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Transforming Kids' Problem Behaviors into Skills

This Impressive Approach Puts Them in the Driver's Seat

Ben Furman and Liu Haiying • 4 Comments

By Ben Furman and Liu Haiying - Kids’Skills is a solution-focused and child-friendly approach to helping children overcome emotional and behavioral problems. Here, the therapist focuses on solutions, skills, and existing strengths, rather than the more traditional “problem-focused” interventions that have been already tried with little success.

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The Flow of Dialogue

Three Steps to Effective Conversation

Oren Jay Sofer • No Comments

By Oren Jay Sofer - Dialogue is a lot like dancing. It takes time to learn the basics, but when we’re conversing smoothly with someone else, it can be magical. We find a flow as we shift attention back and forth, hearing one another and allowing things to settle.

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VIDEO: Dafna Lender on Harnessing Your Social Engagement System

Strategies for Building the Therapeutic Alliance More Easily

Dafna Lender • No Comments

We all know therapists who seem magically able to establish a powerful sense of trust and connection with even the most distrusting clients. But are there specific behaviors common to exceptionally gifted therapists that we can study, practice, and cultivate?

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Resisting the Seduction of "Otherness"

...Once Upon a Time in a Diversity Training Session

Ken Hardy • 4 Comments

By Ken Hardy - When I got my doctorate in family therapy, I went to work in community-based organizations, believing that I'd change the world. Today, I realize that my work is about helping people see the insidious impact of the "otherness process." Our task poses formidable challenges, but failing to resist the seductions of "otherness" is failing at a fundamental principle of our work.

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Giving the Perfect Workshop

Those Who Do It Well Keep This One Principle in Mind

David Wexler • 2 Comments

By David Wexler - I’ve spoken at more than a thousand conferences, and over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what works for speakers and what doesn’t, as well as how best to design an engaging professional workshop. Here’s what I’ve found.

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What Therapists Can Learn from Improv

Three Rules for Being More Energetic and Interactive in Sessions

Robert Taibbi • 5 Comments

By Robert Taibbi - I started improv several years ago. It showed me how to be freer and more creative, providing a unique way of approaching relationships that's generous rather than closed, organic rather than scripted. While the theory and skills of therapy form the foundation of clinical practice, we have little foundation for the creativity that good therapy demands. Doing improv made me wonder whether applying these rules might make me more creative in my work and personal life.

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Jump-Starting Conversation in Family Therapy

The Difference Between Guiding and Intervening

Mike Nichols • No Comments

By Mike Nichols - How do you get family members to talk together productively? Enactments can be among the most valuable tools for getting a family's communication going. But cultivating these conversations—and making sure not to overmanage them—is harder than it sounds.

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Raising Boys Right

How to Help Closed-Off Young Men Cross the Communication Divide

Adam Cox • 1 Comment

By Adam Cox - As we raise and support the next generation of boys, it's vital that we give them the tools to be full participants in society by helping them find the words to define themselves and relate to others. To do so, therapists and parents alike must explore new means of engaging silent youngsters, going beyond the business-as-usual inquiries about thoughts and feelings.

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Doing Away with the "Blank Slate"

What Happened When One Therapist Decided to Self-Disclose

Jay Efran • 1 Comment

By Jay Efran - These days, I rarely hesitate to share my frank reactions with clients, most of whom, I have come to realize, are far hardier than we were taught to believe. If the setting is right, even brutal honesty can advance the therapeutic cause. Over the years, I have discovered a very handy therapeutic mantra to consider whenever the work bogs down, "When you find yourself stuck, try the truth."

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So Your Client Doesn't Want to Connect?

The Paradoxical Effect of Trying Too Hard

Steven Shapiro • No Comments

By Steven Shapiro - What stands in the way of connecting effectively? I've found that the major difficulty stems, paradoxically enough, from trying too hard. Even if they're highly motivated to get into therapy, many clients have only limited tolerance for emotional connection, interpersonal closeness, and sympathetic concern. Here are three guidelines that may help you form a solid alliance with your hard-to-reach clients.

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