Psychotherapy Blog


Psychoanalysis is Alive and Well

Posted by Kim Chernin, PhD on 3/28/13 - 11:55 AM
Although we have evolved many schools since Freud articulated psychoanalytic theory at the turn of the 20th Century, in almost all of them conspicuous analytic features remain. These are so familiar that for the most part they exercise their dominance without our being aware of them or their origins. We may think psychoanalysis has been discredited and that almost no one practices it any longer, but there are ways psychoanalytic theory is present in our listening and thinking because of...

Vanquishing the Inner Critic

Posted by Pete Walker, MFT on 3/19/13 - 4:37 PM
In my work with clients who were severely traumatized in childhood, I sometimes feel hopeless in helping them to address and deconstruct their inner critics. I feel daunted by the viciousness and incessancy of their self-attack. When a child is relentlessly rejected by contemptuous parents, she mimics them and learns to obsessively scorn herself. Like them, she focuses only on her defects and deficiencies; like them she radiates hate and scorn at herself. Her superego grows into an outsized critic as...

Through the Anger Looking Glass

Posted by John Sommers-Flanagan, PhD on 3/14/13 - 12:33 PM
On this past Sunday’s broadcast of “Weekend Edition” on National Public Radio, the focus was on the 50th anniversary of Betty Freidan’s The Feminine Mystique. In this book Friedan raged against the status of women in the 1960s. Although millions of people have read this feminist manifesto, it seems very few presently understand how anger in general and Friedan’s anger in particular could be a source of insight, motivation, and personal and social transformation. Anger is an emotional state that has...

When East Doesn't Meet West: Buddhism and Psychotherapy

Posted by Kim Chernin, PhD on 2/26/13 - 5:21 PM
Two statements from the Dalai Lama suggest a conflict between the approach of Buddhist meditation and the type of self-awareness we develop in psychotherapy. The first statement has fascinated and puzzled me for decades. A friend, who meditates regularly, repeated to me that the Dalai Lama had said the following in conversation with an American psychiatrist: “When someone has been shot with an arrow you psychologists ask how the arrow got there, who shot it, how long ago, with what...

The "L" Word

Posted by Catherine Ambrose, LCSW on 1/15/13 - 2:15 PM
Lisa hefts herself heavily up the stairs to my office. She must come up two feet to a stair, like a small child. She is breathless by the time she gets to my office and has to take a few moments to collect herself. As she settles in, I realize she has gained even more weight in the few weeks since I last saw her. She is huge, solemn, powerful, inert. Once she is seated, nothing moves but her head and...

Seeing Medusa in Every Client

Posted by Christian Conte, PhD on 1/15/13 - 1:38 PM
In Greek traditions, Medusa is the notorious stone-cold killer who was well known for turning people into statues. Her reputation became so brutal that she was often depicted as evil itself. However, like everyone who eventually comes to hurt others, Medusa had a life before she was the snake-haired statue-maker, but few seem to remember that. This is that story: Medusa was a stunningly beautiful young woman. She was so striking, in fact, that everyone around her pursued her and longed...

Treating a Couple After an Affair

Posted by Catherine Ambrose, LCSW on 12/13/12 - 5:04 PM
The couple in my office is connected mostly by the spaces they hold between them. Sitting on the loveseat in my office, they do not touch, although their arms, legs, and elbows and hands shift in an unconscious echo of each other’s movements. They are not so much mirroring each other as performing an elaborate dance of avoidance and retreat, their bodies’ dialogue spoken even through their many silences. On a larger scale, the same thing happens where they live:...

Why It's Time to Take Mobile Seriously

Posted by Joe Bavonese, PhD on 12/4/12 - 7:28 PM
I was looking over my Google Analytics stats last month, and was shocked to see that 19% of my clicks in Google AdWords for psychotherapy searches were done on smartphones. People of all ages are now looking for a therapist on their phones, with almost all of the searches being done on iPhone and Android devices. And while Google owns about 2/3 of the search results on desktops and laptops, they command an astonishing 97% of all searches on mobile...

Continuous outcome assessment

Posted by Tony Rousmaniere, PsyD on 11/26/12 - 8:00 AM
One of the enjoyable side-benefits of attending international psychotherapy trainings is the opportunity to meet bright clinicians and discover exciting new projects.

The Healing Power of Writing

Posted by Doug Foresta, LICSW on 11/8/12 - 6:01 PM
I’ve been a writer longer then I’ve been a therapist, and so it comes to me as no surprise that writing, and narrative, have seeped into my work. What I want to share with you are some thoughts on how you can encourage clients to tap into the healing power of writing and narrative, and some good reasons (in my humble opinion) for doing so. Many clients may already be keeping a journal even before they come into therapy, but...
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