It’s no secret that psychotherapy has had an image problem in the media. So when The New York Times Magazine asked trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk if it could have a journalist follow him around for a month to observe his work, it seemed like a golden opportunity to present the latest advances in trauma treatment in one of mainstream journalism’s most highly respected forums. Read More
Question: I keep hearing that journaling has many benefits for clients. I like the idea, but I’m not sure where to start. How can I integrate journaling into my practice? Read More
For many traumatized clients, even beginning to explore a traumatic event with their therapist can be an act of bravery. According to Janina Fisher, author of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, in order for clients to take this first step, they need first to be empowered.
Sometimes psychoactive medication can work wonders with agitated young clients in the throes of a psychological emergency. But psychiatrist Robert Hedaya, an expert in alternative psychotherapy and founder of the Whole Psychiatry methodology, is concerned with how little we know about the effects of meds on the brains of children and teens. Read More
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
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.
Has the time come to consider the whether modern families lack some of the intimate connections they used to have? And, if so, what can we as therapists do about it?
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
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
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