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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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Two Years In, This Therapist is Angry

Addressing the Anxiety Underneath

When the pandemic first struck, I was concerned about its impact yet able to handle the anxiety about infection pretty well. After all, managing anxiety is my stock-in-trade ability. But two years later, what I feel most of the time now is anger, so I’ve been using my anxiety management skills to figure out what exactly is going on with me.

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Addressing Racism in the Therapy Room

Ten Ways You Can Be an Ally

Everyone deserves a space where they’re fully seen and heard, so it’s critical that therapists who don’t identify as people of color are knowledgeable, empathetic, and compassionate when addressing race, racism, and identity in the consulting room. Here’s a ten-point framework for developing greater cultural competency.

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Covid Comes to Therapy

Navigating Collective Trauma

For a few years now, I’ve worked with groups around the world to address collective trauma. Our focus is usually on something that had happened elsewhere and in the past: never had I imagined that, with the advent of COVID, I’d find myself so deeply entrenched in an immediate and ongoing collective trauma. One group of men, with whom I’d been working for many years, was particularly affected.

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Dealing with Jealousy in Open Relationships

Finding Compersion

Many people assume that an open relationship will cause jealousy in both partners. Historically, it has been assumed that pair-bonded individuals who are attached in a “healthy” way are sexually exclusive, and that exclusivity is an indicator of the success of their romantic pairing. Therefore, jealousy should be a hallmark of a successful relationship. Instead, research has found that some pair-bonded partners experience positive feelings instead of jealousy when they open their relationship

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COVID Trauma

The Invisible Pandemic

What can we do in the face of our current crisis? There are no clear answers or easy fixes. As providers, we must endeavor to do what we teach our patients: in an out-of-control situation that we cannot change, we can only control how we respond to our own fear and trauma, and, for us therapists, that also means the secondary trauma we experience as a result of our work.

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Is There Meaning in Loss?

Helping Our Clients and Ourselves Navigate Grief Work

Many grief specialists talk about helping clients finding meaning after loss. But often, loss feels meaningless. One therapist working with grieving clients isn't sure how to help them conceptualize loss or work through it. Here, five therapists offer advice, explaining how they do grief work—with themselves and their clients.

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My Biggest Challenge as a Therapist

The Hardest Things About Practice

Therapy is hard work. But what are therapy’s biggest challenges, and how do therapists overcome them? Here, five therapists share the clinical challenge that tested them, frustrated them, continues to stump them, and made them the therapists they are today.

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My Client Needs Help with Something That Isn’t My Specialty

Five Clinicians Weigh In

Andrew has started showing symptoms of OCD. He’s struggled with anxiety for a while, but the pandemic seems to have been a tipping point for him. His therapist, who works in a rural area and doesn't specialize in treating OCD, doesn’t have many options for referrals and isn't sure how to help. Five clinicians share how they'd handle the situation.

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I’m Ready for a New Challenge

Five Clinicians Weigh In

A therapist is ready for a new challenge, a new context in which to put their clinical skills to work. Here, five clinicians offer practical guidance on finding rewarding projects.

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Mental Health or Marxism?

Therapists on the Fight over Social Emotional Learning in Schools

Social-emotional learning isn’t entirely new, but as more districts emphasize the curricula in the wake of COVID, confusion from parents appears to be on the rise. And in some communities, parents are doing much more than weighing this new reality: they’re staging entire revolts.

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