Psychotherapy Blog


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: ...

Rules for a Good Relationship

Posted by Dan Wile, PhD on 1/16/11 - 7:43 PM
1. Never go to bed angry.
Stay up all night yelling and screaming. After the way your partner behaved, he doesn’t deserve to sleep.

2. Don’t jump in to help when your partner is telling a joke
--unless, of course, you can tell it much better.

3. When fighting, take a time out.
That will give you a chance to come up with more devastating putdowns.

4. Don’t interrupt your partner.
You need to have all the facts in order to show her how totally wrong she is.

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...
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