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A New Way to Tell Your Story

Helping Clients Rediscover Themselves with the "Felt Sense"

Ann Weiser Cornell

By Ann Weiser Cornell - Clients need to tell their stories, of course. But when the stories manifest habitual categories—ways of labeling and explaining experiences—the process can get stuck. The formation of a felt sense is a breakthrough moment, in which we slow down and form a new bodily awareness of some life situation.

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How to Locate Your "Felt Sense"

Eugene Gendlin's Six Steps to Focusing

Marian Sandmaier

By Marian Sandmaier - On a hot August morning in 2012, I sat with 25 strangers in a former Capuchin monastery overlooking New York’s Hudson River. We were there to spend a week learning about a therapeutic process known as Focusing. I couldn’t have known then that this deceptively simple practice would alter my life.

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Connecting Emotions to a Felt Body Sense

Using the Body to Help Clients Break Old Habits and Stuck Patterns

Daniel Leven

By Daniel Leven - Many therapists remain so focused on understanding the thoughts and feelings in clients’ minds that they forget about the pivotal information to be gleaned by paying more attention to clients’ bodies. The three-step somatic process below can be used with just about any therapeutic approach, and it will help you directly access the important information that lives within clients’ immediate physical experience.

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How Focusing Partnerships Can Re-energize Your Therapy Practice

Joan Klagsbrun and Lynn Preston Offer a Self-Care Method for the Therapist

Lynn Preston and Joan Klagsbrun

A growing body of research indicates that when we don’t feel effective in our work, burnout is likely to follow. But through a process called Focusing partnerships, a two-therapist encounter emphasizes the clinician's issues, especially those that are still fuzzy or half-formed, not yet able to be verbalized. It lets us dive beneath our cognitive brain into our embodied knowing and to find what's actually troubling us, and to use that knowledge to recover our zest for our work and our lives.

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Burnout Reconsidered

What Supershrinks Can Teach Us

Scott Miller, Mark Hubble, and Francoise Mathieu

An entire industry has sprung up to address the problem of compassion fatigue, but research indicates that the most commonly proposed answer, improved self-care, doesn’t work. In fact, the study of the most highly effective clinicians suggests that burnout isn’t related to caring too much, but continuing to care ineffectively.

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VIDEO: Focusing Techniques in Therapy

A New Practice of Inner Listening

Joan Klagsbrun

How can you more effectively work with a client whose emotions have become all-consuming?
According to Joan Klagsbrun, author of Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy, Focusing techniques are especially effective for helping distressed clients navigate their inner repository of memories, feelings, emotions, and bodily sensations.

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The End of Innocence

Reconsidering Our Concepts of Victimhood

Dusty Miller

As a systems therapist, incest survivor, and recovering alcoholic, I've lived through several stages of our culture's attempt to come to terms with child sexual abuse--as a victim in the silent 1950s; as a therapy client in the oblivious 1960s and 1970s; and as a psychotherapist in the 1980s and 1990s, when once-dismissed accounts of abuse filled my therapy practice (and my television screen) only to be partly discredited within the decade during another swing of the cultural pendulum.

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The Precarious Present

Why is it So Hard to Stay in the Moment?

Robert Scaer

When a client reports repetitive intrusions, we may wonder about a tendency toward obsessiveness or the possibility of depression and/or anxiety. While all of these interpretations may have some validity, I believe that much more is at stake. I propose that in many of these moments of body-mind intrusion, our brain is trying to protect us from mortal danger arising from memories of old, unresolved threats. In short, we're in survival mode.

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Letting the Body Lead

Ann Randolph on Truly Embodied Emotion

Rich Simon

Much of therapy taps into emotions through words—talking through behavioral and emotional problems, recounting past events, or discussing aspirations. But for some clients, talking and thinking too much about their problems is a problem in and of itself.

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Letting Emotion Out and In

Susan Johnson on the Value of Using Emotion in Couples Work

Rich Simon

Even strong emotions that are difficult to work with guide the therapy in the direction of what’s important. The key is knowing how to use them in a way that moves the therapy forward and leads to relationship repair.

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