Psychotherapy Blog


Who Else Wants To Know Why Americans Spell Counseling With A Single "L"?

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 8/21/12 - 5:37 PM
A while back, when I opened my afternoon snail mail I received a card from Dr. Thomas W. Clawson, CEO of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). Dr. Clawson asked in his correspondence if I knew why the words counseling and counselor are spelled with a single "L" in the U.S., while in England and Canada the words are correctly spelled with two "L's” (i.e., counselling or counsellor). He then went on to answer his own question. The mystery, he...

Albert Ellis and the Traveling Road Show

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 8/13/12 - 1:54 PM
As a master's level graduate student at the University of Missouri, St. Louis I was very fortunate to have Dr. Patricia Jakubowski as my advisor. Pat was not only a recognized behaviorist, but she was also a pioneer in the assertiveness training movement. Best of all, she had befriended a psychotherapist who was very close to Dr. Albert Ellis. That's right the Dr. Albert Ellis. At the time, it was virtually impossible for a student such as myself who didn't own...

The Joy of Small Miracles in Psychotherapy

Posted by Melissa Groman LCSW on 7/12/12 - 5:27 PM
I admit that I really do like to see breakthroughs now and again. I suppose they help me hang in better when all those feelings come through my door, whipping up my own like a wind gust on dry leaves...

The Miraculous (or not) Efficacy of Solution-Focused Therapy

Posted by John Sommers-Flanagan, PhD on 6/6/12 - 10:48 PM
For years solution-focused therapy approaches have been all the rage; the popularity of this distinctively brief therapy method is unarguable. Beginning in the 1980s, solution-focused therapy hit the mainstream and many mental health providers (and third-party payers) continue to sing the praises of its brevity and effectiveness. For example, in a 2009 book chapter Sara Smock claimed, “. . . there are numerous studies, several reviews of the research, and a few meta-analyses completed that showcase [solution-focused therapy’s] effectiveness.” Solution-focused counseling...

Psychotherapy: Terminal or Interminable

Posted by John Marzillier, PhD on 6/3/12 - 9:01 PM
“I was okay until I met you!” she said and slammed the door of my office as she left. I have never forgotten that moment. I was shocked, not just by the vehemence, her incandescent anger, but by my complete failure to anticipate her reaction. I thought I was a good judge of character and I had got this woman badly wrong. I had invited her husband to attend the previous session and, instead of supporting her jibes and scarcely...

Ethics of Treating Two Psychotherapy Clients who Know Each Other

A question was recently posed to us about what to do when you discover in an early session with a new client that they are the former partner of another well-established client. Well, for those of you who actually stopped to think, “Oh, this may be a problem,” then you are certainly one step further away from sliding down the slippery slope of unethical behavior than those who did not recognize that this situation may pose a potential ethical dilemma....
Filed under: Law & Ethics

First Impressions in Psychotherapy

Posted by John Marzillier, PhD on 3/11/12 - 12:52 PM
A woman wrote to me, having heard me on a radio programme. She had picked up my concern that not enough attention was being paid to the quality of the therapeutic relationship (as opposed to techniques) and wondered how her 25 year-old son, who was seeking a psychotherapist, could assess that in advance of therapy when neither of them knew any therapists where they lived. The obvious answer is that he should wait until he and the therapist meet. Therapy...

Videotaping Therapy

Posted by Tony Rousmaniere, PsyD on 2/5/12 - 8:45 AM
Recent technological advances have allowed for a range of creative new affordable ways to record “picture-in-picture”, so the video shows both the client and therapist. These setups do not require any video editing.

Is Self-Regulation or Co-Regulation Better for Couples?

Posted by Tony Rousmaniere, PsyD on 1/20/12 - 4:59 PM
Should couples in distress attempt to change their partner or themselves? Recent research discusses concerns about both of these strategies, and raises an interesting third option. Shreena Hira and Nickola Overall examined 160 couples attempting to change their partner or themselves. As they expected, attempts to change their partner didn’t make either their partner or themselves feel better. Surprisingly, however, a focus on self-change did not consistently help the relationship either. Instead, the researchers discovered that the most beneficial change...

Techniques, Therapeutic Relationship and the Importance of the Body

Posted by John Marzillier, PhD on 12/22/11 - 11:59 AM
Throughout my career as a psychotherapist I struggled to find the right balance between using specific techniques and the importance of establishing a safe therapeutic relationship. Toward the end I veered more to the latter as I realised, rather belatedly I admit, that people sought therapy not necessarily to get better but often just to be heard. A safe haven and a sensitive, empathic and caring individual can be enough; specific techniques can get in the way. Of course this...
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