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Does Your Child Need Moral Guidance?

The Four Components of Conscience

Lawrence Cohen • 11/29/2018 • No Comments

By Lawrence Cohen - A great deal of parental worry comes from not realizing that the aspects of a healthy conscience develop unevenly and that the road to morality is slow and bumpy. Though you may have to dig for examples, most children have some capacity for empathy, cooperation, and kindness. 

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The Healthy Parenting Brain

What Neuroscience Reveals about Good Parent-Child Bonding

Dan Hughes • 8/24/2018 • 3 Comments

By Jonathan Baylin and Daniel Hughes - Parenting isn’t a cookbook activity for managing children’s behavior: it’s an ancient mammalian mind–heart process, which allows a caregiver to stay engaged and regulated enough to sustain the mind-to-mind, heart-to-heart connections that are vital for a child’s development.

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Are You Missing Your Client's Signals?

Lesser-Known Ways of Strengthening the Therapeutic Alliance

Steve Andreas • 7/26/2018 • No Comments

By Steve Andreas - Getting immediate, nonverbal feedback from clients is essential to knowing how they’re responding in a session, and in maintaining the therapeutic relationship, which research shows is essential for successful therapy. Here are some strategies to increase your sensitivity to nonverbal shifts.

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Is Asking for a Pre-nup a Relationship Killer?

Here's a Mirroring Exercise to Help Partners Empathize and Compromise

Olivia Mellan • 4/7/2017 • No Comments

By Olivia Mellan - After years of doing therapy and coaching in areas relating to money conflicts, I've discovered one constant about prenuptial agreements: whoever broaches the subject is labeled the bad partner. Yet prenuptial agreements have a role to play in helping couples plan and commit to their future together, particularly when they've been married previously. When handled well, they can even make a marriage stronger.

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The Chemistry Behind Couples Therapy

Pat Love Explains the Science of Effective Sex Therapy

Pat Love • 12/30/2014 • No Comments

Our culture speaks of "falling" in love. Other societies have compared infatuation to divine revelation, and to psychosis. We often say, in jest, that this experience of hurricane-force passion is "like a drug." But that oft-quipped analogy may turn out to be no joke. Some scientists now believe that the frenzied euphoria of romantic love may well be a bona fide, altered state of consciousness, primarily brought on by the action of phenylethylamine (PEA), a naturally occurring, amphetamine-like neurotransmitter. And if our desire problems are at least partly innate, then maybe we don't need to feel quite so ashamed and despairing about the muddle we're in.

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Empathy Becomes a Physical Force

The Wonders of Engaging Mirror Neurons in Therapy

Babette Rothschild • 12/16/2014 • 1 Comment

Empathy is the connective tissue of good therapy. It's what enables us to establish bonds of trust with clients, and to meet them with our hearts as well as our minds. Empathy enhances our insights, sharpens our hunches, and, at times, seems to allow us to "read" a client's mind. I first recognized the physical force of empathy as a college student. When I copied the swaggering gait of a cocky young man, for example, I'd momentarily feel more confident---even happier---than before. I found this secret street life fascinating and fun, but I didn't think much about it until a few years later, when I started practicing clinical social work.

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Creating a Therapeutic Alliance with the Troubled Teen

Matthew Selekman on How to Make Teen Therapy Engaging

Matthew Selekman • 11/12/2014 • No Comments

Building rapport with provocative teens in therapy can be a challenging task for even the most experienced therapists. A teen client can be a master at putting up the invisible force field while pushing our buttons, or telling us what we want to hear and side-stepping responsibility. Through the years, I’ve developed several engagement strategies that I regularly use, singly or in combination, that have consistently helped me establish a therapeutic alliance with even the toughest teen client.

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Passionate Marriage

Helping Couples Decode the Language of Their Sexuality

David Schnarch • 10/22/2014 • No Comments

Over the years, I've worked with many couples who complain bitterly that the other kisses or touches, fondles, caresses, strokes the "wrong" way. I used to take these complaints at face value, trying to help the couple solve their problems through various forms of marital bargaining, until I realized that their sexual dissatisfactions didn't stem from ignorance, ineptitude, or a "failure to communicate." Instead of trying to spackle over these normal and typical "dysfunctional" sexual patterns with a heavy coat of how-to lessons, I have learned that it makes much more sense to help the couple analyze their behavior, to look for the meaning of what they were already doing before they focused on changing the mechanics.

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Rediscovering the Myth

For John O'Donohue, Therapy Is a Journey into the Unknown Self

Mary Sykes Wylie • 10/19/2014 • No Comments

Poet John O'Donohue's introduction to the therapy field came through his unlikely friendship with neuropsychiatrist Daniel Siegel, known for his book The Developing Mind and his pathbreaking efforts to help therapists develop an understanding of how the brain develops and changes in response to human relationships. Recalls Siegel, "It seemed to me that he described, in a beautifully poetic way, the human mind in a state of inner coherence or neural integration--which is my subject--and how both solitude and relationship can act in tandem to bring a sense of mental and emotional wholeness."

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Mirror Mirror

Emotion in the Consulting Room is More Contagious Than We Thought

Babette Rothschild • 9/6/2014 • 1 Comment

Far from the therapy office, in the precisely measured environment of the research lab, brain scientists are discovering that a particular cluster of our neurons is specifically designed and primed to mirror another's bodily responses and emotions. We're hardwired, it appears, to feel each other's happiness and pain--more deeply than we ever knew. Moreover, the royal road to empathy is through the body, not the mind. Notwithstanding the river of words that flow through the therapy room, it's the sight of a client looking unhappy, or tense, or relieved, or enraged, that really gets our sympathetic synapses firing.

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