Contributed by Jay Efran

13 Results

Experiments In Being Someone Else

Can Fixed-Role Therapy Get Clients Unstuck?

Trying on different personas can help clients step outside of their comfort zones and challenge their assumptions about themselves, others, and the world. Read more

Case Study May 19, 2021

Evoking the Inner Artist: May/June 2021

How to Replace Discomfort with Creativity

Vulnerability, doubt, fear, and uncertainty—feelings most people try to avoid—are essential to cultivating creativity. Read more

In Search of New Ideas

My Evolution as a Therapist

A therapist reflects on a key lesson from his long career: clients don’t necessarily need new answers to their questions—they need new questions. Read more

VIDEO: What to Do When Your Client Cries

Making Tears Your Therapeutic Ally

Many times, when clients cry, clinicians feel an urge to rush in and “fix things” that aren’t broken, which can actually make things worse. Watch as Jay... Read more

Spitting in the Client's Soup

Don’t Overthink Your Interventions

In our profession, it’s often more alluring to explore new gimmicks than to acknowledge that our success largely hinges on simple, commonsense factors. Read more

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... Read more

Case Study November 12, 2014

Get Out of My Life!

Working with Cut-off Family Members in the Consulting Room

Helping families heal cutoffs is painstakingly delicate work, with a high risk for stumbling over buried land mines. Read more

Case Study March 7, 2014

Whose Therapy Is It Anyway?

When Your Client Is Uncommitted to Change

When we find ourselves haunted by a particular case, it may mean that we’re more invested in the client making changes than the client is himself. Read more

Case Study September 5, 2013

Evoking the Inner Artist: September/October 2013

How to Replace Pathology with Creativity

When clients feel blocked, therapists can help them tap their inner artist and view feelings of vulnerability, doubt, and fear as part of a creative... Read more

Why We Cry

A Clinician’s Guide

Our understanding of what happens when we weep hasn't progressed much beyond Freud's theory of catharsis. However, knowing how our nervous systems work can... Read more

In a memorable scene in Fiddler on the Roof, the main character, Tevye, pretends to have been awakened by a nightmare that he concocts to convince his wife to... Read more

Defining Psychotherapy

The Last 25 Years Have Taught Us That It's Neither Art nor Science

At last count, therapists could choose from among 500 different treatment techniques. But after all these years, there's still no evidence that the overall... Read more

Open Book September 1, 1994

Where's the science in psychotherapy? Read more

Jay Efran

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.