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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...

Bids for Emotional Connection in Couples Therapy

Posted by Dan Wile, PhD on 11/15/10 - 12:03 PM
John Gottman’s concept, “bids for emotional connection,” is practically a complete theory of relationships in itself. Hearing the word “bids,” we picture partners reaching out to each other in a variety of ways. Gary Chapman, in his book, The Five Love Languages, lists five such ways: words of affirmation (“That situation was delicate and you really handled it beautifully”), touch (“How about a hug?”), quality time (“Let’s get a babysitter and make a reservation at Chez Alouette”), gifts (“This scarf...
Filed under: Couples Therapy

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...

Working with the Unemotional in Emotionally Focused Therapy

Posted by Sue Johnson, EdD on 10/27/10 - 9:33 AM
It is pretty clear from the research that focuses on how change happens in therapy that emotional engagement is essential for significant change to occur. This is true in individual therapy (for example, research by Castonguay and by Beutler) and it is certainly true in couple therapy (research by EFT therapists like myself). So what happens in an intervention like Emotionally Focused Couple therapy when one person emphatically denies or avoids emotion? The Boy Code insists that men are at...
Filed under: Couples Therapy
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