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Thinking Outside the Box

Giving Stuck Clients a Therapy Experience Like They've Never Had Before

Cloe Madanes

By Cloe Madanes - There are times when clients are so deeply stuck, not just in the unhappy circumstances of their pain, but in the unshakable sense that nothing they do will make any difference, that they need a little benign shaking up.

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The Tony Robbins Experience

What’s the Takeaway for Therapists?

Marian Sandmaier

By Marian Sandmaier - Tony Robbins, who will give a special session at the 41st annual Networker Symposium in March, is a pop psychology phenom. Over the last four decades, his work in the area of emotional growth and healing has influenced millions of people. But can therapists learn anything useful from him?

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The Silver Lining in Failure

Not Every Teachable Moment Has to Be a Successful One

Cloe Madanes

By Cloe Madanes - The problem with a failure is that one doesn't really understand why one failed. If one did, it wouldn't have been a failure. But I'm not giving up on my toughest client, Bob. There's one strategy I still haven't used.

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Creative Therapy with the Humor Antidote

Using Playfulness to Move Stuck Clients Into Recovery

Cloe Madanes

When clients are deeply stuck, they have lost all sense of perspective, all capacity to see any possible humor or lightness in their problem or in their lives. Emotionally and cognitively, they’re trapped in their own sad story. In these cases, the approach that I’ve found most useful is a kind of soft shock therapy in the form of a humorous paradoxical directive. Playful, humorous strategies can be like therapeutic life preservers, which keep both therapist and client afloat until both can get back to shore. Humor reboots the emotions and enables us to look at our situation with fresh eyes.

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Recovering the Lost Roots of Child and Family Therapy

Using Family Therapy's Origins to Fix a Broken Mental Health System

Cloe Madanes

During the height of the family therapy movement, the healing power of the family was respected, and medication and out-of-home placements were considered a last resort. For a variety of reasons, that era has passed, and countertherapeutic economic forces have come to dominate treatment decisions. We need to reexamine our values as a profession and rediscover the activism of the days when the DSM didn’t so thoroughly limit our perspective and clinicians were encouraged to think beyond narrow diagnostic categories and embrace the fuller complexities of human systems.

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Soft Shock Therapy

The Art of Speaking the Unspeakable

Cloe Madanes

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