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June Quandary: My Client Ghosted Me!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Sara, 26, had been attending weekly therapy three months, and had developed concrete strategies with her therapist to help her manage her depression and anxiety. He thought they'd developed a strong bond, but Sara has missed her last two sessions. Her therapist texted her after the first missed session to ask if everything was okay, but still hasn’t heard anything. He keeps worrying he might've done something wrong. Should he reach out again? Here, five therapists weigh in.

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The Healthy Parenting Brain

What Neuroscience Reveals about Good Parent-Child Bonding

Dan Hughes

By Jonathan Baylin and Daniel Hughes - Parenting isn’t a cookbook activity for managing children’s behavior: it’s an ancient mammalian mind–heart process, which allows a caregiver to stay engaged and regulated enough to sustain the mind-to-mind, heart-to-heart connections that are vital for a child’s development.

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VIDEO: Stephen Porges on the Building Blocks of Healthy Relationships

What Co-Regulation Actually Looks Like

Stephen Porges

In developing the Polyvagal Theory, psychophysiologist Stephen Porges transformed the way therapists understand the underlying mechanisms of traumatic response and how safety, caring, and trustworthiness are conveyed unconsciously in our body language, voice tonality, facial expression, and eye contact. In this video clip, he explains what healthy co-regulation looks like in the body.

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VIDEO: Susan Johnson on Breaking Negative Cycles

How "Secure Base" Restores the Emotional and Physical Spark

Susan Johnson

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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Why Emotional Safety is the Defining Feature of Good Sex

Susan Johnson on Infusing Sex with Emotion and Attachment

Susan Johnson

By Susan Johnson - Passion is about so much more than responding to novel stimuli or ramped-up lust. In the dance of sex, passion can be constantly renewed, not simply by finding more exotic sexual positions, but by changing the level of our engagement in the moment and with our lover. If we really understand love, we can also understand how to shape lasting passion.

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Creating a Safe Space for Men in Therapy

Using a Men's Group Therapy Model to Cultivate Emotional Intimacy

Robert Garfield

I have been running therapeutic men’s groups---we call them “friendship labs”---for the past 18 years. We’ve found that groups are particularly appealing for men who experience traditional individual or couples approaches as being too alien or off-putting. There’s something comforting about being part of a group of guys dealing with similar issues, who are there to ask for and give support to each other. This seems to echo Henry Ford’s praise for close male relationships: “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.”

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