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Myths and Realities of the Asperger's Experience

Normalizing and Mobilizing Clients and Their Families

Richard Howlin • 6/8/2018 • 2 Comments

By Richard Howlin - Adults with Asperger's syndrome often behave as if they were confused actors walking onto a stage and being the only ones who don't know the lines or the plot. One of my initial goals in therapy is to help them realize the role their brain plays in their everyday practical and social understanding. Then, we embark on a step-by-step process of skill training, life planning, and helping clients integrate their unusual and obsessive talents into a productive life.

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When Siblings Become Caregivers

Three Ways to Defuse Confrontation

Barry Jacobs • 5/31/2018 • 1 Comment

By Barry Jacobs - Nothing reveals the fault lines in sibling relationships like the seismic shift caused by an aging parent's sudden decline. Brothers and sisters can quickly become locked in conflict about what's best for Mom and Dad. Here's how to help them forget their old rivalries and cooperate with one another.

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A Late-Life Lesson in Love

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Jeanne Folks • 5/22/2018 • 1 Comment

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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The Stories That Bind Us

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Janine Roberts • 5/7/2018 • No Comments

By Janine Roberts - When I was eight years old, I reached into Mom's jewelry drawer and found a folded piece of paper that read: “I want to die here in the meadow. The lupine and Indian paintbrush around me.” Not long ago, my granddaughter was born. She taught me anew how we want to connect and be seen—something Mom needed from me.

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Reframing the "Burden" of Caretaking

Why Accepting Help is Empowering for Those Receiving and Giving

Barry Jacobs • 5/3/2018 • No Comments

By Barry Jacobs - For those who've spent their lifetimes taking pride in giving generously to others, suddenly being on the receiving end of care because of illness or age-related infirmity can be tormenting. For many, rejecting help is regarded as a measure of one's courage and determination in battling family crises brought on by old age or disease. Here are some ways of overcoming this common tendency to refuse help.

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Kinship Without Connection

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Mark Matousek • 4/13/2018 • No Comments

By Mark Matousek - One ordinary day last year, an email appeared from someone I didn’t know, a Jim who lived in Phoenix. It explained that his mother had found a book of mine online, realized I was looking for her ex-husband, and passed the book along to her son. Jim had read the book, done the math, and deduced that we had the same missing father. We agreed to meet three weeks later.

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Family Therapy as We Know It Needs to Change

To Reach Troubled Adolescents, Look to the "Second Family"

Ron Taffel • 3/30/2018 • No Comments

By Ron Taffel - When it comes to treating troubled adolescents, family therapy has not kept pace with several decades of massive social upheaval. The world of an adolescent is now so powerfully defined by systemic forces other than home—the peer network, pop culture, school and neighborhood ethos—that working with the family alone is rarely powerful enough to effect change.

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Why It's So Hard for Young Adults to Leave Home

...And How to Convert the Nest into a Net

Brad Sachs • 3/23/2018 • 4 Comments

By Brad Sachs - The current generation of families is confronted with what appears to be a substantial upsurge in young adults who can't seem to make the transition from home-centered adolescent to independent adult. Here's why, and what we can do about it.

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VIDEO: Terry Real Shares His Most Memorable Therapeutic Moment

The Found and the Lost

Terry Real • 3/7/2018 • 1 Comment

Many people wonder how therapists manage to do the work they do. Of the thousands of meaningful sessions that take place in a therapist’s office, certain ones stand out. In the following video from the 2016 Symposium, renowned couples therapist Terry Real shares a memorable moment from his own work.

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Got the Magic Touch?

Four Behaviors of Gifted Therapists and How to Cultivate Them

Dafna Lender • 2/24/2018 • 1 Comment

By Dafna Lender - We’ve now moved past the point where we rely only on intuition to elicit trust and openness. Microbehaviors occur within fractions of a second, most of them not conscious to the sender or receiver, and some greatly contribute to inspiring feelings of safety, connection, and comfort. Here are four ways these emotional messages are transmitted.

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