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How to Develop a Safety Plan with Suicidal Clients

A Process of Inquiry That Promotes Empathic Connection

Douglas Flemons • 9/19/2017 • No Comments

By Douglas Flemons - Suicide assessment is a high-stakes process infused with uncertainty. However, even the best scales can be unreliable when they’re completed in the midst of an emotional crisis. Rather than outsourcing your decision-making to an instrument, it's important that therapists learn how to conduct a conversational evaluation that builds on their therapeutic skills.

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5 Strategies for Forging Healthy Relationships with Others (and Yourself)

How to Make Connections for a Truly Happy Life after 50

Andrea Brandt • 8/15/2017 • No Comments

By Andrea Brandt - In this third part of a three-part series adapted from the upcoming book Mindful Aging: Embracing Your Life after 50 to Find Fulfillment, Purpose, and Joy, author and clinician Andrea Brandt looks at how a more intentional relationship with ourselves can lead to more satisfying relationships with others.

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Everyday Heroism

Philip Zimbardo Reflects on His Work on Human Connections and Positive Change

Ryan Howes • 7/10/2017 • No Comments

By Ryan Howes - Social psychologist Philip Zimbardo may be most well-known for his notorious Stanford Prison Experiment. More recently, however, he's pivoted his work to focus on human connections and positive change. He founded a clinic that helps clients push past self-imposed limits around shyness and established a program that frames heroism as a continual, everyday choice.

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Creating a Support System for New Mothers

Five Ways to Help Them Cope with Stress, Improve Mood, and Stay Energetic

Rick Hanson • 7/7/2017 • 1 Comment

By Rick Hanson - Motherhood isn't, in itself, a psychological or medical problem. But the challenges inherent in childbearing and childrearing can lead to clinical consequences, with studies showing that mothers are more likely to have depressive moods, more stress than fathers, and frequent conflicts with their partner. Here are five ways to help them cope.

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Inside the Asian Immigrant Experience

Dealing with Ongoing Discomfort as a Perpetual Outsider

Tazuko Shibusawa • 6/6/2017 • No Comments

By Tazuko Shibusawa - I was born in Japan, but spent my earliest childhood years in Michigan with my family. Since World War II, the image of Asians as a model minority has held, with increasing numbers of immigrants from all over Asia. But we Asian Americans are under tremendous pressure to prove ourselves, and we continue to be on guard against outbreaks of racial hatred.

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So Your Client Doesn't Want to Connect?

The Paradoxical Effect of Trying Too Hard

Steven Shapiro • 5/19/2017 • 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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Keeping it Real with Your Teen Clients

...And the One Mistake Too Many Clinicians Make

Janet Sasson Edgette • 4/30/2017 • No Comments

By Janet Sasson Edgette - For many teenagers, few things are less appealing than the prospect of talking with adults. Can you blame them? Too often, adults quickly refashion conversations into know-it-all lectures, boring monologues, or annoying reprimands. Here are some approaches to building conversation that allow you to connect with young clients without making them feel self-conscious, pounced upon, or called out.

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Affair Repair

Two Contradictions That Can Help Couples on the Brink Restore Connection

Michele Weiner-Davis • 4/1/2017 • 1 Comment

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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The Mentor Who Changed My Therapy Practice

…And How Two Little Words Changed Everything

Chris Lyford • 3/3/2017 • No Comments

By Chris Lyford - While therapeutic skill is the product of years of practice and self-determination, most clinicians need a mentor: someone who takes them under their wing and inspires them to be a better therapist. The five clinicians whose stories you’re about to read all agree on one thing: seeing how their mentors practice left an indelible mark on their personal and professional development that still resonates today.

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VIDEO: Stephen Porges on How Trauma Affects Our Ability to Connect

The Science Behind Healthy Relationships

Stephen Porges • 12/28/2016 • 1 Comment

Stress responses aren't only vested within the sympathetic nervous system’s capacity to support fight-or-flight behaviors. There’s another defense system that’s mediated through a vagal circuit, says Stephen Porges, creator of the Polyvagal Theory. In the following video from his 2016 Networker Symposium keynote address, he explains how the vagus nerve is affected by trauma, and what this means for our ability to build meaningful relationships.

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