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Disabling Toxic Verbiage

Four Ways to Push Pause on a Verbal Bully

Kate Cohen-Posey • No Comments

By Kate Cohen-Posey - We live in an age in which using toxic verbiage against others has almost become the norm. Here's how we can help clients deal with these kinds of situations in the moment.

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Sue Johnson on Restoring Connection to Partnership

The Strength of a Relationship Depends on How Partners Respond to This One Question

Susan Johnson • No Comments

By Susan Johnson - Marriages are primarily about the emotional responsiveness that we call love; about fundamental human attachment. The empirically supported model of therapy I've developed allows us to understand what happens at key moments of change and make these moments happen. This means that we can not only heal relationships: we can create relationships that heal.

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The Core of Couples Therapy

Susan Johnson Explains the Root of Most Couples Conflict

Susan Johnson • No Comments

By Susan Johnson - In couples therapy, the heart of the matter rarely concerns the content of a couple's arguments, but almost always concerns the strength and responsiveness of the attachment relationship they have. The bottom-line test of that relationship is in the answer to a fundamental question each is asking the other: Are you really there for me?

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How Much Are We Really in Control?

Retraining the Knee-Jerk Brain

Brent Atkinson • No Comments

By Brent Atkinson - Conscious understanding and effort aren’t the mighty forces we assume they are. Our automatic urges and inclinations are much stronger than most of us ever imagined. Even so, there's something we can do to retrain the emotional brain.

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Listening to the Body's Story

In Couples Therapy, Sitting With Sensations Can Have a Surprising Effect

Molly Layton • No Comments

By Molly Layton - Even with two people sitting quietly, an interpersonal space isn't an empty space—it's alive with a peculiar quality. These days, in certain intractable situations, I keep discovering how much getting couples to focus on the immediacy of their bodily sensations can change the entire flow and direction of what takes place in my office.

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Couples Therapy with a Positive Spin

How to Accomplish Something in Every Session

Ellen Wachtel • No Comments

By Ellen Wachtel - Doing couples therapy isn’t easy. But often there are implicit positives in statements in which the main point is anger, disappointment, and hurt. With practice, therapists can learn to pick up on the strengths that are embedded in painful emotions.

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How To Stop Couples Conflict Before It Even Starts

...And the Five Life Factors That Contribute to Intensifying Anger Arousal

W. Robert Nay • No Comments

By W. Robert Nay - Therapy often involves entirely too much talking about new skills the client should put into place, but not enough rehearsing. Just as exposure training reduces anxiety to feared situations, having couples rehearse conflict makes them feel less threatened as they learn new ways of responding to old anger triggers.

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Can We Help Heal Divided Communities?

One Therapist Hits the Road with the Better Angels to Find Out

William Doherty • No Comments

By William Doherty - After the 2016 Presidential election, I discovered a new professional mission—to work on healing the divide among ordinary Americans—or in couples therapy terms, to prevent a long-term civic divorce. Through an organization called Better Angels, I decided to embark on a bus tour to see what I could learn about shifting the standoff between Red and Blue America.

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Repairing the Father-Daughter Disconnect

Five Principles That Build Engagement and Trust on Both Sides

Cara Brendler • No Comments

By Cara Brendler - Bridging the gap between fathers and daughters is one of the great challenges for family therapists. The most familiar dynamic we see is estrangement: fathers and daughters orbiting in separate worlds, each invisible to the other. Here are five approaches that I’ve developed and used throughout the years that have proven to be effective in many situations like this.

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What Makes Couples Therapy Techniques Stick?

Three Ways to Replicate Progress Outside the Consulting Room

Carolyn Daitch • No Comments

By Carolyn Daitch - We not only have to teach our clients how to interrupt old coping mechanisms, generated by fear and anger, but also how to integrate new coping skills permanently into their response repertoire. Successfully combating and overriding firmly ingrained behaviors in this manner requires practice, and it's our job as therapists to help clients learn how and when to practice these skills, and then make sure they go home and do it.

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