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Therapy and Transformation

What Are We Promising Our Clients?

January/February 2018
Decades ago, trainees in our field were imbued with the notion that therapy was about transformation: big, dramatic changes in the direction of self-actualization. Was this an overpromise? And now, when the average length of therapy in the United States is less than eight sessions, is it even desired by clients anymore, or necessary for successful therapy?
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Consensual Nonmonogamy

When Is It Right for Your Clients?

January/February 2018
In past decades, the only alternatives to involuntary celibacy in a relationship were affairs or divorce. But more and more therapists are recognizing there’s another option: consensual nonmonogamy. Although the idea isn’t new, it’s challenging our field to see that committed, secure relationships can take many shapes and forms.

Is There Hope for a Divided America?

Tales from the Better Angels Bus Tour

November/December 2017
There’s a troubling trend toward viewing people who differ from us politically not just as uninformed or misguided, but as ill-motivated and dangerous. Through an organization called Better Angels, a couples therapist and an intrepid group of other concerned citizens embark on a bus tour to see what they can learn about shifting the standoff between Red and Blue America.

High Lonesome

Braving the Quest for True Belonging

November/December 2017
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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The Tony Robbins Experience

What’s the Takeaway for Therapists?

November/December 2017
Despite his four decades in the public eye, most therapists are only vaguely aware of Tony Robbins and his take on personal change. But if you attract millions of people from a staggering range of backgrounds and interests to your seminars, it’s a good bet you have something to offer. So what’s that elusive “something” that he transmits to people? And can therapists learn anything useful from him?
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Everywhere at Once

Esther Perel Is Becoming Therapy's Most Visible Presence

September/October 2017
By questioning some of the fundamental premises of traditional marriage, couples therapist Esther Perel has become, at least for the moment, psychotherapy’s public face and most quotable voice. But what is she saying that’s so intriguing and makes her stand out from all the other relationship experts our field produces?
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The Long Shadow of Patriarchy

Couples Therapy in the Age of Trump

September/October 2017
The election of Donald Trump and the resurgence of populism throughout the West were fueled by a renewed pull toward certain notions of traditional masculinity. Although therapists have remained largely silent about this revival of patriarchy in the culture, is neutrality really in the best interests of our clients?

The Science of Togetherness

Making Couples Therapy More Effective

September/October 2017
Despite all the intellectual excitement it generated, the hard truth is that, so far, the systems revolution hasn’t led to very effective ways of doing therapy. Fortunately, a second revolution is quietly taking shape—a new wave of systems theory and therapy—that marries the wisdom of clinical intuition with the rigors of scientific inquiry.

Case Study

From Tough Love to Empathic Love: Teaching Parents to Earn Their Children’s Respect

September/October 2017
Helping families move past stalemates often means teaching parents to earn their children’s respect.

Loving Our Devices

When Does Attraction Turn into Addiction?

July/August 2017
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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