Keyword: psychotherapy

Getting Unhooked

By the end of the hour, even when we begin with her raging and sobbing, Jenna usually leaves more cheerfully. She’s much less reactive than when she entered, and, best of all, we’re more in sync. When I’m able to be present in this way, my cooler, more regulated brain lowers the emotional temperature of her hot head. Over the year or so that we’ve been meeting regularly, she’s allowing me to comfort her more and more, using me more effectively for soothing. This is the wonder of what I call Time In.   Read More

Alternatives to Psychopharmacology

Even though we recognize that physiological processes hugely influence cognition, emotion, and behavior, therapists still tend to practice as if treatment should focus entirely on the human mind. But according to functional medicine psychiatrist Robert Hedaya, a comprehensive physiological evaluation is often needed before determining if a client’s issues are purely psychological or if a medication trial is needed.
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How Today’s Antidepressants Give Therapists Greater Flexibility

The second a medication appears on the market that seems to solve a problem and eliminate the nasty side effects of its predecessor, a study pops up that says it causes new problems like lethargy, blurry vision, or weight gain. But psychiatrist Peter Kramer, author of the renowned Listening to Prozac, argues that modern antidepressants like Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft not only have fewer side effects, but give psychotherapists more flexibility in their treatment options.   Read More

Bridging the Chasm between Psychotherapy and Psychiatry

Of all the professionals one might see for biological and psychological issues, it’s psychotherapists who are usually on the front lines of treatment, trained to spot and assess everything from changes in mood to unusual physical reactions. But given all their expertise, why don’t more psychotherapists make judgment calls when it comes to medication? And why do so many therapists show only a perfunctory interest in the ups and downs of their clients’ reactions to psychiatric medications?   Read More

When Every Session Mattered

In this highly charged atmosphere, no one on staff, not even Minuchin himself, was more revered for his ability to penetrate to the core of a family’s problem than Braulio Montalvo…when I asked Braulio how he’d been able to turn around the session so quickly, he simply said, “I just gave him a [new] way to be strong.” Then, characteristically, without calling any more attention to himself, he walked out of the room. It was as if we’d just been shown how to make a skeleton key to an entire city by a master locksmith.   Read More

When Emotional Hurt Becomes Chronic Pain

Psychotherapy for chronic pain? It’s not an obvious connection to many who live with persistent aches, pangs, and cramps that defy all the usual medical explanations and interventions. To be fair, it’s not a connection a lot of therapists are making either. Using talk therapy to treat chronic pain is still a developing area of our field, and Maggie Phillips is among those leading the way.
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