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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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Inhabiting the Moment with Traumatized Teens

Three Strategies to Rewire Young Brains for Safety and Attachment

Martha Straus • 4/26/2018 • No Comments

By Martha Straus - What we therapists have to offer our young clients, more than anything, is our well-regulated, fully developed adult brain, with its mature capacity for awareness, perspective, appraisal, curiosity, and forgiveness on full display. According to the approach I use, Developmental-Relational Therapy, we’re both the mechanism of change and the intervention. Here are a few strategies that can rewire the teen brain for safety and intimacy.

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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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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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The One Thing That's Missing from Attachment Theory

Challenging a Therapeutic Cornerstone

Jerome Kagan • 3/22/2018 • 11 Comments

By Jerome Kagan - One of the strongest articles of faith among psychotherapists is the intuitively attractive proposition that the security of early attachments to parents has a profound influence on adult mental health. However, when I examine the evidence for this belief as a research psychologist, rather than as a clinical practitioner, a different, less clear-cut picture emerges.

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VIDEO: Susan Johnson on Breaking Negative Cycles

How "Secure Base" Restores the Emotional and Physical Spark

Susan Johnson • 3/14/2018 • 2 Comments

In the following video clip, renowned couples therapist Susan Johnson shares the story of her clients Frank and Sylvie—two partners stuck in a cycle of shame, hurt, and anger—and how, through establishing what she refers to as "secure base," they restored both emotional and physical passion to their relationship.

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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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Is Consensual Nonmonogamy Right for Your Clients?

...And Why Nonmonogamous Couples Tend to Avoid Couples Therapists Like the Plague

Margaret Nichols • 2/12/2018 • No Comments

By Margaret Nichols - In past decades, the only alternatives to involuntary celibacy in a relationship were affairs or divorce. But increasingly, people, including therapists, are recognizing there’s another option: consensual nonmonogamy. The idea isn’t new, but nonmonogamy is threatening to a lot of therapists for the same reason it’s threatening to most people: we instinctively want to believe that these unconventional relationships are flawed.

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There's Something Missing from Your Family Therapy Work

The Biggest Threats to Marriage Today Aren't What You Think

Betty Carter • 2/8/2018 • No Comments

By Betty Carter - In order to understand the particularity of almost any couple's personal experience, we need to adjust our lens to include not only their private domestic encounters, but the much larger political and social struggle about the politics of relationships beyond the walls of home.

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What Attunement Really Looks Like

Step One: Confronting Your Own Limitations

Molly Layton • 2/1/2018 • 1 Comment

By Molly Layton - The longer I practice, the more I'm struck with the importance of tolerant, hovering attentiveness that looks, Janus-faced, both outwardly at the client and inwardly toward the therapist's own processes.

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