Top Stories

Attachment Work with Cut-Off Kids

When Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy developer Daniel Hughes first started working with children who struggled with serious behavioral and emotional problems, he knew something was missing in his approach. Daniel found the answers he was looking for in Attachment Theory—or at least most of them. Attachment Theory told him plenty about the symptoms and behaviors of his clients, but there were no instructions he could immediately apply to working with kids and families. He had to experiment and think outside the box to develop his own attachment-informed way of doing therapy.
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Beyond Chemistry

The clients referred to me for psychopharmacology consultation often seem to feel a certain relief once they’ve let me know that, when it comes to meds, they’ve tried “everything” and so far “nothing” has worked. After we’ve run down the list of what they’ve taken and how it’s failed to make any difference in their mood or state of agitation or ability to concentrate, they sit back as if to say, “Now it’s your turn.” In fact, this is the kind of ritual that they’re used to: once they’ve told the unhappy tale of their symptoms and the frustrating failure of drugs to do much good, what else is there for them to say? My answer? Plenty.   Read More

Winning the Anxiety Game

There’s a reason agoraphobic people stay home and acrophobic people stay grounded. No one enjoys the way that panic feels. But the trouble with trying to avoid or get rid of panic altogether is that it can lead to a fear of panicking itself. What panicked clients need from therapy instead, says Reid Wilson, author of Don’t Panic, are skills for engaging with their distress, not new ways to keep avoiding it.   Read More

A New Way to Engage Teen Clients

Dan Siegel, author of Brainstorm: The Power and the Purpose of the Teenage Brain, knows that nobody—especially an angst-filled teenager—likes being told what to do. As creative and adventurous as they may be, you’re likely to get eye rolls and crossed arms when you tell them, for instance, that the best way to control their anger toward their parents is through breathing exercises. That’s why Dan takes a more roundabout approach. “Would you like to know more about your brain?” he asks first. Only when the answer is yes—or rather, “Sure, why not? I’ve got nothing better to do.”—can you break out the brain science.
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Antidepressants as the Latest Object of Our Affection

Over the last 150 years or so, we’ve seen successive waves of mass infatuations with psychotropic drugs—morphine, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, tranquilizers, and antidepressants. While all these drugs are different, the story arc they follow—their rise, triumph, ascendancy, and gradual decline or sudden collapse—does follow a roughly predictable course.   Read More

Getting Anxious Families to Loosen Up

Anxiety is a demanding beast, with a long list of conditions that must be met to keep it at bay. It forces anxious children and their families to banish uncertainty, avoid surprises, cling to safety and security—the list of demands could go on forever. Unfortunately, when anxiety is running the show in a child’s life, the family tends to become more and more inflexible.
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