Psychotherapy Blog

 

Dial-Up Connection

Posted by Pete Walker, MFT on 10/22/13 - 4:51 PM
Thirty-five years ago I got my first paid therapist job as a second-string telephone counselor for an enlightened radio station in Sydney, Australia. The radio station ran a daily one-hour program called “Kid’s Careline,” and my boss was the first string counselor who fielded on air calls from the radio audience. She was so brilliant at it that she kept three of us second stringers busy 9 to 5 fielding the calls that did not make it onto the air. It...

Calisthenics in Front of the Fun House Mirror

Posted by Catherine Ambrose, LCSW on 9/19/13 - 12:52 PM
Sometimes my days bring to mind a funhouse mirror. I stretch, collapse, widen, or shrink depending on the clinical demands of the moment, fundamentally changing and fundamentally remaining the same, moment to moment and hour to hour. Yesterday in my first session of the evening I was speaking with a young woman about the reasons for her recent spotty attendance. I fielded an interpretation that I know in every molecule of my being is correct, that she is trying to convince...

Technology and Psychotherapy

Posted by Elizabeth Sullivan, MFT on 8/20/13 - 2:57 PM
A recent article on a study from the University of Zurich offered the headline, "Psychotherapy Via Internet as Good as If Not Better Than Face-To-Face Consultations." It does not surprise me when I think about many of my clients’ everyday lives in the Bay Area: technology tends to be seen for the most part as a fun, useful and normal part of life. It also makes sense when I think about the ways that technology, if wielded strategically, can sometimes...

Talk is Cheap. Really.

Posted by Catherine Ambrose, LCSW on 7/16/13 - 4:51 PM
A few days ago, I read yet another article comparing the costs and effectiveness of psychotherapy and medication. While both have benefits, the article stated, medication is cheaper. Hmm. I wondered. My insurance company has a handy calculator that allows me to estimate the costs of various types of care, so I figured I’d check it out. Well, as it turns out, generic antidepressants are pretty inexpensive—definitely cheaper than psychotherapy for insured and insurer. But let’s consider my modal client. You’ve...

Clocked

Posted by Melissa Groman LCSW on 6/27/13 - 1:22 PM
I once took an informal survey of clinicians to find out a) where in their office they keep their clocks and b) how they ended their sessions. I found out we are a crafty lot indeed. Clever too. Some of us keep a big round clock somewhere behind where the client sits, so it can be seen either directly or with peripheral vision at all times. Some of us rely on our wrist watches. Some of us sport large analogues and...

The Power of Custom in Psychotherapy

Posted by Simon Yisrael Feuerman, PsyD, LCSW on 6/18/13 - 5:45 PM
It’s the kind of telephone call that every therapist gets and every therapist hates to get. “I’m sorry to disappoint you on such short notice, but I can’t come in today.” It was a patient who had come only once before, the week prior, and though he was articulate about what troubled him, one could discern that he was deeply conflicted about who he wanted help from or whether he even wanted help at all to solve his problems or even ease...

The Ones That Get Away

Posted by Catherine Ambrose, LCSW on 5/30/13 - 6:13 PM
On sunny days, the koi rise to the surface of the pond. Occasionally a particularly interesting one rises through the murk, and for a few moments it is clearly visible in all its mottled, sun-dappled glory, fins lazily stroking the water, eyes unblinkingly assessing my shadow before it propels itself back into the depths. That is the image that comes to mind when I think of Cassie. She contacted me initially through an email, sending me a clear, carefully composed assessment...

When Life Gets Messy, Don't Cut and Run!

Posted by Melissa Groman LCSW on 5/14/13 - 4:20 PM
It was not one of my better moments. It was a very busy time of year, getting ready for Passover, juggling my schedule with patients and the kids' spring break. It was one of those times where I stood at the intersection of my mothering and my profession and my head was spinning. On the top of the TTD list (things to do) was getting my five year old daughter a haircut. Routine errand as it seems, it did require a...

Verbal Ventilation: The highway to intimacy and the key process of therapy

Posted by Pete Walker, MFT on 5/14/13 - 12:21 PM
I was standing in the waiting room before my first session with a new therapist some twenty years ago, when I perused a cartoon that she had displayed on her bulletin board. In panel 1 of the wordless cartoon, a woman with a dark cloud over her head is talking to a friend who has a shining sun over hers. In panel 2, as the first woman gestures in a way that indicates complaining, the cloud covers her friend’s sun....

Gone in 60 Seconds: How to Handle a Mental Health Workshop Heckler

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 5/9/13 - 11:31 AM
Like most of you, as a psychotherapist, book author, and educator, I am often asked to give workshops, and educational seminars. For many of us, sharing our unique expertise is a part of our professional mission. A while back I was contacted by a church group who wanted to give a series of eight different mental health workshops during the spring. Each of the workshops would be presented by a different expert. I was going to be the final presenter, number...
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