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VIDEO: My First Client, My Greatest Teacher

Sue Johnson Shares a Story of Personal and Professional Transformation

Susan Johnson

In the following video from her 2018 Networker Symposium storytelling piece, couples and family therapist Sue Johnson shares a therapeutic moment that stands out from all others, one that left her with a deepened sense of what it means at the core to be a therapist.

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My Nightmare Client, My Greatest Gift

Sometimes Our "Worst" Clients Are Our Best Teachers

Martha Straus

By Martha Straus - My young client, Brian, can reduce even confident mid-life adults to an infantile puddle, one provocative comment at a time. He's a therapist's nightmare. But he’s also the universe's gift to me. He measures my commitment to the work, to him, to my ideas about therapy, to my best self.

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Beating Back-to-School Anxiety

Three Therapists Share Stories and Tips

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Back-to-school season can be one of the most stressful periods of the year for a child, no matter what age. From making new friends to handling a new workload, the challenges that come with the new school year are plentiful. Here, three veteran therapists, all of whom know quite a bit about back-to-school anxieties, share the clinical lessons they learned—and a few stories.

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Busting the Myths of the ODD Child

The Surprising Technique That Turns Opposition on Its Head

James Levine

By James Levine - Children diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) inspire many myths. School personnel and even parents believe that these children enjoy frustrating others and are impossible to teach. But children with chronically oppositional behavior typically are unaccustomed to articulating their needs, wants, and experiences in problem-solving ways. Here's how a collaborative approach to therapy can make all the difference.

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Pets: Our Most Unassuming Teachers

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Michael Hoyt

By Michael Hoyt - A man reflects on the death of a beloved pet, his burial, and the ones that came before.

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Change the Way You Learn

Communities of Practice Could Be Your Pathway to Clinical Mastery

Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - As therapists, we often lead isolated professional lives, seeing client after client without meeting regularly with our colleagues to talk openly about our work, ask questions, or share ideas. In the following interview, Etienne Wenger, a groundbreaking social-learning theorist, explains how and why we should change this.

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Therapy Strategies for Working with Underprivileged Youth

An Inner City School Social Worker Shares Two of His Cases

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. I became a social worker because I wanted to directly address the problems---truancy, childhood depression, and the overwhelming responsibilities of being an older child raising siblings---that were keeping them from functioning well in school. My current job is to counsel children with Special Education Services, as well as to handle the daily emotional crises that arise in a place like PS 48. A week of work can be exciting, frustrating, and often hair-raising---anything but boring.

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