Keyword: psychotherapy

Escaping the Trance of Depression

In recent years, we’ve learned that repeating patterns of experience, attention, conversation, and behavior can “groove” the brain; that is, your brain gets better and faster at doing whatever you do over and over again. This includes “doing” depression, feeling depressed feelings, talking about depression, and so forth. Thus, we can unintentionally help our clients get better at doing depression by focusing exclusively on it. To counter this effect, I like to use a method that I call “marbling.”
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Psychotherapy Beyond the Books and Manuals

The growing emphasis on treatment manuals and empirically validated methods is a step in the wrong direction. Yes, the public needs to be protected from quacks, and managed care organizations certainly want some assurance that their money is being spent wisely. In the final analysis, however, the effectiveness of a client-therapist pairing is a function of their collaborative dialogue—a process that resists standardization. Therapy requires a certain creative ambiguity that can’t be reduced to stock exercises or “bottled” like an antidepressant.   Read More

Ethics of the Greater Therapeutic Alliance

I believe that some elements of our ethical codes have become so needlessly stringent and rigid that they can undermine effective therapy. Take, for example, the almost universal taboo on “dual relationships,” which discourages any connection outside the “boundaries” of the therapeutic relationship, such as lunching or socializing. These “boundary crossings,” are rarely harmful and may even enhance the therapeutic connection. My experience with Mark and Sally was one such boundary crossing.   Read More

Can Mood Science Save Us from the Depression Epidemic?

How can it be that—despite all the efforts aimed at understanding, treating, and educating the public about depression—the number of people suffering from depression continues to rise? Why have our treatments plateaued in their effectiveness, and why does the stigma associated with this condition remain very much with us? Depression has clearly been a tough nut to crack, but we haven’t focused much on what’s at the center of that nut: mood.   Read More

Mindfulness Therapy: The New Trauma Treatment?

When we catch ourselves in a state of nonpresence, we’re likely to chalk it up to “mind chatter.” When a client reports these repetitive intrusions, we may wonder about a tendency toward obsessiveness or the possibility of depression and/or anxiety. While all of these interpretations may have some validity, I believe that much more is at stake. I propose that in many of these moments of body-mind intrusion, our brain is trying to protect us from mortal danger arising from memories of old, unresolved threats. In short, we’re in survival mode.   Read More

The Best Practices of Highly Effective Therapists

That therapists differ in their ability to affect change is hardly a revelation. But we also recognize that some practitioners are a cut above the rest. With rare exceptions, whenever they take aim, they hit the bull’s-eye. Nevertheless, since researcher David F. Ricks coined the term supershrinks in 1974 to describe a class of exceptional therapists—practitioners who stood head and shoulders above the rest, little has been done to further the investigation of supershrinks, and pseudoshrinks—those whose clients experience poor results.   Read More

Depression Unmasked

In spite of profound historical changes that make us more vulnerable to depression, the entire mental health establishment still regards the condition much as it did more than two decades ago—as an individual problem, confined within an individual skull, best approached with individual therapies or nostrums. In the face of massive evidence that “individual” depression is really a vast social and cultural problem inextricably linked to the habits, mores, and expectations of our era, our tunnel vision is remarkably unchanged. So why do we continually use a relentlessly individualized remedy to fight a socially mediated disorder?   Read More

Applying Attachment Theory in Schools

Pepperdine professor-psychotherapist Lou Cozolino believes that the key to improving our schools is learning how to incorporate an understanding of attachment theory and social neuroscience into our educational system. Throughout his career, he’s devoted himself to bridging the world of academic research with the realm of practical applications.   Read More

Stress-Reduction Techniques for the Therapist’s Office and Beyond

The sensations of doom or dread and other common panic attack symptoms felt by anxiety sufferers are truly overwhelming. They’re the very same sensations a person would feel if the worst really were happening. What good psychiatrist would suggest skipping medication when a suffering patient can get anxiety relief quickly? But what clients don’t know when they start taking medication is the unacknowledged cost of relying solely on pills: they’ll never learn the basic mind-body stress-reduction techniques that can control or eliminate their symptoms without meds.
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The Networker Daily Email Takes a Break

A year ago today, we launched the Networker Daily—a blog that we hoped would be a source of digital caffeine for therapists every morning. We wanted to strengthen the sense of connection we already have with you and, along the way, inform, educate, and inspire the whole Networker community with news of the latest happenings in Therapy World. Now it’s 12 months and over 300 blogs later. While we’ve received plenty of fan mail, we’ve also gotten more than a few signals that we’ve provided too much of a good thing.   Read More


 

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