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How I Start and End Therapy

Six Clinicians Weigh In

Unfortunately, there's no playbook for beginning and ending therapy. So how do you make first and last sessions not only less awkward, but memorable and meaningful? Here, six clinicians share some ways they've made beginnings and endings more impactful, for themselves and their clients.

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Elderly Clients, Hidden Gifts

Best Practices for Working with Older Populations

Doing therapy with older adults poses unique challenges and opportunities. Here, five therapists who work with elderly clients share the best practices they've learned over the years, as well as the "hidden gifts" this unique population has to offer.

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The Therapy Mistake That Changed Me

Three Stories of Professional Growth

We all make mistakes. But oftentimes, it’s the mistakes that help us grow the most, personally and professionally. Here, three therapists share their stories about the learning experiences, recalibrations, and “happy accidents” that helped make them the knowledgeable, capable clinicians they are today.

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Should I Hand My Crying Client a Tissue?

Reading Between the Tears, Permission-Giving, and More

When clients cry in therapy, should you pass the tissues? And what do you say? One clinician worries his clients might interpret passing tissues as him rushing them through whatever they're feeling. To tissue, or not to tissue? Five therapists share how they usually respond.

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A Feeling of Fullness

Reflections on Therapy with Kids in Foster Care

With plenty of misconceptions about treating traumatized children, one clinician shares why it's a chance to help them share their stories and a personal journey that helps us better understand our own.

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A New Revolution Teaches Us About Women’s Psychological Fortitude

An Iranian Therapist’s Reflection

Images of brave citizens protesting the death in police custody of a young Iranian university student accused of not wearing her hijab properly, have traveled around the world, garnering renewed outrage at the Islamic Republic's treatment of women. An Iranian-American therapist speaks to how the mix of grief, anger, and a new insistence on change in her former homeland, could be affecting clients throughout the Iranian diaspora and beyond, and what therapists can do to help.

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The Narcissistic Client

Four Ways to Break Through

Whether it's vanity, a failure to take constructive criticism, mistreating family and friends, or lacking empathy for others, clients with narcissistic traits can be incredibly frustrating to work with. Here, four therapists offer their takes on making the work a little easier.

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Should You Tell Your Clients Why You're Canceling?

When to Self-Disclose, Preserving the Therapeutic Alliance, and More

If you have to cancel an appointment and your client asks you why, how much should you disclose? Here, four clinicians share how they'd respond.

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The Power of Humor

Five Ways Therapists Put This “Best Medicine” to Use

Therapy can be serious, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for a joke here and there. Here, clinicians share how they used humor to help clients dispel negative self-talk, build stronger relationships, realize what’s really important to them, and walk through life a little easier.

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Confessions of a Psychological First Responder

A Different Approach to the Healing Craft

A therapist who also provides psychological first aid after critical incidents opens up about his work and shares why it's been the most challenging—and rewarding—experience of his professional life.

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How Do I Make Therapy Stick?

Creating a Vision, Building Momentum Between Sessions, and More

Sure, your clients may find therapy helpful. But do they find it memorable? How can we get clients to retain all the wonderful information they learn in therapy in between sessions and beyond? From goal-setting to small moments, from writing recaps to providing resources, here are a few ways to make your therapy "stickier."

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How Therapists Can Support Parents and Children Impacted by Mass Shootings

When senseless tragedy turns a child's world upside down, parents are looking for mental health support for the whole family.

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The Mental Health Gym

An Interview with Emily Anhalt

Mindfulness apps, thought trackers, CBT courses, and the Uberization of therapy has flooded headlines. But what about psychodynamic or relational approaches? Therapist Emily Anhalt believes that dynamic work can translate to the digital realm, and has built a platform to deliver the principles of depth psychotherapy through the internet.

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A Script for Male Dementia Caregivers

Helping a Husband Be More Than a 'Pillar of Strength'

Many spousal dementia caregivers struggle emotionally watching their life partners slowly decline. But I also knew that male caregivers, especially spouses, tend to be stoical, avoiding expressions of negative feelings, and often declining other’s help.

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Setting the Stage for the Dance

From her book Body Aware author Erica Hornthal shares mindful exercises that will help with self-regulation of your emotional thermostat.

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A Case for Family Therapy

Staying Vibrant in the Public Sector

Society deserves family therapy. Fortunately, administrators today recognize family therapy as an effective treatment option for “at risk” families in need of a higher level of care.

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Cutting the Cord

A Psychoanalytic Approach to Getting Unstuck

According to psychoanalysis, we all carry an imago—an image of our parents inside of us. But what do you do when the negative, traumatic, or unconscious aspects of that image end up directing your behavior?

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Three Myths About Domestic Violence

…And How Social Media is Changing the Way Clients Think About It

If more of your clients are bringing up the subject of domestic and intimate partner violence, you’re not alone. Increasing media coverage and discussions about domestic violence on social media is opening the door. Before talking to your own clients about domestic and intimate partner violence, here are three myths you should know about.

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Wartime Trauma Treatment

Reflections from a Therapist Treating Ukrainian Survivors

A therapist specializing in trauma treatment in the wake of human-made and natural disasters shares what she's seeing in her work with survivors of the war in Ukraine.

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The Five-Minute Meditation

Finding Compassion and Kindness During Tough Times

I’ve been finding a particular short meditation practice helpful in supporting my clients during this period of sadness, loss, and exhaustion. It’s more gentle than many traditional breath practices of meditation, which can be difficult for people to do, even during good times. Here's how it works.

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Submit to Clinician's Quandary!

Let Us Know How YOU Would Tackle This Situation in Your Practice...

Even the best therapists rely on advice from peers. In the spirit of building community, we're introducing Clinician's Quandary, a new forum where you can weigh in on how you'd handle a particular clinical quagmire. Here's this month's Quandary.

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Where Are You Right Now?

Setting Boundaries in Teletherapy

During the pandemic, many of us have realized how convenient teletherapy can be for us and our clients. But is the flexibility of teletherapy leading to more casual behaviors that take away from the therapeutic process? Do therapists need to set new boundaries with clients to ensure that online therapy is effective?

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Fifty Years of Wisdom

Lessons from a Retired Therapist

I practiced for almost fifty years, and just retired with a feeling of satisfaction. Here’s what I’ve learned in my journey to contentment. These are my tales from the trenches.

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Building Distress Tolerance

Strategies for Working with Clients with OCD

Encouraging anxious clients to face their fears is widely accepted as the gold-standard approach for treating anxiety-related disorders, including OCD. But a growing body of research suggests that our emphasis on habituation can undermine the real goal of exposure therapy. 

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Is There Meaning in Loss? (Part 2)

Four More Therapists Weigh In

Our last Clinician’s Quandary on helping clients—and ourselves—navigate grief work received an overwhelming number of responses. So many, in fact, that we’ve decided to make it a two-parter. Here are four more of our top responses.

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