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A Special Daughter's Special Night

A Personal Essay from our Family Matters Department

Richard Holloway • 8/26/2016 • 1 Comment

By Richard Holloway - My daughter is beautiful: she has long, flowing, blonde hair, blue eyes, elegant features, and stands about 5’ 10” tall. She’s now 18, a senior, and this June will be her graduation. It’s a prospect I greet with mixed emotions. She’s autistic and has difficulty with everyday interactions and expressing herself coherently. So in the winter of her junior year, even though the prom was just around the corner, we never imagined she’d go. (A personal essay from our Family Matters department)

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A Therapist Struggles with the Clinical Choices He's Made

Reflections on a Marriage Therapy with a Transitioning Spouse

David Treadway • 3/8/2016 • 2 Comments

By David Treadway - Sometimes I’ve been instrumental in helping couples stay married when perhaps they’d have been happier if they’d gotten divorced. Other times, it’s been the reverse. Obviously, we all know that’s it not our job to tell our clients what’s right for them: rather, we need to create the right conditions for them to discover the answers for themselves. Frequently, however, our own reactivity shapes the messages we send and how profoundly we can influence---in unconscious and unpredictable ways---the unfolding of some couples’ lives. I feel that way about my work with Glen and Julie over a 14-year span.

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Appreciating the Strengths and Contributions of Introverts

Author Susan Cain Explains the Link Between Solitude and Creativity

Ryan Howes • 8/19/2016 • No Comments

By Ryan Howes - More often than not, we tend to give preference to the people we see as more social, gregarious, and comfortable in the limelight and in crowds. But according to Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, maybe it’s time the world came to appreciate the strengths and contributions of the 50 percent of Americans who are introverts.

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Are You Suffering from Planetary Anguish?

Reversing Climate Change May Not Be Beyond Our Reach

Mary Pipher • 12/9/2016 • 1 Comment

By Mary Pipher - We live in a culture of denial, especially about the grim reality of climate change. Sure, we want to savor the occasional shrimp cocktail without having to brood about ruined mangroves, but we can’t solve a problem we can’t face.

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Caught in a Web

A World Where Life is Always Elsewhere

Fred Wistow • 11/28/2016 • No Comments

By Fred Wistow - Every day, every moment, we must wade through the flood of incoming alerts and emails urgently demanding our time and attention, all the while knowing that there’s an infinite ocean of stuff online that waits for us at all hours to stick our toe in so that it may then slowly begin to swallow us up . . . until we drown.

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Confronting Our Reluctance to Have an Honest Conversation About Race

A White New Yorker Shares Some Personal Reflections on American Race Relations

Fred Wistow • 12/4/2015 • No Comments

Whenever a public outcry or riot’s been triggered by yet another racially motivated assault on a black man or woman, politicians inevitably utter (and commentators then endlessly and faux-earnestly repeat), “We need to have a national conversation about race.” Even if I had the chance, I doubt I’d even try to engage in a cross-racial conversation about race. I’d be too afraid that I’d trip over my own words and say something provocative, offensive, stupid. And as far as I know, the people I know---white people---are in the same strange and astonishing boat.

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Confronting Racism as a Social Disease

Deborah Peterson Small on the Need to Hone Our Therapeutic Focus

Deborah Peterson Small • 12/11/2015 • 3 Comments

When you talk about mental health and racism, bear two things in mind. One is the obvious harm that racism causes to the black and brown people who are the objects of racial discriminatory behavior, but the other part---never really talked about---is the harm that comes to white people from living in a racist society and the way in which it distorts their perspectives of themselves. It doesn’t matter so much how people acquired the condition of racism. Instead, the relevant questions are how we contain it and how we prevent it from being passed on to the next generation.

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Confronting Western Definitions of Sexuality and Intimacy

Michael Ventura on Sexuality and Romance as a Personal Journey into the Self

Michael Ventura • 11/18/2015 • No Comments

Today, sexuality still seems to be a territory as private and filled with fear as ever it was. We haven't advanced far in our ability to talk of our own sexuality one with another. Part of what makes sexuality scary is that it's a realm all its own: one in which the rational and the measured are overwhelmed and subsumed. It's where we meet ourselves most directly, without filters, without verbiage, and, if we go far enough, without fixed roles. It's where we meet ourselves with and through the Other, a partner as fluid we are.

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Fearless Foursome

The Women's Project Prepares to Pass the Torch

Rich Simon • 3/8/2017 • No Comments

By Rich Simon - For two decades, the members of the Women’s Project in Family Therapy were the outspoken feminist conscience of psychotherapy and, with their humor and warm camaraderie, became beloved role models in a field that had long been dominated by male leaders.

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Feminism and Psychotherapy

Harriet Lerner on the Legacy of the Women's Movement

Ryan Howes • 1/26/2017 • No Comments

By Ryan Howes - For 30 years, psychologist Harriet Lerner has been one of the leading feminist thinkers within the profession, as well as an enormously successful author who brings the insights of therapy to a large general audience. In the following interview, she speaks about her body of work, and addresses the question of the continuing impact of feminism on psychotherapy today.

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