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
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.
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.
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
Wouldn’t it be great if we had a magic therapy wand to wave in front of our young clients and give them all the answers they need? What if this magic wand could conjure rainbow lizards and talking dogs to sit on our clients’ shoulders, bypass their defense systems, and whisper good, therapeutic advice in their ears? Well, that’s exactly the kind of approach Charlotte Reznick, author of The Power of Your Child’s Imagination, uses with her young clients.
Norman Doidge is a psychiatrist and author of The Brain That Changes Itself, a New York Times bestseller that describes the brain’s astonishing capacity for change. In this excerpt from his the Networker Webcast series Why Brain Science Matters, Norman explains the real-life, practical therapeutic implications for psychotherapy. Read More
Schools and physicians don’t seem to understand the ways in which trauma leads to symptoms that resemble ADHD. Thus, we all need to ask the right questions and dig a little deeper in creative ways to find out what may be troubling the child, so that our treatment is effective and not just a surface remedy for a misdiagnosis. Read More
Stephen makes it clear that hard scientific evidence now exists for what most therapists instinctively know: successful therapy depends utterly on establishing a safe, caring, mutually trustworthy, stable relationship with a client. Read More
Most therapists, when asked, report checking in routinely for client feedback and knowing when to do so. But research has found this to be far from true. Read More