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Using Conversation in Therapy

Following the Spark to Create Connection

Ron Taffel

By Ron Taffel - As a field, we've been unconscious of the nature of the conversation that energizes our models and techniques. Without it, treatment can be a textbook exercise lacking the power to make clients feel a truly alive and personal connection with their therapist.

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VIDEO: The Self-Compassion Approach to Trauma Treatment

Creative Strategies That Dig Deeper

Lisa Ferentz

It’s important to honor all of your client’s inner parts in therapy. But accessing them to fully engage in healing work isn’t always easy. Here, trauma therapist Lisa Ferentz explains her creative approach for helping clients access these tough-to-reach inner parts.

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The Power of Expressive Arts

A Three-Part Process for Engaging the Body in Therapy

Cathy Malchiodi

By Cathy Malchiodi - For thousands of years, humans have been turning to the healing rhythms of the arts to confront and resolve distress. Expressive arts therapy uses the body’s sensory and kinesthetic experiences as a foundation for the exploration of emotions and personal narratives.

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Growing Up Transgender

Parents and Their Transgender Children Find a Healing, Validating Community

Marian Sandmaier

By Marian Sandmaier - Until very recently, most families with transgender children had never met another family like theirs. Now, parents and children from the trailblazing Ackerman Institute’s Family & Gender Project talk about their experience of joining a healing community that offers acceptance and a validating mirror of their own experience.

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March Quandary: My Client is Being Bullied and Her School Won’t Help!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Raisa is a sophomore in high school, and tells her therapist that the girls in her class are bullying her with insults like “slut” and “whore.” Her mother has been in touch with her school, but administrators say there’s not much they can do. Raisa is incredibly distressed. Here's how five therapists say they'd proceed.

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Getting Real in Couples Therapy

Ignoring the Destructive Patterns in Front of Us Does Our Clients a Disservice

Terry Real

By Terry Real - It's disrespectful to clients not to let them in on the truth about what we witness regularly in our offices as they play out their relationships in front of us: the ways they deal with their partners are often self-centered, unfeeling, and counterproductive. I believe that in order to teach our clients how to be authentic and connected, we must be real with them ourselves.

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VIDEO: Using Play with Adults in Therapy

Dafna Lender Demonstrates Three Proven Techniques

Dafna Lender

Any therapist who works with kids will tell you that incorporating play in therapy is a great way to break the ice, reduce anxiety, and strengthen the therapeutic alliance. But as Dafna Lender explains, it also works great with adults. Here, she demonstrates three of her favorite techniques.

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Escaping the Criticism Trap

Here's an Exercise That Makes Criticism Disappear

Steve Andreas

By Steve Andreas - I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been sent reeling from the slightest criticism, no matter how much positive feedback they get about their work. But some people experience this reaction daily or hourly. Many don’t even wait for someone else to criticize them: they provide it themselves, making it truly inescapable. Here's how to help them gain some perspective.

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What Therapists Can Learn from Actors

Using the Body as an Emotional Tuning Fork

Mark O'Connell

By Mark O'Connell - Today, as a psychotherapist, I approach my work much as I did in my former vocation as an actor: with the faith that my instrument—my body, my self—can serve as an emotional tuning fork to locate the inner lives of each and every client, regardless of our exterior differences.

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The Bottom-Up Approach of Somatic Experiencing

A Close-Up Look at Peter Levine's Work with a Trauma Survivor

Lauren Dockett

By Lauren Dockett - Peter Levine is the originator of a form of body psychotherapy called Somatic Experiencing (SE), a captivating but sometimes puzzling approach. Instead of asking questions about events that might elicit pain, Levine focuses on the body, zeroing in meticulously on what’s happening in the moment. Here's how it unfolded with his patient, TJ.

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