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Helping Children Conquer the OCD "Worry Hill"

A Child-Friendly Approach to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Aureen Pinto Wagner • No Comments

By Aureen Pinto Wagner - While CBT is widely considered the treatment of choice for children with OCD, effectiveness is contingent on overcoming a formidable obstacle: children's reluctance to engage in exposure therapy because they think that facing their fears without performing rituals will be too scary and impossible. Here's a fun yet effective approach that tackles this problem.

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April Quandary: My Teenage Client’s Parents Say He’s Depressed, But He Disagrees!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford • No Comments

By Chris Lyford - Fourteen-year-old client Tyler’s parents brought him to therapy because they say he rarely engages with classmates or teachers, isn’t interested in extracurriculars, and heads straight to his room after school to play video games. They worry he’s depressed, but he’s mostly responsive in therapy and insists he’s happy. Here's how five therapists say they'd proceed.

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Why Are Narcissists So Hard to Treat?

How and When to Push Back

Wendy Behary • No Comments

By Wendy Behary - Narcissists are notoriously difficult clients. The key to working with them is being direct about the roiling emotions they trigger in us, and remembering that their self-aggrandizement almost always covers up painful longings for true connection, intimacy, and a sense that they’re "good enough."

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A Late-Life Lesson in Love

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Jeanne Folks • No Comments

By Jeanne Folks - It's difficult to describe my shock as my mother opens the front door and ushers me into the house of my youth. She's aged-shrunken, with poorly dyed blond hair and the familiar rigidity in her hands and body. Her once beautifully straight teeth are crooked, and one tooth is missing. It's been eight years since my last visit.

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Searching for a Language for Depression

The Vocabulary of Diagnosis Isn't Telling Our Stories

Joshua Wolf Shenk • No Comments

By Joshua Wolf Shenk - Each year, seventeen million Americans and one hundred million people worldwide experience clinical depression. What does this mean, exactly? Too many of us take comfort in language that raises the fewest questions, provokes the least fear of the unknown. When we funnel a sea of human experience into the linguistic equivalent of a laboratory beaker, we choke the long streams of breath needed to tell of a life in whole.

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VIDEO: Bill Doherty on the Rewards of Civic Commitment

Creating Space for a Conversation About Civic Commitments

William Doherty • No Comments

Sometimes our clients have commitments to groups or causes that enrich their lives and social connections. But very often, says couples therapist Bill Doherty, therapists don't inquire about these elements of our clients' lives. In fact, he adds, there seems to be a bias against doing so. In the following clip from his 2017 Networker Symposium Keynote address, Doherty explains how exploring civic commitments can also advance therapy.

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Why Does Neuroscience Matter for Psychotherapy?

Working with Clients in an Objective, Non-Shaming Manner

Louis Cozolino • No Comments

By Louis Cozolino - Some therapists bristle at the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy, calling it irrelevant or reductionistic. But it's hard to grasp how the brain could be irrelevant to changing the mind. Knowing about neuroscience is invaluable for therapists, not because it offers specific new techniques or clinical theories, but because it provides a deeper understanding of the biological power of the "talking cure."

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How to Engage an Angry Teen

A Paradoxical Approach to Creating a Therapeutic Alliance

Victor Shklyarevsky • No Comments

By Victor Shklyarevsky - "Making nice" is doomed to failure when working with too many troubled teens who might otherwise be helped. From the very first moments of the initial session, our goal is to match the teens' negative intensity: to take what such rude and dismissive clients so readily dish out and give back the same. This kind of mirroring allows them to experience the therapist as someone who can meet them where they are emotionally.

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Facing Disaster in Your Own Backyard

Sometimes the Best Intervention is Not Intervening at All

Patrick Dougherty • No Comments

By Patrick Dougherty - I went to the TV and turned it on. There to my horror was a bridge that I'd crossed hundreds, maybe thousands of times, and it was sprawling in a twisted heap. My clients were handling what was happening as well as they could. I didn't see any need to "help" anybody. In fact, I realized that the best help I could give was staying out of the way.

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The Mindfulness Explosion

The Perils of Mainstream Acceptance

Mary Sykes Wylie • No Comments

The explosive growth of mindfulness in America has inevitably triggered a backlash—a low, rumbling protest, particularly from Buddhists, who're disturbed by how much meditation in America appears to have been individualized, monetized, corporatized, therapized, taken over, flattened, and generally coopted out of all resemblance to its noble origins in an ancient spiritual and moral tradition.

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