Psychotherapy Blog


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...

Nordstrom: Psychotherapy Lessons From The Cathedral Of Commerce

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 12/14/11 - 2:31 PM
Let's get something straight right from the get-go. I don't work for Nordstrom, nor am I am affiliated with them in any way, shape, or form. I've never spent a dime there. Truth be told, the only time I ever set foot in a Nordstrom was to walk from the mall to the parking lot. (Elapsed time: one minute and forty-five seconds.) But I do know this. Nordstrom has become the darling of the customer service movement. If you are searching...

Conduct Therapy Sessions Like Ellis Or Rogers In 7 Days Or Your Money Back!

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 12/3/11 - 8:19 PM
Okay Rosenthal, tell me something about psychotherapy I don't know. Fine: I will! If you've read all the textbooks, analyzed the classics, and been to enough workshops to receive frequent flyer miles, I've got something new to teach you so put down the managed care forms, and pay attention. My secret weapon for improving your psychotherapy sessions comes from the field of copywriting. That's correct, I said copywriting. Copywriting is the act of creating written documents that persuade customers to reach...

Ethical Guidelines: Do We Really Want What Is Best For Our Clients?

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 11/28/11 - 3:05 PM
Most therapists are familiar with the affliction of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD impacts approximately seven million people each year in America, mainly women. At one point in my career I shared a private practice office with a psychiatrist. She would use the office on some days and I would use it on others. When I entered the office for the first time I was struck by the fact that she had a phototherapy apparatus in the room. It was physically...

How One Desperate St. Louis Psychotherapist Cured A Schizophrenic

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 11/18/11 - 3:13 PM
Maggie began the session by telling me that she had been diagnosed by three different psychiatrists. The good news was that all three agreed on the diagnosis. The bad news was that each psychiatrist told her she was schizophrenic. "So, what brings you here today?" I asked. "Well, I saw something in the newspaper and it said you wrote some books on mental health and teach in the field so I thought you might know something these psychiatrists don't." (Wow. How refreshing. A...

Supervision of Executive Coaching

Posted by John Marzillier, PhD on 9/14/11 - 11:04 AM
Last year I was tempted out of my retirement as a psychotherapist to provide supervision to a group of colleagues working with business executives. This was not psychotherapy but coaching, and my protests that I had never done any coaching or even read very much about it were overruled: they wanted me and they had every confidence that I would do a good job. I was flattered of course, intrigued too, and the extra money was welcome. So I began....
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