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Listening versus Hearing in Psychotherapy

Posted by John Marzillier, PhD on 7/27/11 - 1:50 PM
In my memoir, The Gossamer Thread: My Life as a Psychotherapist, I describe my treatment of ‘Angie’, a young mother with horrific fantasies of killing her two young children by stabbing them through the heart with a kitchen knife. It was back in the 1980s and I was in the process of shedding my old behaviour therapy skin, realising I needed to listen to the client more carefully before embarking on any specific intervention. My therapy was a success, or...

Turning Blaming into Confiding in Couples Therapy

Posted by Dan Wile, PhD on 6/23/11 - 9:06 AM
The defining task in a Collaborative Couple Therapy session is to create an intimate conversation out of whatever is happening—frequently a fight. Sometimes that means helping the partner who has just been accused deal with the accusation. Sometimes, and this is my focus in this write-up, that means reshaping the accusing partner’s angry statement. I speak as if I were that partner, translating his/her blaming statement into a confiding one, in a method similar to doubling in psychodrama. I show...
Filed under: Couples Therapy

Training in Couples Therapy

Posted by Tony Rousmaniere, PsyD on 6/3/11 - 3:05 PM
Why might a therapist who works primarily with individuals consider studying couples’ therapy? If you work from an attachment perspective, as an increasing number of therapists do, then training in couples therapy may greatly inform and improve your work.

The 7 real reasons why psychotherapists flunk their licensing and certification exams

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 5/12/11 - 11:37 PM
A friend of mine (let's call him Kurt to preserve confidentiality and perhaps more importantly not to embarrass him) told me was gearing up to take his state licensing exam. Had he prepared for the exam? "Come on Rosenthal, I just spent two of the best years of life in grad school and another three or so in supervision. I think I know this stuff by now." "Really," I remarked. "Who is the father of rational emotive behavior therapy?" "Come on dude, that's...

Training in Microexpressions

Posted by Tony Rousmaniere, PsyD on 5/12/11 - 11:59 AM
There is a growing movement in psychotherapy towards reading clients’ facial microexpressions and body “tells”.  One of the leaders in this movement is Stan Tatkin, PsyD, who teaches a Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT).  I recently talked with Dr. Tatkin about how he uses microexpressions to enhance couples therapy.

Treating Special Clients in Psychotherapy

Posted by John Marzillier, PhD on 4/26/11 - 10:19 AM
In the film, The King’s Speech, George VI seeks treatment for his stammer from a maverick Australian speech therapist, Lionel Logue, played brilliantly by Geoffrey Rush. “My patch, my rules,” is what Logue tells the King when he insists on being given special treatment. He is, after all, the King of England, used to deference and privilege. Logue accords him neither, treating him just like any other client. Or so we are led to believe. As a therapist I applaud...

Free Psychotherapy Training

Posted by Tony Rousmaniere, PsyD on 4/19/11 - 10:51 AM
As a psychotherapy training nerd, I’m always looking for good training opportunities.  What’s the most training one can find on a limited time and budget?  I recently talked about this with Carol Odsess, PhD.  Dr. Odsess is a psychotherapy trainer in Albany, California who specializes in EMDR and Energy Psychology.  (www.carolodsess.com)  

Collaborative Couple Therapy With High Conflict Couples

Posted by Dan Wile, PhD on 4/16/11 - 11:40 AM
What’s hard, when dealing with high conflict couples, is getting their attention. If they do register your presence, it is to recruit you to their cause, confiding in you conspiratorily, “Look what I have to put up with.” And if they do acknowledge what you say, it is to turn your comments into ammunition against their partners, assuring you, “Ido what you’re saying, but he never does.” High-conflict couples attack each other at such high velocity that you don’t have...
Filed under: Couples Therapy

Fact and Fiction in Psychology

Posted by John Marzillier, PhD on 4/6/11 - 5:48 PM
In 1992 I was a Visiting Fellow in the Psychology Department at the University of Western Australia in Perth. For two months nothing was demanded of me other than to talk to the staff and students of the Department in a learned and wise manner, which is easy to do even if you are neither. I was asked one favour which was to give a lecture to the whole department on a subject of my choosing. Can it be any...

Interacting Sensitivities in Couples Therapy

Posted by Dan Wile, PhD on 3/13/11 - 3:03 PM
It is a typical night at Tom and Betsy's house. Tom has his nose in a newspaper.  Betsy is leaning in the door of his study trying to talk to him, getting more and more frustrated at his periodic, vague “Uh huh.” After a few minutes of trying to entice him into a conversation, Betsy starts complaining, and then criticizing him for being cold. Tom snaps, “Can't you just once leave me alone?” Betsy yells, he withdraws further, and Betsy...
Filed under: Couples Therapy
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