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May Quandary: Is It Ever Okay to Break Confidentially If I Know My Client Is Dating an Abuser?

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Diedre was widowed about three years ago, but was excited to tell her therapist about a man she's started dating. She's very happy. As her therapist heard more, he realized this is the same man another client used to date, who slowly became controlling and abusive. Should Diedre's therapist share this info? Five therapists weigh in.

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I’m Funny and I Faint

A Story of Vulnerability and Possibility

Lynn Lyons

By Lynn Lyons - Believe me, I like boundaries. My office is attached to the back of my house, and the rules surrounding that are made clear to my clients. But how can I teach my young worriers (and the older ones, too) to relish the uncertainty of human connection if I’m unwilling to connect genuinely with them?

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VIDEO: Therapists Getting Real and Going Public

The Power of Transparency in the New Marketing Landscape

Esther Boykin

How can therapists reduce stigma around getting mental health treatment? When it comes to marketing your practice, how much personal information should you be sharing? Therapist Esther Boykin gives her take in this short video interview.

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Getting Real in Couples Therapy

Ignoring the Destructive Patterns in Front of Us Does Our Clients a Disservice

Terry Real

By Terry Real - It's disrespectful to clients not to let them in on the truth about what we witness regularly in our offices as they play out their relationships in front of us: the ways they deal with their partners are often self-centered, unfeeling, and counterproductive. I believe that in order to teach our clients how to be authentic and connected, we must be real with them ourselves.

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A Rare Moment of Self-Disclosure

Revealing Ourselves to Clients

Deborah Buckwalter

By Deborah Buckwalter - The first time I saw Michael, I could barely distinguish his form as human.  A young man in his 20s, Michael had been the sole survivor of a plane crash. The sight of him was unlike anything I’d witnessed before, as was his question that left me confronting everything I'd come to believe about therapist self-disclosure.

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How Millennials are Changing Therapy

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

Ron Taffel

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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When Your Client Drops a Last-Minute Bombshell

Four Common Scenarios and How to Handle Them

Daniela Gitlin

By Daniela Gitlin - When clients drop “bombshells” in the last few minutes of a session, it can be hard to end on time. Here's a framework for not only handling these unexpected moments, but welcoming them.

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The Do's and Don'ts of Self-Disclosure

Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls

Janine Roberts

By Janine Roberts - When I've asked people who've gone to therapy what was most helpful, again and again, they've described times when their therapists shared something about their own personal struggles. Today, with the informality of our culture, both therapists and clients are likelier to step across previous professional guidelines.

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Changing Our Contract with Life

A Therapist's Story of Battling Chronic Pain

Kevin Anderson

By Kevin Anderson - This is the story of one of the most turbulent storms in my personal and professional life. After the storm, I learned there’s something about healing from deep emotional suffering that feels like death and rebirth—the kind that asks us to be open to changing our contract with life.

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The Liberating Power of Honesty

What People Don't Know Can Hurt Them. What They Don't Reveal Can Hurt Even More

Frank Pittman

By Frank Pittman - When we therapists believe a secret's revelations would be dangerous, the client receives a frightening message about him- or herself and about the world. We may accept our patients and make psychodynamic, systemic or sociological excuses for them, while still conveying that their secret is unacceptable. Thus, while explicitly "supporting" them, we implicitly undermine their sense that they are fundamentally decent, acceptable people.

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