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A New Year for Psychotherapists

Posted by Victor Yalom, PhD on 1/4/17 - 1:15 PM
I was just on the phone with Peter Levine discussing a new video we are making  using his Somatic Experiencing approach to working with pain. I started to tell him that want to release the video next year….and I caught myself as I realized that next year is now this year. Hello 2017! I still remember my kindergarten teacher writing 1964 on the board after our Christmas vacation, and I was so surprised. How could it be a new year? What...

Dreamwork in Stereo

Posted by Anastasia Piatakhina Gire on 9/15/16 - 4:16 PM
Have you ever struggled to share your dream with somebody in the morning? What seemed most vivid and realistic just a moment ago, when verbalized, turns into senseless gibberish, doesn’t it? What about adding another difficulty to recounting a dream, namely telling it in a foreign language? Which of their languages to use is a dilemma faced by many of my multilingual clients in therapy. It may also open doors that neither they nor I would have dreamt of. Francesca was Italian, living...

The Gloria Films: Candid answers to questions therapists ask most

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 8/16/16 - 8:06 PM
When I penned an article and a book chapter on the classic Gloria Films some years ago I never dreamed these pieces would continue to bring me a seemingly endless string of correspondence. Indeed, this classic video influenced the psychotherapy training and subsequent practice strategies for thousands and thousands of helpers. To this day the battle rages on about whether this work of art was the savior of psychotherapy, or psychotherapy’s worst nightmare. Recently a graduate student contacted me with a string...

The Rolling Stones and the "Age of Anxiety"

Posted by Matt Wolff on 6/14/16 - 5:40 PM
As I tap away on the first installment of a my little blog about mental health in music I sit only a hundred yards or so from a Chinese restaurant in my little East Texas town where, legend has it, Mick Jagger was at one time known to dine on occasion with his former paramour, model Jerri Hall. Hall is or was the owner of a ranch in the general vicinity, according to local lore. In any case, while wondering...

Intuitive Therapy

Posted by Margaret Arnd-Caddigan on 5/17/16 - 5:22 PM
Janice is sitting on the loveseat in my office. The sun slants through the Venetian blinds behind her, casting a warm glow that looks like an aura around her. She is a beautiful woman. This is just a fact. “I was talking at a meeting at work. I really think the policy they’re considering is dangerous. I was ticking off point after point for some of the unintended consequences I see in the distance, and it’s like . . . like...

The Multiple Languages of Therapy

Posted by Anastasia Piatakhina Gire on 4/26/16 - 4:20 PM
We only had one therapy session with Inna. It ended with the bubbly feeling for me of a “perfect fit” that I get when I intuit that good work can be done with a prospective client. We had the same cultural background and four fluent languages in common. It was the first time I saw such a fit in my therapy room, in fact. Maybe too perfect a fit, as I was to find out later. Inna shared her experience of displacement,...

Afflicted with Affect

Posted by Margaret Arnd-Caddigan on 2/23/16 - 1:55 PM
*Janelle sits on the edge of the loveseat in my office. Her knees form perfect ninety degree angles. She pulls her head up, her shoulders back and down, and looks me square in the eye with a set jaw. The word “formidable” pops in my mind. But immediately her shoulders curl forward, her head sags. “I want him to tell me how proud he is of me.” The formidable woman suddenly sounds like a child. “I raised over ten thousand dollars for pediatric cancer...

Look at me!

Posted by Anastasia Piatakhina Gire on 2/16/16 - 1:22 PM
Many people struggle to fully meet their therapist’s eyes the beginning. Particularly those who are shy or introverted. The warmth, care, interest or love that we may perceive in a therapist’s compassionate gaze may seem “too much” or even unbearable for many who missed or never received it from their original caretakers. Rachel was my first therapy client totally unable to tolerate the eye contact during a session. The first time we met, this lack of eye contact made me sense her...

House Call Revival

Posted by Anastasia Piatakhina Gire on 2/4/16 - 1:16 PM
Welcome to my house. We had been meeting for a month already, but this was the first time Nick connected from his flat for our weekly online psychotherapy session. Because of our time difference—I am based in Europe, and Nick lives in the US, we were usually connecting during his early morning hours. I was by now fairly familiar with his work surroundings: a small office cubicle, neon lights, grey doors shut tight. This time everything was different, and Nick looked younger and...

The Socially Awkward Therapist

Posted by Margaret Arnd-Caddigan on 1/15/16 - 5:43 PM
Everybody knows: therapists are all crazy. Right? Where did this idea come from? For some of us, perhaps it’s our social skills. Some therapists can come off a bit . . . well . . . awkward in social situations. Perhaps you know a Socially Awkward Therapist (SAT)? SATs even find each other off-putting. I had a SAT friend who was talking about another therapist friend. “She’s unsettling.” He shrugs. His eyes drift down and to the right. I catch the glance. I automatically...
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