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Therapy, the Conversational Craft

Strategies for Improving Your Therapeutic Conversation Skills

William Doherty • 2 Comments

By Bill Doherty - In this era of medical necessity and evidence-based therapies, it's easy to lose sight of the basic truth that psychotherapy is a special form of conversation: we heal not through prescriptions and procedures, but through talking and listening. What if we think of therapy as a conversational craft that we hone over a career with our clients and with a community of conversational healers?

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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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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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Therapy Needs More Than Just "Big Moments"

The Two Elements That Hold the Key to Change

David Waters • 1 Comment

By David Waters - I used to get very excited when I thought that clients were about to embark on what I called a project—a course of action that crystallized a problem into a unifying undertaking. But however valuable creativity can be in setting up the conditions in which transformation may take place, change itself requires repetition and commitment to altering habits.

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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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Keeping it Real with Your Teen Clients

...And the One Mistake Too Many Clinicians Make

Janet Sasson Edgette • 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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We Weren't Meant to Live in "Screenworld"

Why Therapy is the Counterculture We Need

Michael Ventura • 1 Comment

By Michael Ventura - Nowadays, you see screens at checkout counters and laundromats, in restaurants and waiting rooms, and on the dashboards of cars and in their back seats. Isn't there something peculiarly disembodied about it? How does one find or grow a sense of centeredness amid this continually shifting screenscape? Psychotherapy, by its nature and purpose, is Counter-Screenworld.

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Conversational Skill, the Common Denominator in Good Therapy

Are Specialization and Clinical Complexity Really Necessary?

Jay Efran • 2 Comments

By Jay Efran and Rob Fauber - Over psychotherapy’s history, the search for new therapy techniques and fancier gimmicks has led the field lurching down one blind alley after another. But therapy is undeniably a form of conversation, not a medical treatment. It can never be fully scripted or manualized, and its value hinges on a few basic principles that have been known for a long time.

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