TIFT #35 Supporting the Will to Change Nov 02, 2021

 

This post covers two more of ten therapeutic objectives: supporting change in thoughts and change in behavior. Let’s turn the discussion on its head. Most accounts start with why one should change. Instead, let’s ask why not? Change is hard, for a reason. The aim of this...

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TIFT #34 Emotional Regulation and Awareness tift Oct 26, 2021

 

In the last post, the subject was how to awaken emotions. In this one, we discuss what to do when emotions are already active and causing distress. Working with painful, uncomfortable, and overwhelming emotions is a large part of what we do. Sometimes strong emotions are what bring...

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TIFT #33 What Therapists Do tift Oct 19, 2021

 

An interesting way to focus on the processes of psychotherapy is to ask what immediate objective we are pursuing at a given moment. As we work, we are generally aware of trying to accomplish something specific. By naming our objective, we can focus more clearly on the processes...

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TIFT #32 Attached, A Book for Therapists tift Oct 12, 2021

 

One of my best summer reads was Amir Levine and Rachel Heller’s 2010 classic, Attached. Maybe I should be embarrassed for coming to the party late and even more from learning about it via my patient’s dating coach, but this book, aimed at a popular audience, goes beyond...

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TIFT #31 Healing a Lack of Primal Love tift Oct 05, 2021

 

How a Lack for Primal Love can Heal

A reader writes: “I feel like I’m done with therapy but not done with my therapist. The only reason I’m still going after many years is that I am so deeply attached to him and can’t imagine life without him in it. I’ve...

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TIFT #30 Primal Love tift Sep 21, 2021

 

The idea of primal love comes from working with clients who have been deprived in early life. Many of the people who responded to posts (on the howtherapyworks.com blog) about attachment to your therapist have found themselves looking for something their therapist could not give them....

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TIFT #29 Difficult Transferences tift Sep 21, 2021

 

For the therapy consultant there is usually one easy answer. When therapy is stuck it’s a transference problem. Yes, there are exceptions. Enabling, whether from family or the an institution, can guarantee that no change will happen. I’m sure there are others, but in the vast...

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TIFT #28 Almost as Damaging as Trauma: The Sick Sibling Syndrome tift Sep 07, 2021

This is a post I have wanted to write for some time. It is not new, but a reminder of the power of the conscience. A significant portion of cases in my practice arise from what has been called the “sick sibling syndrome,” where the well child internalizes the value of caring, not only...

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TIFT #27. Knowing What You Don't Know tift Aug 31, 2021

 

In In TIFT #25, “The Quest in a Question,” we looked at how questions can engage three basic human systems: interpersonal connection, motivation, and the nonconscious problem solver’s impressive power to point towards the answer. In this post, we look at how to know...

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TIFT #26. Case Study: Four EMPs tift Aug 24, 2021

 

Anne, in her mid 50s illustrates several common problems and how they can be resolved. She grew up with an alcoholic father who was physically abusive to her mother and hypercritical of his children. Her mother died when she was seven.  She started therapy in her twenties,...

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TIFT #25. The Quest in Questions tift Aug 17, 2021

 

In the early 70s, I was taught mostly to keep my mouth shut when doing psychotherapy. In fact, one residency didn’t select me because they saw (correctly) that staying quiet would be a real challenge. Fortunately I did match with a great residency, Albert Einstein, where my best...

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TIFT #24 Jaak Panksepp and Motivation tift Aug 10, 2021

 

One of the best summer reads in memory was the late Jaak Panksepp’s Archaeology of Mind. This eye-opening description of our mammalian emotional brain is technical, but fresh and different than anything I have come upon before. Dr. Panksepp, who passed away in 2017, makes a...

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