Contributed by Jay Efran
Evoking the Inner Artist
How to Replace Discomfort with Creativity
VIDEO: What to Do When Your Client Cries
Making Tears Your Therapeutic Ally
To Tell the Truth
Letting Go of Our Inscrutable Facade
Therapists aren't supposed to discuss personal problems, or even acknowledge having any. While preaching congruence, who among us has never pretended fondness for a client we actually disliked, didn't understand and didn't trust? But on at least two ticklish occasions, with a minimum of strategic deliberation, I opted to step out from behind my own well-cultivated facade of inscrutability to tell clients the unvarnished truth---with surprising results. Read More
Get Out of My Life!
Working with Cut-off Family Members in the Consulting Room
The Art of Therapeutic Conversation
The growing emphasis on treatment manuals and empirically validated methods is a step in the wrong direction. Yes, the public needs to be protected from quacks, and managed care organizations certainly want some assurance that their money is being spent wisely. In the final analysis, however, the effectiveness of a client-therapist pairing is a function of their collaborative dialogue--a process that resists standardization. Undoubtedly, one can specify general principles and guidelines, and therapy can be anchored in a contract that defines roles and sets boundaries. However, therapy also requires a certain creative ambiguity that can't be reduced to stock exercises or "bottled" like an antidepressant. Read More
Jay Efran, PhD, professor emeritus of psychology at Temple University. He received the Pennsylvania Psychological Association’s 2009 award for Distinguished Contributions to the Science and Profession of Psychology and is co-author of Language, Structure and Change and The Tao of Sobriety.