Psychotherapy Blog


Training in Microexpressions

Posted by Tony Rousmaniere, PsyD on 5/12/11 - 11:59 AM
There is a growing movement in psychotherapy towards reading clients’ facial microexpressions and body “tells”.  One of the leaders in this movement is Stan Tatkin, PsyD, who teaches a Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT).  I recently talked with Dr. Tatkin about how he uses microexpressions to enhance couples therapy.

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...

Free Psychotherapy Training

Posted by Tony Rousmaniere, PsyD on 4/19/11 - 10:51 AM
As a psychotherapy training nerd, I’m always looking for good training opportunities.  What’s the most training one can find on a limited time and budget?  I recently talked about this with Carol Odsess, PhD.  Dr. Odsess is a psychotherapy trainer in Albany, California who specializes in EMDR and Energy Psychology.  (  

Collaborative Couple Therapy With High Conflict Couples

Posted by Dan Wile, PhD on 4/16/11 - 11:40 AM
What’s hard, when dealing with high conflict couples, is getting their attention. If they do register your presence, it is to recruit you to their cause, confiding in you conspiratorily, “Look what I have to put up with.” And if they do acknowledge what you say, it is to turn your comments into ammunition against their partners, assuring you, “Ido what you’re saying, but he never does.” High-conflict couples attack each other at such high velocity that you don’t have...
Filed under: Couples Therapy

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...

Interacting Sensitivities in Couples Therapy

Posted by Dan Wile, PhD on 3/13/11 - 3:03 PM
It is a typical night at Tom and Betsy's house. Tom has his nose in a newspaper.  Betsy is leaning in the door of his study trying to talk to him, getting more and more frustrated at his periodic, vague “Uh huh.” After a few minutes of trying to entice him into a conversation, Betsy starts complaining, and then criticizing him for being cold. Tom snaps, “Can't you just once leave me alone?” Betsy yells, he withdraws further, and Betsy...
Filed under: Couples Therapy

The Lake Wobegon Effect

Posted by Tony Rousmaniere, PsyD on 3/10/11 - 5:49 PM
How good a therapist are you?

Odds are, you think you’re pretty good. A recent study[i] of 129 therapists found that over 90% self-rated their psychotherapy skills at the 75th percentile or greater.  All of the therapists rated themselves above the 50th percentile.

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...

Psychotherapy outcomes: The best therapy or the best therapist?

Posted by Tony Rousmaniere, PsyD on 2/20/11 - 2:56 PM
How can our clients pick the most effective therapist? They can’t. There is no industry standard for tracking and reporting psychotherapy outcomes. This won’t last. Regulators and consumers are going to demand public accounting of treatment effectiveness. If I have the right to ask my surgeon for their success rate, then why can’t my clients ask for mine?

Psychotherapy Training on Steroids: Remote Live Supervision

Posted by Tony Rousmaniere, PsyD on 2/7/11 - 5:55 PM

Note to readers: This blog is dedicated to exploring new training tools and techniques to help us become better therapists.  May we all become “supershrinks”!

Learning a psychotherapy technique can be like a romantic tragedy.  You go to the workshop, fall in love with the technique (and occasionally the presenter), and go home with fantasies of all your therapy cases getting unstuck.  On Monday morning in your office, however, everything falls apart: ...
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