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The Biology of Fear

Some New Research Offers Startling Insights into the Nature of PTSD

July/August 1996
Not long ago, most therapists who heard a story like Albert Grow's would have thought about what his experience in Vietnam did to his relationship with his family, his community and his sense of self. Few would have given much thought to what it did to his biochemistry. That is about to change.

Breathing Room

Creating a Zone of Safety and Connection for Angry Black Teens

May/June 1996
Therapy is about healing and also about promoting connection. The healing starts when we lance the wounds our clients bring in, help them vent their pain and rage and let the toxins pour out. The more difficult part of the process is rooted in the bond the client feels with us.

The Second Family

A Teen's Peer Group Is a Rich Resource for Family Therapists

May/June 1996
When family therapist Ron Taffel wrote this article in 1996, an explosive upsurge of youth pop culture called into question the very idea that parents must reestablish firm authority over teens. With the advent of smartphones and instant, constant access to peers, this cornerstone of family systems theory has crumbled even further. The central question Taffel asks is even more urgent now: if pop culture reigns, and teens are firmly embedded in a peer-driven “second family,” what role, if any, can parents play in providing guidance to troubled adolescents?
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The Good Therapist

Continually Reassessing Its Role, Psychotherapy Gallops into a New Era

November/December 1995
The culture of therapy in America has gone through periods of dramatic change every 15 or 20 years with almost clock-like regularity, as succeeding generations of therapists respond to the evolving Zeitgeist while stamping their own imprint on prevailing social mores.

Embracing Both/ And

Race and Therapy

November/December 1995
Polarizations, both mundane and existential, have one compelling quality: they break things down into neat categories and seemingly clear choices. They're also insidiously destructive, creating a wedge between people by making their differences seem vast and insurmountable.

Focusing Your Wide Angle Lens

The Intersection of the Family and the Social Landscape

November/December 1995
When I was a young and enthusiastic family therapist, I thought that there was one key to understanding the truth about a family and I had it. I was wrong.

Honoring the Everyday

Family Therapy for Our Times

November/December 1995
Too often, our passion for grand theoretical insight and magical techniques has seduced us into imposing predetermined grids onto a family's life and thereby missing the details of idiosyncratic experience that truly make us expert and help our clients feel known. If we don't work in this way, from the bottom up, we are in danger of misunderstanding what the family needs from us.

Mastering Mindfullness

Slowing Down and Opening Up

November/December 1995
The attitude of mindfulness holds the therapist right up against his or her growing edge.

Turning Tragedy into Comedy

Bearing All the Reality Life Has to Offer

November/December 1995
A young man named Jeff, who was dying from cancer, was a patient of mine 30 years ago. His family cried and prayed over him and pretended he would recover, though they knew he knew better. I was initially called in to relieve Jeff's pain through hypnosis. That worked fine, but he was still lying in bed out of breath, bored, angry and resentful of the fact that his life was being cut short. He demanded to know why God was punishing him in this way.

Crazy Like a Fox

Remembering Carl Whitaker

July/August 1995
When Carl Whitaker died at age 83 on April 21st of this year after a long illness, it might be said that the therapy world lost its oldest, wisest and most compassionate juvenile delinquent.
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