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VIDEO: Janet Edgette on Getting Real with Kids in Therapy

The Perils of Being Too Empathic

We all want to build strong relationships with our clients, but when working with adolescents, don’t overdo the empathy, says therapist Janet Edgette. Edgette says a common pitfall in working with young adults is being too nice and too eager to be liked. Use too much "therapy talk" and ignore obnoxious behavior, and you run the risk of seeming unnatural and alienating them.

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Reflections on the Path and Purpose of Trauma Work

Ending the National Health Problem of Family Violence

By Mary Jo Barrett - Family violence remains a national health problem that few therapists have been trained to deal with and, sadly, few of us want to address. On a good day, it’s a messy, complicated business, which doesn’t bring much financial reward or professional status. But over 40 years, we've amassed a wealth of knowledge on how to help traumatized families.

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Here's Why "Retail Therapy" is So Alluring

...And How to Shop Mindfully in an Age of Mindless Consumption

By April Lane Benson - Shopping isn't about buying: it's about being. It's a conscious act, an essential process of search, an experience of learning and living we engage in all the time. If we can help our clients look at shopping this way, it's an opportunity that's too good to pass up. But we shouldn't underestimate the difficulty.

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VIDEO: Dan Siegel Explains Why Brain Integration is the Key to Good Mental Health

Here's What a Healthy Mind Looks Like

According to Dan Siegel, understanding the connection between the brain and the miraculously various operations of the human mind and body is the first step in applying the findings of brain science in clinical practice. In the following video clip, he explains why integration is the critical brain function for supporting that healing connection.

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VIDEO: A Breathing Antidote for Stress Responses

A Six-Minute Exercise for Overcoming Stress

Our depressed clients don’t only exhibit their symptoms through speech and vocal tone. You see them in their body language too—in slouching torsos, folded arms, and shallow breathing. But according to Jim Gordon, Director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, that's exactly why interventions that engage the body—like the breathing exercise he explains in the following video clip—are so effective.

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Neuroscience and Psychotherapy

Dan Siegel on the Craft of Rewiring the Brain

By Daniel Siegel - The past 40 years have given us a view of the mind that encompasses an emergent, self-organizing, embodied, and relational process that regulates the flow of energy and information. We now know that where attention goes, neural firing flows, and neural connection grows. Helping people develop more neural integration goes beyond reducing symptoms: it helps them thrive.

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Therapy in Post-Election America

What Therapists and Their Minority Clients Are Saying

By Chris Lyford - Therapists who work mainly with minorities say their clients have been disproportionately affected by recent politics. In response, a sense of mission has helped jumpstart many clinicians’ work in the therapy room.

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Why Torture Doesn't Work

What Neuroscience is Showing Us

By Diane Cole - Using a broad swath of scientific, psychological, and medical evidence about brain function, Shane O'Mara, a professor of experimental brain research, delves into—and disproves—popular misconceptions about the brain under stress, memory, and the psychological state of torturers.

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Race Matters

How Far Have We Come? Ken Hardy Weighs In

By Kenneth Hardy - If ever there were a critical moment for constructive and courageous conversations about race, power, and privilege in our practices, communities, and the broader society, this is it.

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Feminism and Psychotherapy

Harriet Lerner on the Legacy of the Women's Movement

By Ryan Howes - For 30 years, psychologist Harriet Lerner has been one of the leading feminist thinkers within the profession, as well as an enormously successful author who brings the insights of therapy to a large general audience. In the following interview, she speaks about her body of work, and addresses the question of the continuing impact of feminism on psychotherapy today.

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How Mindfulness Can Boost Your Self-Esteem

Cultivating Self-Compassion with Your Inner Critic

By Tim Desmond - Buddhist practices hold potential for helping clients, particularly those suffering from low self-esteem. One of the main goals of Buddhist meditation is cultivating compassion and love. Here are several techniques that focus on developing these qualities toward oneself.

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Changing How You Think About Weight

Four Steps to Transform Your Internalized Views About Body Size

By Judith Matz - I’ve come to believe that the way we as therapists feel about our clients’ body size is not only a clinical concern, but a social justice issue. It’s not easy to challenge internal attitudes that are reinforced every day in the general culture, but if you’re willing to go against the cultural current, here are some things you can do to help you assess—and transform—your internalized views about weight and dieting.

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What It Really Takes to Communicate with Boys

Helping Unresponsive Clients Expand Their Limited Emotional Vocabulary

By Adam Cox - As we raise and support the next generation of boys, it's vital that we help them find the words to define themselves and relate to others. To do so, therapists and parents alike must go beyond the business-as-usual inquiries about thoughts and feelings to discover conversational approaches that stimulate a real connection and encourage them to open up to a broader range of verbal expression.

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VIDEO: Maggie Phillips on the Four Levels of Traumatic Pain

Exploring an Uncommon Side Effect of Trauma

When Maggie Phillips and Peter Levine co-authored Freedom from Pain, they aimed to explore what’s been missing from the field’s treatment of chronic pain. According to Phillips, trauma can hide in the body and manifest as lingering pain that doesn’t respond to conventional medical treatment. In the following video, she explains how the two conditions intertwine, and shares her approach to dealing with this unusual side effect of trauma.

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Change the Way You Learn

Communities of Practice Could Be Your Pathway to Clinical Mastery

By Ryan Howes - As therapists, we often lead isolated professional lives, seeing client after client without meeting regularly with our colleagues to talk openly about our work, ask questions, or share ideas. In the following interview, Etienne Wenger, a groundbreaking social-learning theorist, explains how and why we should change this.

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The 6 Most-Read Networker Articles of 2016

A Look Back at This Year's Popular Reads, Chosen by You

By Chris Lyford - As 2017 approaches, we're taking stock of the past year. Join us in looking back at the most-read online Networker articles of 2016, chosen by you!

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VIDEO: Stephen Porges on How Trauma Affects Our Ability to Connect

The Science Behind Healthy Relationships

Stress responses aren't only vested within the sympathetic nervous system’s capacity to support fight-or-flight behaviors. There’s another defense system that’s mediated through a vagal circuit, says Stephen Porges, creator of the Polyvagal Theory. In the following video from his 2016 Networker Symposium keynote address, he explains how the vagus nerve is affected by trauma, and what this means for our ability to build meaningful relationships.

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The Hidden Link Between Food and Mood

You Don't Need to Be a Nutritionist to Give Good Advice about Eating

By Joan Borysenko - Most therapists have never had a course in nutrition. But what if your clients’ depression or anxiety is more connected to their diet and gut bacteria than to their relationships, or fears, or traumatic childhood? That’s the question that Joan Borysenko—author of 16 books about biology, psychology, and spirituality—wants you to consider. In the following interview, she shares what's she's learned about the link between food and mood.

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Six Things Therapists Are Saying After the Election

. . . And Why You Shouldn't Be Afraid to Call Out the Chicken Littles

By Chris Lyford - Regardless of where you stand politically, it’s hard to deny that the 2016 presidential election was one of the most stress-inducing in recent history. Democrats and Republicans alike continue to wrestle with lingering anxiety and tension. But none of this comes as a surprise to most therapists, who’ve been on the front lines of treating post-election stress. Here are some valuable lessons they’ve taken away from their recent work helping clients in these post-election times. 

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Are You Suffering from Planetary Anguish?

Reversing Climate Change May Not Be Beyond Our Reach

By Mary Pipher - We live in a culture of denial, especially about the grim reality of climate change. Sure, we want to savor the occasional shrimp cocktail without having to brood about ruined mangroves, but we can’t solve a problem we can’t face.

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Intimate Enemies

A Stepson Reconsiders a Long-Held Resentment

By Barry Jacobs - A lot of blended families don’t really blend: the new “relatives” at first try to join together, but then they quietly distance themselves, however awkwardly, as differences and conflicts emerge, even as they try to pretend otherwise. My stepfather, Steve, and I made no such pretense—we were enemies from the start.

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Lessons from a Mind in Decline

What Do You Tell Your Clients...and Yourself?

By David Treadway - Many of us of a certain age live with the fear of early-onset dementia, cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s—call it what you will. But incrementally becoming a vacant body to be tended, fed, changed, pitied was my worst nightmare.

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VIDEO: Julie Gottman on Why There's a Right Way for Couples to Argue

Breaking Down the Four Points of the "Conflict Blueprint"

Are you working with partners who can't seem to escape cycles of criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling? According to renowned couples therapist Julie Gottman, there's actually a right way for couples to argue that moves partners out of conflict quickly and effectively. In the following video clip, she explains the four points of the Gottmans' Conflict Blueprint.

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A Look Back at the Evolution of Trauma Treatment

Are Clinicians Still Turning a Blind Eye to a Key Factor?

By Mary Sykes Wylie - In the 1970s, no sooner had the definition of PTSD been signed, sealed, and delivered, than many clinicians began to realize that the new diagnosis by no means encompassed the experience of all traumatized clients. In the case of trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk, many of his traumatized clients shared one other feature: they all reported histories of childhood abuse.

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How to Overcome Your Fear of Couples Therapy

What's at Stake When We Only Treat One Partner

By Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson - Many clients avoid couples therapy, and many clinicians themselves prefer not getting involved in it. Sometimes clients fear the unpleasant things their partners might say about them. And for us, a one-on-one relationship can be pretty rewarding. Being an effective couples therapist requires us to develop skills we may not come by naturally. Here's how to do it.

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