Psychotherapy Blog

 

Bad Therapy: Let's Talk About Torture...Wait, What????!!!

Posted by Deb Kory, PsyD on 12/16/14 - 11:12 AM
Well, this blog got awfully serious quick. I was going to write this one about addiction and alcoholism—not the lightest topic either—but with the release of the Torture Report, also known as the Senate’s highly-redacted executive summary from the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program, I realized it would be morally remiss of me not to take this brief hot minute when the public eye is trained on this issue to share some information with...
Filed under: Law & Ethics

What every therapist needs to know about the new natural remedies for mental health

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 10/15/14 - 11:57 AM
Yesterday I was doing some research at a local library. A bus full of middle school children on a field trip was letting the students out in front of me. I made my way around the facility for a good twenty minutes when I overheard a frustrated woman struggling with her computer. She bolted from her computer terminal and marched up to a librarian and asked her for technical assistance. "I don't have a clue," the librarian candidly responded, "go ask...

Counseling Kids: When a Cigar Is Just a Cigar

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 7/22/14 - 5:23 PM
Nine year old Malcolm was one of the fortunate clients. Because his family had a very modest income a local counseling center with a sliding fee scale was seeing Malcolm on a pro bono basis. Better yet, the agency was providing free transportation for him on a school bus. His emotional difficulties began two years ago after his parents got a divorce. He was now living with his natural father and his new step-mother. Treatment seemed to be working well. Then...

A Short Piece on Disrespecting Teenagers

Posted by John Sommers-Flanagan, PhD on 6/27/14 - 12:00 PM
We have an American cultural norm to disrespect teenagers. For example, it’s probably common knowledge that teens are: Naturally difficult Not willing to listen to good common sense from adults Emotionally unstable Impulsively acting without thinking through consequences Wait, most of these are good descriptors of Bill O’Reilly. Isn’t he an adult? Seriously, most television shows, movies, and adult rhetoric tends toward dismissing and disrespecting teens. It’s not unusual for people to express sympathy to parents of teens. “It’s a hard time . . . I...

The No-Fee Session

Posted by Simon Yisrael Feuerman, PsyD, LCSW on 5/20/14 - 11:15 PM
I live in a neighborhood in New Jersey where people say hello to one another in the street even if they don’t know each other well. One man stood out for me in the many years I am living here: He doesn’t say hello even though he sees me several times a week. He doesn’t even bother to nod his head. I could never understand what I had done to him, but I just felt as if he hated me. One...

Fear and Consciousness: What I Learned from a Bike Accident

Posted by Elizabeth Sullivan, MFT on 5/9/14 - 1:50 PM
"Smile, breathe, and go slowly." — Thich Nhat Hahn   I got doored on Saturday night. I was riding my bike out to dinner with my husband and a guy in a big SUV opened his car door into the bike lane without looking and knocked me over. My face hit the pavement, I still don’t really know how my teeth weren’t knocked out, but my lips were cut and bleeding and my forehead was gashed and scraped. It happened so quickly...

I'm Rubber, You're Glue

Posted by Catherine Ambrose, LCSW on 5/8/14 - 5:11 PM
“I’m rubber, you’re glue, what bounces off me sticks to you.” Recently one of my colleagues taught me this childhood taunt and response to name calling. It is one of the simplest and most accurate descriptions of projective identification that I have ever heard and makes me think of my client Nancy. Nancy and I occupy different ends of the political spectrum. It is interesting to me that I can work comfortably with clients who are different from me in very...

Listening as Meditation

Posted by John Sommers-Flanagan, PhD on 2/25/14 - 1:24 PM
In 1975, Herbert Benson of Harvard University wrote that to achieve a “relaxation response” you only need four ingredients. These included (a) a quiet place, (b) a comfortable position, (c) a mental device, and (d) a passive attitude. Benson’s relaxation response was, of course, roughly equivalent to the meditative mental state. His work presaged the mindfulness movement in psychotherapy. He identified a psychological place of exploration, discovery, and acceptance. His research linked the relaxation response to a variety of physiological...

The Thousand-Armed Therapist

Posted by Christian Conte, PhD on 2/21/14 - 2:30 PM
A typical desire for most therapists (at least at some point in their training or career) is “to save people;” because let’s face it: the majority of us are in this business because we care a great deal about others. There comes a moment, however, when almost all therapists eventually learn that trying to save people is exhausting. Actually, even trying to help others gain small amounts of awareness on a daily basis can be difficult and draining. Therapists are...

Leave Your Degree at the Door, Dude

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 11/19/13 - 5:55 PM
The late 1960s and 1970s were exciting times for the fields of psychology and psychotherapy. Much of the enthusiasm was spawned by a body of landmark research. At the time experts postulated that humans had two distinct nervous systems: the voluntary and the involuntary. The voluntary nervous system allows you to brew your morning cup of Joe or take out the trash before you leave for work. The involuntary or autonomic nervous system controls your heart rate, blood pressure and...
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