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Finding Strength in the Symptom

Breaking Free from the Limits of Our Medical Treatment Model

Courtney Armstrong • 3 Comments

By Courtney Armstrong - As therapists, we’re taught to be master detectives, methodically investigating our clients’ symptoms in search of the source of their pain. But if we spend too much time preoccupied with them, we’re likely to miss important clues to their hidden strengths. I’ve learned that turning a symptom into a client’s ally can transform the whole experience of therapy for both the therapist and client.

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When Trauma Impacts Performance

A Brainspotting Cure for the "Yips"

David Grand • 1 Comment

By David Grand - One of the most common athletic performance blocks I treat is the loss by an accomplished athlete of an ability to perform a seemingly simple task that was once almost automatic. It’s primarily a sports concept, but it can be found in all walks of life. I’ve found that the medical treatment is usually ineffective. Instead, I believe symptoms can more accurately be understood as a form of trauma-based dissociation.

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Therapist Peer Groups, the "Emotional Lifeboat"

Doing Self-Care by Yourself Isn't Always Enough

Patrick Dougherty • No Comments

By Patrick Dougherty - In the sea of trauma that surrounds us in our daily lives and in our offices, self-care is a life jacket. But collective trauma needs a collective response. Being part of a group of therapists dedicated to talking about vicarious trauma and sharing their own experiences is more than a life jacket—it's a human lifeboat, one with more resilience than we could ever generate alone. 

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Crossing to Safety

A Master Clinician Shares Her Most Therapeutic Moment

Courtney Armstrong • 1 Comment

By Courtney Armstrong - 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 storytelling piece, Courtney Armstrong shares a memorable moment from her own work.

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The Healing Power of Uncertainty

Our Traditional Approaches to Anxiety Treatment Aren't Good Enough

Reid Wilson • 1 Comment

By Reid Wilson - Therapy with anxious clients is most effective when I repeatedly challenge their underlying beliefs about how to handle distress. Anxious clients don't need my cleverness. They need therapeutic principles powerful enough to offset their faulty beliefs. I've learned to help my anxious clients by challenging three of their most basic life stances: their attitudes toward worry, certainty, and comfort.

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Why You Should Want Your Anxious Clients to Get Anxious on Purpose

Getting Rid of Panic Symptoms in as Little as Three Weeks

Reid Wilson • No Comments

By Reid Wilson - My clinical experience indicates that clients who can be persuaded to provoke and endure their symptoms without resorting to relaxation exercises quickly become habituated to their fears. Here's the five-step treatment I've developed, based on the work of the top clinicians and researchers in the anxiety field.

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Learning to Look at Anxiety in a New Way

The Two Truths About the Nature of Anxiety Disorders

Graham Campbell • No Comments

By Graham Campbell - Anxiety disorders are a means of keeping the external world at bay. Anxiety keeps new ideas and information out of a person's awareness. It saves overloaded mental and emotional circuits from additional strain. It is a sea wall built against the tide of physical circumstance. As a psychotherapist, I'm an empathic listener, but I'm still teaching a skill. That skill is inner listening: the ability to hear one's own heart, spirit or soul.

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What Works in Anxiety Treatment

Four Techniques Your Clients Can Use Anywhere, Anytime

Margaret Wehrenberg • 2 Comments

By Margaret Wehrenberg - The rewards of teaching people how to use deceptively simple anxiety-relief techniques are great. While clients in this culture have been indoctrinated to want and expect instantaneous relief from their discomfort at the pop of a pill, we can show them we have something better to offer.

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Beating Back-to-School Anxiety

Three Therapists Share Stories and Tips

Chris Lyford • 1 Comment

By Chris Lyford - Back-to-school season can be one of the most stressful periods of the year for a child, no matter what age. From making new friends to handling a new workload, the challenges that come with the new school year are plentiful. Here, three veteran therapists, all of whom know quite a bit about back-to-school anxieties, share the clinical lessons they learned—and a few stories.

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How Play Reduces Anxiety

Playtime Principles for Therapy with Kids and Their Parents

Lawrence Cohen • No Comments

By Lawrence Cohen - Parents of young, anxious children are often unsure of how to prepare them for a potentially upsetting event. Using play, however, can heal past upsets and prepare them for upcoming transitions. Here's how a powerful session with a mother and daughter clarified the principles that would come to guide my approach.

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