Category: Therapy

Men in Therapy: Man or Mouse?
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Authored by , re: MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
Men in Therapy: Man or Mouse? | Christine Spence

{3:54 minutes to read} Have you ever had a family member, friend, girlfriend/spouse tell you they think you need counseling? Did your response ever sound something like this:

“No way! I don’t need to talk to anyone. That’s for boys. I’m a man. I can handle my own problems. That’s for weak-minded people. I am strong. I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do. People that see a counselor are crazy…sick… I’m not crazy and I’m not sick.

Click here to read Christine Spence's full article...

Hearing What Your Male Child/Adolescent is Trying to Say By “Acting Out”
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Hearing What Your Male Child/Adolescent is Trying to Say By “Acting Out” | Joe Conlon

{4:12 minutes to read} Is your male child or adolescent acting out? Do they have no interest in school?

A child or adolescent who appears to be oppositional or aggressive may actually be reacting to feelings of anxiety or depression that he may not be able to articulate effectively. He may not even fully understand what he is feeling.

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How Is Mediation Different From Therapy?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
How Is Mediation Different From Therapy? | Susan Ingram

{3:24 minutes to read} Both mediators and therapists play important roles in helping couples who are experiencing difficulties in their marriage. When couples come to me for divorce mediation, I find that at least half of them have spent time, recently or in the past, working together with a therapist to try to save their marriage. I certainly view this as a positive sign. At least the couple has tried to work through the issues in their marriage, even if it didn’t ultimately work out.

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Identifying With Others vs Blaming Them
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Authored by , re: MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, Wellness, on .
Identifying With Others vs Blaming Them | David Zerella

{2:42 minutes to read} There is a frequent overlap when teaching individuals about unconditional acceptance and providing assertiveness training. One of the ways they overlap is with the idea of identifying with others. By “identifying” I mean relating to or finding common ground with others. Identifying with others allows us to decrease internal frustrations, stress and resentment, as well as express ourselves with more assertiveness and less blaming.

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There Is a Person Behind Every Label: Watch Out for the Diagnosis Trap
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
There Is a Person Behind Every Label: Watch Out for the Diagnosis Trap | Jeff Zimmerman

{4 minutes to read} In any context, a mental health diagnosis is a serious, meaningful term that should not be taken lightly, and should only be made by a mental health professional who has personally assessed the client and is trained to diagnose the condition at hand. Although diagnoses are often casually offered colloquially as labels, careful assessment and expertise are truly required in order to make an official diagnosis.

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What is Trauma? What is its Impact and How Do You Treat It?
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What is Trauma? What is its Impact and How Do You Treat It? | Brittany Starrantino

{3:30 minutes to read} People who come into the office saying they are experiencing anxiety and/or depression often have environmental traumas that have impacted them over time. Trauma can be anything perceived as “traumatic” to an individual. This could be the death of a pet or family member, an abusive relationship, a car accident, etc.

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Decision Making Anxiety
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Decision Making Anxiety | David Zerella

How to Decrease Outcome Based Thinking

{3:06 minutes to read} I have a small chalkboard in my office which I use to write motivational quips. I change it periodically, and most of my clients are familiar with it. It can be a great source of ideas within a session. Recently, I updated it to read, “There is no failure; we either succeed or we learn.” This idea summarizes my clinical approach on treating decision making anxiety.

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How to Mitigate the Non-Constructive Results of Confrontation: Tips for Professionals
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How to Mitigate the Non-Constructive Results of Confrontation: Tips for Professionals | Jeff Zimmerman

{Read in 2 minutes} Confrontation is often interpreted as an attack. In counseling scenarios, regardless of what the professional therapist or mediator is confronting (feelings, ideas, logic, etc.), the client’s response is generally to do one of three things: fight, flee, or freeze.

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Tying Emotions to Situations to Actions to Coping
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Authored by , re: MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Tying Emotions to Situations to Actions to Coping | Brittany Starrantino

{4:00 minutes to read} Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is similar to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in that you are meeting with someone who is very defiant and stuck in their way of coping. The difference is that DBT is a softer approach. In the beginning, I have someone do a type of chart which may reveal that they:

  • Have a lot of anxiety;
  • Don’t understand what they’re feeling; or
  • Feel a lot of anger and can’t stop acting out on it.

Click here to read Brittany Starrantino's full article...

Challenges and Opportunities
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Challenges and Opportunities | David Zerella

{2:48 minutes to read} Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on how beliefs or thoughts about events lead to behavior. When the behavior is maladaptive (unsuitably adapted or adapting poorly, causing and maintaining emotional problems), we don’t look to just change the behavior, or hope to change the event, but rather actively work to change the belief. This process is referred to as cognitive reframing.

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Self-Rating
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Self-Rating | David Zerella, LMSW

{4:42 minutes to read} Most of my clients are familiar with my rants on conditional self-esteem. Maybe I’m being dramatic when I call it an epidemic, but it does seem to be a widespread, cross-cultural issue. Countless individuals, when disclosing how they perceive themselves, reveal a very conditional-based understanding. A simple example would be “I am good because I do good.” There may not appear to be anything destructive with that statement and it could be considered beneficial to recognize our strengths and appreciate our achievements, but it can be destructive to view ourselves based solely on our behavior. That is, when we think and say things like “I am good because I do good,” the reverse must also true: “I am bad because I do bad.” Unfortunately, this is a common way of thinking that leads to self-rating.

Click here to read David Zerella's full article...

The Child-Parent Observation: A Vital Tool in Custody Evaluations
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The Child-Parent Observation: A Vital Tool in Custody Evaluations | Alberto Yohananoff

{4:50 minutes to read} Child-parent observations are a cornerstone of the custody evaluation. A good parenting assessment cannot be made without an observation of the parent and child who will live together. In conducting child-parent evaluations, the evaluator will report on what he or she observes about the behavior between the parent and the child, then make inferences from those behaviors. Some of the dimensions assessed include:

  • The quality of the bond between the parent and the child
  • How the parent and child communicate with each other

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Uncomfortable Territory
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Uncomfortable Territory | Brittany Starrantino, LMSW, CASAC

{2:42 minutes to read} As a therapist, it is extremely important to address conflict and uncomfortable moments that may come up in a session. If we ignore these moments, we are missing out on an opportunity for great work with the client and our own self-awareness. Recently, one of my clients made a comment in passing that they had thought about becoming intimate with me. Development of an attraction to the therapist is a common and natural consequence of the therapeutic alliance because the therapist is validating feelings and providing a safe, supportive space. When this happens or is brought to the therapist’s attention by the client, it is important to address it and incorporate it as part of their work together.

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The Survivor Mentality
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The Survivor Mentality | David Zerella

{2:54 minutes to read} One of the things I enjoy most about my profession is the opportunity to meet with incredibly strong individuals, who have endured tragedy, trauma, and abuse. Unfortunately, many of the individuals I work with don’t recognize their inner strength, or their ability to endure hardships and challenges. As a result, in the early stages of therapy, they may take on a victim mentality. A victim mentality is when an individual perceives him/herself as the target of the trauma, tragedy, abuse, etc. to the point where it negatively affects his/her well-being. Victims often identify with negative, self-defeating emotions such as shame, guilt, anger, resentment, etc. A victim mentality promotes self-defeating thoughts such as:

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When Is It Appropriate to See a Family in Family Therapy?
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Authored by , re: Family, Therapy, on .
When Is It Appropriate to See a Family in Family Therapy? | Brittany Starrantino

{2:54 minutes to read} Have you ever thought to yourself, “My family is crazy,” or “My family makes me crazy?” Well, if you have had that thought, it is not an unusual one, and there is even some truth to it. It is natural that the family unit plays a large role in our individual lives and emotions. In a majority of cases, when the family identifies one individual in need, the other individuals in the family are also in need.

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Be an Active Participant, Not a Passive Recipient
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Be an Active Participant, Not a Passive Recipient | David Zerella

4:06 minutes to read}  As part of the human experience, we all have our “bad” days:

  • Typical daily tasks appear more menial and frustrating than usual.
  • Added frustrations or unexpected difficulties arise which we couldn’t have foreseen.
  • Other people get on our nerves more often.
  • We are facing changes or transitions we don’t like.
  • Not thinking, feeling, or looking our very best.
Sound familiar? These types of days happen to all of us.

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The 5-Session Check-In – Keeping Therapy Fresh and Engaging
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Authored by , re: MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
The 5-Session Check-In – Keeping Therapy Fresh and Engaging | Dr. Chloe Carmichael

Measuring progress in therapy requires an objective analysis of the big picture. When new clients book a visit with me because they’re considering a switch from their current therapist, one of the most common reasons they offer for switching is that they have “gotten into a rut.” Their first few sessions went really well and they talked a lot about goals, but then somehow it drifted away from an organized pursuit of those goals and got into sessions “where I just basically talk about how my week went and the therapist nods.

Click here to read Dr. Chloe Carmichael's full article...

“I’ll Be Happy When…”
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“I’ll Be Happy When…” | David Zerella

{3:42 minutes to read} Are you currently happy? Does it seem like there is something preventing you from being happy?  Do you want to be happy but find yourself overwhelmed with professional and personal demands?  Is there just no time for your own happiness? Do you prioritize happiness? Happiness is something we need to prioritize. However, what is usually preventing us from being happy is our desire for the next thing:

  • The next promotion;
  • The next job;
  • The next life event;
  • The next step in a relationship; etc.

Click here to read David Zerella's full article...

What It Is, Is What It Is
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Authored by , re: Family, MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
What It Is, Is What It Is | Ronald B. Cohen

Omelet and Soufflé, Same or Different?

A man is but the product of his thoughts - what he thinks, he becomes. ― Mahatma Gandhi

Most dichotomies are false ones; the mind/body and nature/nurture ones coming most readily to mind. A discussion in the LinkedIn Counselling & Psychotherapy Group concerning the latter revolved around the question “How do you like your eggs?” More specifically, the age-old question was finally resolved: the egg came before either the omelet or the soufflé. And then there was Humpty Dumpty.

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Being in Control
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Being in Control | David Zerella, LMSW

{4:30 minutes to read} Have you ever wondered about control? What does it mean to be in control? What do we really have control over in our lives?

Like anything else, the idea of having control has positive and negative attributes. Being in control, or having a direct impact on our life and environment, can be very empowering. However, the need to control our lives and environment comes with responsibility, and can be quite frustrating or anxiety-provoking. So it is important for us to discern what we can and cannot control.

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5 Tips to Beat Fertility Stress as a Couple
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5 Tips to Beat Fertility Stress as a Couple | Chloe Carmichael

{Read within 5:30 minutes} Many professional women deliberately postpone starting a family because they want to be in control of furthering their education, their career or accomplishing other important goals. Ironically, when it becomes time to start a family later in life, many women end up losing a degree of control because of fertility issues. The good news is that there are excellent fertility treatments available. The challenge is that they have the potential to take over a couple’s life.

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A Bowen Theory Lexicon
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Authored by , re: Family, MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
A Bowen Theory Lexicon | Ronald B. Cohen

How Even the Great Ones Get Confused

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ ’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’ —  Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

Or as Hamlet put it way more succinctly, “Words, words, words,” which Liza Doolittle modernized as: “Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words! I get words all day through; first from him, now from you; is that all you blighters can do?”

Click here to read Ronald B. Cohen's full article...

Who, What, Where, When and How?
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Who, What, Where, When and How? | David Zarella

by David Zarella, LMSW {3:30 minutes to read} Most people who participate in psychotherapy are seeking support because they have some insight into their behavior, and recognize on some level the dysfunction and disturbances in their lives. However, when they first begin psychotherapy, many people, despite an awareness of the disturbance, often ask themselves the wrong questions by focusing on the “Why?”

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The Practice Is the Performance
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Authored by , re: Family, MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
The Practice Is the Performance | Ronald B. Cohen

Walking the Talk

“This work is a truly personal one; we only know the whole truth of ourselves.” — Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein

Murray Bowen began his essay Theory in the Practice of Psychotherapy with “There are striking discrepancies between theory and practice in psychotherapy,” which begs the question: what exactly is the practice of Bowen Family Systems Theory “Coaching”?

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The Structure, Function and Emotional Process of Triangles
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Authored by , re: Family, MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
The Structure, Function and Emotional Process of Triangles | Ronald B. Cohen

What Kind of Company Always Creates a Crowd?

“One’s company, two’s a crowd, and three’s a party.” — Andy Warhol

Life rarely happens in ones or twos, but almost always in threes or more; and more specifically and theoretically exactingly, in groups of interlocking threes. From the Bowen Center Web site:

“It [a triangle] is considered the building block or “molecule” of larger emotional systems because a triangle is the smallest stable relationship system.

Click here to read Dr. Ronald B. Cohen's full article...