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Five Things Seasoned Therapists Wish They'd Known

. . . And the One Question You Should Always Ask Your Clients

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Whether they’ve been practicing for three months or three decades, therapists are continuously honing their craft. But much of what we learn through trial and error, and hours upon hours sitting across from clients, we were never taught in grad school. So we asked some seasoned therapists to pass on the lessons they wish someone had told them when they were first starting out.

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Disabling Toxic Verbiage

Four Ways to Push Pause on a Verbal Bully

Kate Cohen-Posey

By Kate Cohen-Posey - We live in an age in which using toxic verbiage against others has almost become the norm. Here's how we can help clients deal with these kinds of situations in the moment.

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Using Conversation in Therapy

Following the Spark to Create Connection

Ron Taffel

By Ron Taffel - As a field, we've been unconscious of the nature of the conversation that energizes our models and techniques. Without it, treatment can be a textbook exercise lacking the power to make clients feel a truly alive and personal connection with their therapist.

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VIDEO: The Self-Compassion Approach to Trauma Treatment

Creative Strategies That Dig Deeper

Lisa Ferentz

It’s important to honor all of your client’s inner parts in therapy. But accessing them to fully engage in healing work isn’t always easy. Here, trauma therapist Lisa Ferentz explains her creative approach for helping clients access these tough-to-reach inner parts.

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Therapy, the Conversational Craft

Strategies for Improving Your Therapeutic Conversation Skills

William Doherty

By Bill Doherty - In this era of medical necessity and evidence-based therapies, it's easy to lose sight of the basic truth that psychotherapy is a special form of conversation: we heal not through prescriptions and procedures, but through talking and listening. What if we think of therapy as a conversational craft that we hone over a career with our clients and with a community of conversational healers?

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Five Strategies for When Therapy is Stuck

Bypassing the Limits of Feelings, Judgments, and Language

Steve Andreas

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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The Art of Not Knowing the Answer

A Trauma Specialist Shares Her Most Therapeutic Moment

Mary Jo Barrett

By Mary Jo Barrett - My very first case was the Byford family. The father was serving a six-month sentence for domestic abuse. During a home visit several months into treatment, the daughter, Laura, announced, “Dad is getting out of jail today! And he’s coming here!” My mind went blank. Her mother looked at me. Suddenly, it was as though I passed whatever strength I had to her, and she then passed it back to me.

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Putting an End to the Blame Game

A Tool for Helping Partners See Both Sides

Alicia Muñoz

By Alicia Muñoz - Giving up being right doesn’t mean you give up your convictions. It means honoring a multiplicity of viewpoints. Rumi says, “Somewhere beyond right and wrong, there is a garden. I will meet you there.” For couples, this garden is their relationship.

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VIDEO: Michael Alcée on Doing Therapy with Introverts

What Works and What Doesn't

Michael Alcée

Psychologist and speaker Michael Alcée says therapists need to pay more attention to the introverts in their practice, to help them manage their anxiety and realize their hidden strengths. Here's how he does it.

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A Week in the Life of a School Social Worker

Rapid-Fire Therapy, Creative Strategies, and Building Trust in an Instant

Howard Honigsfeld

By Howard Honigsfeld - Public School 48, where I’m on staff as a social worker, sits on a block between a juvenile detention center and a strip club. A week of work can be exciting, frustrating, and often hair-raising—anything but boring.

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