Psychotherapy Blog


Nordstrom: Psychotherapy Lessons From The Cathedral Of Commerce

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 12/14/11 - 2:31 PM
Let's get something straight right from the get-go. I don't work for Nordstrom, nor am I am affiliated with them in any way, shape, or form. I've never spent a dime there. Truth be told, the only time I ever set foot in a Nordstrom was to walk from the mall to the parking lot. (Elapsed time: one minute and forty-five seconds.) But I do know this. Nordstrom has become the darling of the customer service movement. If you are searching...

Listening versus Hearing in Psychotherapy

Posted by John Marzillier, PhD on 7/27/11 - 1:50 PM
In my memoir, The Gossamer Thread: My Life as a Psychotherapist, I describe my treatment of ‘Angie’, a young mother with horrific fantasies of killing her two young children by stabbing them through the heart with a kitchen knife. It was back in the 1980s and I was in the process of shedding my old behaviour therapy skin, realising I needed to listen to the client more carefully before embarking on any specific intervention. My therapy was a success, or...

The 7 real reasons why psychotherapists flunk their licensing and certification exams

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 5/12/11 - 11:37 PM
A friend of mine (let's call him Kurt to preserve confidentiality and perhaps more importantly not to embarrass him) told me was gearing up to take his state licensing exam. Had he prepared for the exam? "Come on Rosenthal, I just spent two of the best years of life in grad school and another three or so in supervision. I think I know this stuff by now." "Really," I remarked. "Who is the father of rational emotive behavior therapy?" "Come on dude, that's...

Treating Special Clients in Psychotherapy

Posted by John Marzillier, PhD on 4/26/11 - 10:19 AM
In the film, The King’s Speech, George VI seeks treatment for his stammer from a maverick Australian speech therapist, Lionel Logue, played brilliantly by Geoffrey Rush. “My patch, my rules,” is what Logue tells the King when he insists on being given special treatment. He is, after all, the King of England, used to deference and privilege. Logue accords him neither, treating him just like any other client. Or so we are led to believe. As a therapist I applaud...

Fact and Fiction in Psychology

Posted by John Marzillier, PhD on 4/6/11 - 5:48 PM
In 1992 I was a Visiting Fellow in the Psychology Department at the University of Western Australia in Perth. For two months nothing was demanded of me other than to talk to the staff and students of the Department in a learned and wise manner, which is easy to do even if you are neither. I was asked one favour which was to give a lecture to the whole department on a subject of my choosing. Can it be any...

Eysenck, Rogers and Psychotherapy Effectiveness

Posted by John Marzillier, PhD on 3/2/11 - 1:49 PM
In the 1970s I worked as a psychology lecturer in Hans Eysenck’s department at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. He was a controversial figure, quiet and introverted when met face to face, but on the academic stage a formidable and ruthless opponent. Rod Buchanan’s recent biography, Playing with Fire. The Controversial Career of Hans J Eysenck, nicely captures the complexity of the man, part prolific scientist, and part inveterate showman. Whether it was race and IQ, cancer and smoking...

Suicide During the Holidays . . . Not So Much!

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 12/12/10 - 12:19 AM
We've all heard it on a local or national television or radio station, "And when we return after the weather, we'll examine the tremendous increase in suicide during the winter holiday season."
Well that's great, except for one small thing: It doesn't exist. In fact, the direct opposite is true.  The suicide rate generally hits a peak during April and May.   The National Center for Health Statistics placed November and December as the months with the lowest daily rates of...

What if It's All Been a Big Fat Psychotherapeutic Lie?

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 11/28/10 - 1:22 PM
In the early 90's I developed a classroom exercise to teach my students an important academic lesson. This is one of those experiential exercises where the professor feels holier- than- thou because he or sheknows the outcome in advance. 

First, I placed the students in groups of two's and asked one of the students to play the part of the helper while the other played the part of the client who tells a real or fictitious problem.Next I pulled...

Methinks Jay Haley Hit the Bull's Eye

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 11/7/10 - 11:39 AM
My client began her session with an interesting saga. In an attempt to improve her health she began each day by ingesting a nutritional drink that was loaded with nearly 100 superfoods. Since I personally take enough vitamin and mineral supplements a day to capsize a small battleship, I was all ears. Unfortunately, my client lamented that the supplement seemed counter-productive. That is to say, instead of having unlimited energy, she was nearly falling asleep at the wheel on the...

Why a Therapist Should Care About a Client's Favorite Brand of Shampoo

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 10/27/10 - 9:16 AM
When I was a youngster my father owned a company that manufactured shampoos and hair conditioners.  His bestseller was the original Rum & Egg Shampoo, a product he invented himself.  Now here’s where the story gets a little humorous (or perhaps not so humorous depending on your vantage point).  We would routinely receive correspondence from folks who just loved the Rum & Egg . . . heck, they thought it was the best darn shampoo on the face of the...
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