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Kindling the Spark

The Healing Power of Expressive Arts

March/April 2019
Aliveness is not an experience we think or talk ourselves into; it’s a state of being we feel in our bodies. An expressive arts therapist shows how creativity, movement, and play can help traumatized clients find their way toward vitality and healing.

Case Study

A Playful Path to Attachment

September/October 2018
Through games that encourage small moments of laughter, a struggling mother and her adopted daughter learn a different way to bond.
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Tuning into Attunement

How to Harness Your Social Engagement System

January/February 2018
We all know people who have the magic touch when it comes to relating to others. They can instantly connect with strangers and put people at ease without even saying a word. Therapists with this ability have a natural advantage, so are there specific behaviors we can practice to elicit trust and openness? Luckily, the answer is yes—and Stephen Porges’s polyvagal theory provides the key.
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Daring to Play

The Challenge of Embracing Our Youngest Clients

September/October 2017
Although they make up nearly a quarter of the population, children are rarely a central part of therapists’ practices. Why? The most effective interventions are based in play, an approach that seems less sophisticated than purportedly deep and transformative adult-centered talk therapies. It’s time to give play therapy the fuller attention and expanded application that it deserves.
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In Consultation

Playing with Anxiety: Helping Young Children Face Scary Situations

July/August 2017
How to use the therapeutic play zone to help young children face difficult situations.

Transcending Trauma

Learning How to Guide Devastated Clients Toward Growth

September/October 2016
In the early days of the trauma field, clients were seen as one-dimensional bundles of dysfunction and pain, who needed to relive their trauma before progress could be made. But an increased interest in post-traumatic growth has allowed many therapists to see that insight and healing can occur not only in the midst of devastating experiences, but even because of them.
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OCD and Children

It’s a Family Affair

July/August 2016
OCD in children can operate like a kind of cult leader, demanding acceptance of an extreme view of a perilous reality and offering solutions that can’t be resisted, no matter how absurd they may sound. Given the overwhelming fear and worry the condition generates, falling in line with the cult leader can seem like the best strategy—except that it doesn’t work.

Transforming Sexual Narratives

From Dysfunction to Discovery

January/February 2016
Therapists too often ignore the importance of the longstanding, often unconscious stories that partners carry with them into their sexual relationship. Helping them share these stories with each other can open the pathway to erotic discovery.

Moments of Meaning

Unexpected Lessons from Practice

September/October 2015
Three clinicians share stories of challenging cases that show how the most surprising outcomes often have nothing to do with therapeutic brilliance or technical wizardry.

In Consultation

Don’t Hit Your Sister! Understanding the complexities of moral development

September/October 2015
How to help the concerned parents of aggressive kids understand the complexities of moral development.
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