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Helping Couples Cross the Argument Impasse

A Four-Step Process

B. Janet Hibbs

By B. Janet Hibbs - In their first therapy session, Bob tells his wife, Sandy, to stop emailing her former college boyfriend. She refuses, feeling mistrusted and controlled, and their exchange heats up. Many couples like these are at an impasse, caught up in a struggle to prove who's right. Here's how to help them get past these kinds of unwinnable arguments and resolve their differences.

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Past and Future

A Family Dinner Leads to Reflecting on a Legacy

Roberta Israeloff

By Roberta Israeloff - To my mother, who inherited the holiday after my grandmother's death, producing the seder was nothing short of a colossal chore—a feeling she'd communicate with every pot she slammed on the stove. Now, it's my turn.

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What Therapists Can Learn from Improv

Three Rules for Being More Energetic and Interactive in Sessions

Robert Taibbi

By Robert Taibbi - I started improv several years ago. It showed me how to be freer and more creative, providing a unique way of approaching relationships that's generous rather than closed, organic rather than scripted. While the theory and skills of therapy form the foundation of clinical practice, we have little foundation for the creativity that good therapy demands. Doing improv made me wonder whether applying these rules might make me more creative in my work and personal life.

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We Should Help Clients Welcome Their Anxiety Symptoms

An Exercise for Telling Your Problems "I'm in Charge!"

Reid Wilson

By Reid Wilson - The problems we suffer with anxiety often continue not because we have symptoms, but because we resist the fact that we're experiencing symptoms—doing our utmost to block out the symptoms, rather than getting to know them a little bit.

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So Your Client Doesn't Want to Connect?

The Paradoxical Effect of Trying Too Hard

Steven Shapiro

By Steven Shapiro - What stands in the way of connecting effectively? I've found that the major difficulty stems, paradoxically enough, from trying too hard. Even if they're highly motivated to get into therapy, many clients have only limited tolerance for emotional connection, interpersonal closeness, and sympathetic concern. Here are three guidelines that may help you form a solid alliance with your hard-to-reach clients.

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Helping Struggling Couples Find Their Sexual Style

A Guide to the Four Types: Traditional, Soulmate, Emotionally Expressive, Complementary

Barry McCarthy

By Barry McCarthy - What is a sexual style? It has to do with recognizing how different elements of a couple's sexual experience form a pattern—their way of initiating sex, how they pleasure each other and engage in erotic scenarios, the role of intercourse in their lovemaking, the afterplay scenarios they prefer, and the meaning sex has for them and its place in their relationship. In my clinical work, the vast majority of couples tend to fall within one of four styles.

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Pets: Our Most Unassuming Teachers

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Michael Hoyt

By Michael Hoyt - A man reflects on the death of a beloved pet, his burial, and the ones that came before.

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We Weren't Meant to Live in "Screenworld"

Why Therapy is the Counterculture We Need

Michael Ventura

By Michael Ventura - Nowadays, you see screens at checkout counters and laundromats, in restaurants and waiting rooms, and on the dashboards of cars and in their back seats. Isn't there something peculiarly disembodied about it? How does one find or grow a sense of centeredness amid this continually shifting screenscape? Psychotherapy, by its nature and purpose, is Counter-Screenworld.

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Here's Why "Retail Therapy" is So Alluring

...And How to Shop Mindfully in an Age of Mindless Consumption

April Lane Benson

By April Lane Benson - Shopping isn't about buying: it's about being. It's a conscious act, an essential process of search, an experience of learning and living we engage in all the time. If we can help our clients look at shopping this way, it's an opportunity that's too good to pass up. But we shouldn't underestimate the difficulty.

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