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Healing After Betrayal

It Takes These Two Therapeutic Approaches

Steven Stosny

By Steven Stosny - Intimate betrayal strikes at the core of our capacity to trust and love, violating the fundamental expectation that gives us the courage to connect deeply—the belief that the person we love won’t intentionally hurt us. This requires therapists to reach a balance between validating their clients’ pain and empowering them to improve their lives.

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Affair Repair

Two Contradictions That Can Help Couples on the Brink Restore Connection

Michele Weiner-Davis

By Michele Weiner-Davis - Couples therapy can be difficult and dicey, especially when there’s an affair in the mix. To keep afloat in the emotional tumult, most therapists cling to certain hard-and-fast rules that form the foundation of their work. One therapist learns some surprising lessons when she reevaluates those tenets.

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Can Open Relationships Ever Work—and When Should Therapists Support Them?

Helping Your Clients Create a Relationship "Contract"

Rick Miller

By Rick Miller - Partners who are basically healthy as individuals and stable as a couple may benefit from an open relationship. Even in our highly sexualized society, alternative arrangements such as open relationships may seem alien and intimidating to many people, but as therapists, our challenge is to be less prudish and frightened by potentially negative outcomes.

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Moving Beyond Resentment

How to Help Clients Get Past Old Wounds

Steven Stosny

Most resentful people drag a long chain of bitterness through life. Since resentment can greatly distort thinking through oversimplification, confirmation bias, inability to grasp other perspectives, and impaired reality-testing, it often becomes a worldview. The initial challenge of treating those afflicted with chronic resentment is to strike a balance between validation and empowerment. While memories of past maltreatment may never go away, clients can learn to experience them as white noise, like the background hum of an air conditioner, as they build more value and meaning in their daily lives.

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Removing Stigma in the Aftermath of Sexual Abuse

Therapy's Ongoing Duty to Help Victims Eliminate Shame and Self-Blame

Susan Clancy

Certainly we have advanced to the point that the right things are being said about sexual abuse---that it's common and harmful, and that it's never the child's fault. Funding in the trauma field has been secured, research conducted, studies and books published, treatment centers established, and public awareness raised through sex-education programs and campaigns in the media. But is any of it translating into actual progress for victims? Do they feel that they're being helped, that they're understood and their needs are being served effectively?

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Couples Therapy for Moving Past Affairs

Esther Perel on Redefining Marriage After an Affair

Esther Perel

For several years, I've been contacting couples I've treated to find out more about the long-term impact of the infidelity that brought them to therapy. With those couples who've remained together in the intervening years, I offered a free, follow-up interview to discuss how they regard the infidelity retrospectively, and how they integrated the experience into the ongoing narrative of their relationship. Specificities notwithstanding, I identified three basic patterns in the way couples reorganize themselves after an infidelity---they never really get past the affair, they pull themselves up by the bootstraps and let it go, or they leave it far behind.

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Sleepless in America

Making it Through the Night in a Wired World

Mary Sykes Wylie

Insomnia. Almost everybody has it at one time or another. Some poor souls live (or barely live) with it. It's hard to know exactly how widespread it is—prevalence rates are all over the map. As many as 30 percent of the population, or as few as 9 percent (depending on the source of the statistic, or how insomnia is defined, or what impact it has), suffer from some form of it at least some of the time. What's undisputed, however, is that sleep is as necessary to physical and mental health as air and water, and that, without it, we suffer—often severely. So, those annoying world-beaters, who brag about needing only four hours of sleep a night (the better to forge multimillion-dollar start-ups and do their Nobel Prize–winning research) are perhaps not being entirely candid.

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The Divided Self

Inside the World of 21st Century Teens

Ron Taffel

While at first glance, 21st-century adolescents appear impossibly cool--cooler than we could have ever been ourselves--teens today are running hot. They're not just hormonally hot, but hot with cultural forces that have redefined the nature of their consciousness and experience of selfhood. Millennium kids live in a context that spawns fragmentation, what I call a "divided-self" experience: cool and often cruel on the surface, they hide surprisingly healthy passions beneath.

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The End of Innocence

Reconsidering Our Concepts of Victimhood

Dusty Miller

As a systems therapist, incest survivor, and recovering alcoholic, I've lived through several stages of our culture's attempt to come to terms with child sexual abuse--as a victim in the silent 1950s; as a therapy client in the oblivious 1960s and 1970s; and as a psychotherapist in the 1980s and 1990s, when once-dismissed accounts of abuse filled my therapy practice (and my television screen) only to be partly discredited within the decade during another swing of the cultural pendulum.

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Suggesting Mindfulness

Awakening the Hypnotist Within

Michael Yapko

As a clinical intervention, mindfulness is best understood by stripping away its aura of mystical spirituality and understanding the crucial role suggestion plays in the change process.

 

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