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February Quandary: My Clients Are Asking Personal Questions!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford • 2 Comments

By Chris Lyford - A therapist works from his home office, which means clients sometimes observe elements of his personal life. He's had clients ask about his electric car in the driveway, his dog, and where his kids go to school. He's gently asked these clients if they can stay on topic, but worries about seeming callous. Here are five creative examples of how other therapists have dealt with this.

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When Therapy Calls for a Boundary Crossing

A Story About When Professional Helping Meets Human Concern

Dea Silbertrust • 5 Comments

By Dea Silbertrust - After surgery, my therapist's willingness to trade the comfort and security of her office for my apartment would be considered a boundary crossing by some. But in accommodating me, she demonstrated the difference between a boundary crossing and a boundary violation, and, more important, what it means to offer a simple act of grace to another human being.

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Managing Confidentiality

Three Things I Learned from My Small-Town Practice

Daniela Gitlin • 1 Comment

By Daniela Gitlin - When you practice in a rural town, sometimes it can feel like everyone is connected to each other. Instead of worrying about boundary and confidentiality violations, I've learned a strategy that embraces the dilemma instead of avoiding it.

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December Quandary: I Accepted a Gift from My Client!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take on What to Do Now

Chris Lyford • No Comments

By Chris Lyford - Asha recently gave her therapist a homemade necklace, which he accepted, thinking it innocuous enough. Now, she brings it up almost every session, asking why he's not wearing it and if he still likes it. Asha has a history of attachment issues, and her therapist worries his response might offend her or cause her to quit therapy. Here's how five therapists say they'd respond.

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A New Year's Conundrum

A Stumped Therapist's Attempt to Help Two Parents Set Boundaries Has a Surprising Result

Ron Taffel • 1 Comment

By Ron Taffel - At 15, Jenny regularly breaks her curfew, flirts with drugs, and is getting close to being suspended from her Manhattan public school. Today, she and her parents are in my office discussing the latest issue: New Year’s Eve is coming up, and Jenny and her posse have plans.

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Reflections from a Millennial Therapist

The Highs, Lows, and New Realities of Starting a Therapy Career Today

Rachel Zar • No Comments

By Rachel Zar - I'm a millennial. And despite the negative connotation often imposed upon this generation by the media and by the generations that came before us, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing after all—especially for a therapist.

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October Quandary: My Clients and I Use the Same Dating Apps!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford • 1 Comment

By Chris Lyford - A therapist recently joined a few online dating apps after finding herself newly single. She's seen several clients come up in these apps, and suspects they've seen her too. This puts her in an awkward position with these clients. Here's how five therapists say they'd tackle the situation.

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When Your Client Drops a Last-Minute Bombshell

Four Common Scenarios and How to Handle Them

Daniela Gitlin • 2 Comments

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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September Quandary: My Client Invited Me to a Family Barbecue!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford • 1 Comment

By Chris Lyford - A therapist recently moved to a new town and discovered that his client's daughter attends the same school as his son. The client recently invited his family to a barbecue, but he feels uncomfortable attending. Here's how five therapists say they'd tackle the situation.

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Helping People Pleasers Set Boundaries

…And What to Do When It Backfires

Alicia Muñoz • No Comments

Alicia Muñoz - Boundaries bind. They limit, stop, and inhibit. But they also free people up to be themselves. In couples where one partner is a people-pleaser, things can get even more complicated.

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