Popular Topic - Challenging Clients & Treatment Populations

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The Biology of Fear

Some New Research Offers Startling Insights into the Nature of PTSD

July/August 1996
Not long ago, most therapists who heard a story like Albert Grow's would have thought about what his experience in Vietnam did to his relationship with his family, his community and his sense of self. Few would have given much thought to what it did to his biochemistry. That is about to change.

Turning Tragedy into Comedy

Bearing All the Reality Life Has to Offer

November/December 1995
A young man named Jeff, who was dying from cancer, was a patient of mine 30 years ago. His family cried and prayed over him and pretended he would recover, though they knew he knew better. I was initially called in to relieve Jeff's pain through hypnosis. That worked fine, but he was still lying in bed out of breath, bored, angry and resentful of the fact that his life was being cut short. He demanded to know why God was punishing him in this way.

Body Politics

The Anti-Anorexia League Turns Patients into Activists

November/December 1994
In a barely audible voice, Rose, a 28-year-old woman who had suffered with anorexia for 12 years, was calling for help. She lived in a remote area 600 miles north of our clinic where there were no therapeutic services for "eating disorders."

No Hiding Place

Understanding the Liberating Power of Honesty

May/June 1993

What people don't know can hurt them—and what they don't reveal can hurt them even more. Secrets can destroy lives and relationships. When something is kept secret, it can grow in power and significance until it becomes the center of one's identity.

Know Thy Selves

The Inner Lives of Couples Therapy

November/December 1988

Every couples therapist knows the experience. Just moments ago, as you talked to the wife and then her husband, you were struck by how likable each one seemed. You sensed their warmth, their humor. But now you've hit on one of those issues—perhaps it's a conflict about an in-law, or something about sex, or even the proverbial struggle about the toothpaste tube—and suddenly the people whose company you were enjoying earlier appear to have left the room.

In Consultation

Breaking the Chain of Resentment: How to Help Clients Move Past Old Wounds

November/December 2015
How do you strike a balance between validation and empowerment in helping those afflicted with chronic resentment?

In Consultation

Detoxifying Criticism: How to Help Clients Gain Perspective

March/April 2016
An innovative way of working with people who are hypersensitive to criticism.

Editor's Note

May/June 2016
At this year's Symposium, we invited veteran therapists to tell their true stories of their “most unforgettable session,” and those stories are the focus of this issue. Each takes you deep inside an experience with a client that turned that therapist inside out, jolting them out of their comfortable expectations into an interaction that allowed something extraordinary to take place. Prepare yourself for some unusually honest and probing explorations into both the pitfalls and rewards of practicing the therapist’s craft, including the occasional impossibility of distinguishing between the two.
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Case Study

Managing Hecklers in the Therapy Room: An Ex-Comedian Puts Her Old Skills to Use

May/June 2016
What do the rules of comedy have to do with the practice of psychotherapy? More than you think.
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Editor's Note

July/August 2016
Today, with all the presumed advances therapists have made in reducing mental suffering from previously untreatable conditions, is there a solution, a cure, a fix for OCD? As with so many difficult emotional conditions, the answer is far from simple, not least because OCD appears to bear a strong genetic component. Still, we have more knowledge about how to recognize it, and how to distinguish it from other conditions that it often mimics, including PTSD, depression, and even psychosis. More importantly, many specialists working with OCD employ some variation on what two authors for this issue, Martin Seif and Sally Winston, call “upside-down therapy,” an approach that seems to break, or at least bend, the rules of what many of us have been taught is good clinical practice.
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