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A Polyvagal Primer

A Three-Part Exercise That Taps Into the Nervous System to Create Safety and Trust

Deb Dana • No Comments

By Deb Dana - The three elements of our autonomic nervous system—ventral, sympathetic, and dorsal—act as our largely subconscious surveillance system, working in the background to read subtle signals of safety or threat. That’s why I help clients create a clear map of their own autonomic nervous systems, so they become aware of their patterns of response to ease and distress.

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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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Trauma Therapy Meets Theater

An Unusual Program is Helping Vets Rewire from War

Ryan Howes • No Comments

By Ryan Howes - Therapists know that words can heal. But what if the words were in iambic pentameter and delivered from a stage? Veteran and professional actor Stephan Wolfert is testing a PTSD intervention that for decades has been pairing classical theater training with the science of trauma.

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How To Become Your Best Self

A Story About Changing Your Habits

Katy Butler • No Comments

By Katy Butler - In earlier centuries, systems of human transformation were embedded within local life. Today, in a culture freed from communal rhythms, our habits of the heart are nearly forgotten. In this postmodern world of infinite choice and incoherent structure, what practical steps should we take now to become our best selves?

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Five Strategies for When Therapy is Stuck

Bypassing the Limits of Feelings, Judgments, and Language

Steve Andreas • 3 Comments

By Steve Andreas - When therapy goes wrong, it’s typically because we’ve entered our clients’ trance, joining them in their myopic misery. Therapy typically hangs on your ability to demonstrate more skill and awareness in using the trancelike qualities of human communication to move beyond the tunnel vision that can stall therapy and prevent change and healing from taking place.

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Finding Strength in the Symptom

Breaking Free from the Limits of Our Medical Treatment Model

Courtney Armstrong • 3 Comments

By Courtney Armstrong - As therapists, we’re taught to be master detectives, methodically investigating our clients’ symptoms in search of the source of their pain. But if we spend too much time preoccupied with them, we’re likely to miss important clues to their hidden strengths. I’ve learned that turning a symptom into a client’s ally can transform the whole experience of therapy for both the therapist and client.

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The Brené Brown Approach to Being Enough

The Power of Embracing Our Vulnerability

Mary Sykes Wylie • 1 Comment

By Mary Sykes Wylie - A pervasive sense of shame makes many of us feel unworthy of human connection. Why the shame? Because in this perfectionistic culture, most of us believe we’re “not good enough: not thin enough, rich enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, promoted enough” to be worthy of love. But research by professor and acclaimed TED speaker Brené Brown shows that some people have escaped the shame trap. How? They let themselves be vulnerable.

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The Gladwell Phenomenon

Therapists Say Fellow Clinicians Can Take a Page from Malcom Gladwell's Approach to Marketing

Lauren Dockett • 1 Comment

By Lauren Dockett - Even if you’re not one of the millions who’ve cracked his books, read his articles, or listened to his talks, you’re still probably aware of Malcolm Gladwell as someone who’s carved out a distinctive cultural niche. Therapists say fellow clinicians interested in reaching a wide readership can take a page from Gladwell’s practice for understanding the marketplace for ideas.

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How Millennials are Changing Therapy

Staying Remembered in an Age of Fast-Talking and Fast-Forgetting

Ron Taffel • No Comments

By Ron Taffel - Millennials are asking that therapists offer a therapeutic version of the responsive immediacy and role-fluidity they expect at home and experience online. If the world is in the room, how does it change the therapy relationship? Given the constant noise and stimulation of contemporary life, we might begin by learning how to stay remembered between sessions.

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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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