.

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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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The Many Reasons Why Therapy Clients Cry

A Clinician's Guide to the Biological Basis of Tears

Jay Efran and Mitchell Green

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. Physiologically speaking, emotional tears are elicited when a person’s system shifts rapidly from sympathetic to parasympathetic activity---from a state of high tension to a period of recalibration and recovery. And sometimes, clinicians can feel an urge to rush in and “fix things” that aren’t broken.

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Does Self-Disclosure in Therapy Hurt or Heal?

Finding a Balance in Sharing Personal Information with Clients

Janine Roberts

Despite our best intentions, self-disclosure can backfire. So why are we drawn to it so strongly as a therapeutic tool? Hundreds of therapists in workshops I've led around the world have said they share personal information to strengthen the therapeutic alliance, demystify therapy, and reduce the power differential between themselves and their clients. In the discussion about self-disclosure, we need to move beyond an either/or frame, as in "yes, do it," or "no, keep tight boundaries."

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Blending Psychotherapy and Community Activism

Jeffrey Kottler on the Rewards of Volunteer Therapy in Nepal

Jeffrey Kottler

Who has time to change the world when we already have our hands full trying to make a living and get through the obstacle course of a normal work week? It's not impossible. I now spend several months each year working in remote regions of Nepal, helping lower-caste girls, who are at the greatest risk of being forced into early marriage or trafficked into sex slavery, by making it possible for them to attend school. It's when I'm here that I feel most alive, and at least for the few months after I return, I feel a new clarity and focus about what's most important.

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How Brain Science Helps Therapists Heal the Distressed Mind

Dan Siegel on How to Regulate Emotional States Through Mindsight

Dan Siegel

Over the last twenty years, I've come to believe that integration is the key mechanism beneath both the absence of illness and the presence of well-being. Integration---the linkage of differentiated elements of a system---illuminates a direct pathway toward health. It's the way we avoid a life of dull, boring rigidity on the one hand, or explosive chaos on the other. The key to this transformation is cultivating the capacity for mindsight.

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Customizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the OCD Child

Helping Children Acclimate to Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy

Aureen Pinto Wagner

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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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Technology: Tool for Therapeutic Connection, or a Hindrance?

Psychologist Sherry Turkle on the Impact of Virtual Intimacy

Richard Simon and Mary Sykes Wylie

In our high-tech, computer-obsessed age, author and psychologist Sherry Turkle's key mission has become to unravel "how our increasingly intimate relationship with technology...changes the way we see ourselves as people. It isn't so much what technology is doing for us, but what it's doing to us." More and more, as Turkle sees it, we're the machine, and the machine is us. Our electronic stuff is just too useful, too pleasurable, too seductive to give up. But that seductiveness incurs significant costs, which we've barely begun to appreciate. What impact will this, or any of our deepening infatuations with all things cyber, have on our ability to connect face-to-face with each other, in real time?

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Letting Self-Disclosure Mix with the Therapist Persona

Tearing Down Boundaries Between Therapist and Client

Linda Stone Fish

I live in a small city in Upstate New York, and most people in town know somebody who knows me, my husband, or one of our four engaged and energetic sons. Despite all this, I managed, for two decades, to maintain (in my own mind, at least) a fire wall between my personal and professional lives. In the consulting room and the classroom, I worked to present an air of calm worldliness, an expert with the answers to all sorts of painful therapeutic and family dilemmas. Until one day, I was caught being myself, and everything changed.

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