Archives for Communication

Addiction

Therapists: Could A Medical Condition Be The Cause Of Your Client’s Mental Illness?


A well-trained and dedicated medical doctor will consider whether or not there is an emotional component possibly triggering a physical issue, such as stress in the case of fatigue. But often, those in the mental health field, especially psychotherapists, might not evaluate and rule out medical or other issues in the case of a client presenting with a mental illness.

In training sessions with interns and therapists-in-training, I emphasize the importance of doing a comprehensive evaluation before diagnosing—and doing therapy with—a client. I explain that when it comes to a mental health evaluation it is as vital for therapists to determine which factors are contributing to or causing mental illness, whether that mental illness is mild or more severe.

Yet many therapists jump right into talk therapy at the first or second visit; not everyone in private practice examines medical records or asks their clients to get blood-work done.
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anxiety

Mindfulness–Reach Beyond Your Turbulent Mind

We're continuing our discussion of the intersection of spirituality and therapy with psychotherapist Tanchum (Tani) Burton. Tani is a rabbi and educator whose approaches to therapy and spirituality are relevant for an increasing number of clients and students.

Welcome back, Tani. You are a student of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, whose powerful teachings we have frequently blogged about on the Therapy Soup blog. Can you tell us about the (free) classes you are currently teaching at BreslovCampus.com called The Chassidic Law of Attraction?

I’m giving a course on one of Rebbe Nachman’s famous stories, known in English as “the Sophisticate and the Simpleton."

This story shows us a path towards—and away from—true wealth, joy and growth in the analogy of the main characters, who are simple and complicated, satisfied and restless, joyous and miserable respectively.

The challenge and opportunity for us is that we all have elements of both characters, and, when we can recognize which one is operating, we can readjust and reboot our lives for the better.
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Communication

Therapy and the Soul with Tanchum Burton

We're talking with psychotherapist Tanchum (Tani) Burton, who is also a rabbi and educator, about his approaches to therapy and spirituality.

Welcome. What do you believe is the interface between spirituality and psychotherapy, the spiritual nature of people and their emotional well-being?

It’s harder to define “spirituality” than to define “psychotherapy”; spirituality means different things to different people.

Psychotherapy, on the other hand, has certain basic defined elements, such as Rogers’ six conditions for therapeutic change--unconditional positive regard, empathic understanding, communication of that understanding, and the like.

When these are in place, when the human connection between people in a therapy room is one of acceptance, and of a prizing of the individual who has come for help, I think that the groundwork for spirituality has been laid.
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Communication

The One Person You Should NEVER Say You’re Sorry To

 C.R. writes:
"Sometimes, on rare occasions, apologizing is the worst thing you can do. It allows a person who is in the wrong to feel superior. It feeds their narcissism."
This doesn't really tally with what I believe—that saying you're sorry, asking for forgiveness, and making peace are literally requirements for mature and moral folks; that even if you're not really in the wrong it's best to swallow your pride and make peace—but something resonated here at a deep level.
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Communication

Activate These 5 Fundamentals For Conscious Change


Conscious Change

These are three examples of conscious change:
A golfer who works consistently on her swing despite not having a natural ability, may find herself able to hold her own in a tournament.
A college student who enters medical school may have no idea how to treat heart disease, but after studying hard in med school and working at his internship, he may be performing open-heart surgery on a regular basis.
A person with an explosive temper can go to an anger management class and learn techniques that help him relax and manage uncomfortable feelings in more productive ways.
Do You REALLY Believe You Can Change?

If people couldn't change, there would be no point to therapy, coaching or personal
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Communication

The Therapist That Didn’t Show Up For His Sessions

Recently we advised a young woman in her twenties to seek another therapist. We didn't make the suggestion on a whim, this was after consulting with her three times in six months.

Here's why.

Last summer, a friend of a friend (we'll call her Ann), called to ask us for advice regarding her therapist. She and her husband had been seeing him individually, and together in couple's counseling, spending nearly $2000 a month out of pocket. They had been seeing him for just under a year and felt they had seen little to no improvement. Because finances were very tight, they had been cutting back on everything, even basics, like groceries, to pay his fee.

After asking her about what went on in therapy this is what we learned:
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Addiction

Should Your Therapist Poke His/Her Nose Into Your Personal Business?

Good therapists are the ones who have the specialized knowledge to actually give you the key to your own transformation. They also have the sensitivity, training, and ability to work within the parameters of your belief system; not aggressively challenging, nor blindly accepting your conditional outlook, but gently helping you deepen your understanding of your life and your life’s purpose. They help you resolve to improve.

From Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money

Should your therapist "butt in" to your personal life?

Anyone who has ever been in therapy finds this question at once both ludicrous and apt.

How personal should therapy actually be?

There is no easy answer that holds true for everyone. If you are in therapy to work on a certain issue, such as anger, for example, you might be content to gain more awareness of your anger as it occurs in the present, and learn thought-based and behavioral changes to manage it.

Or you might yearn to find the deeper roots of your anger, how it might be related to your deepest fears, and spend a year or more analyzing every nuance of your anger-fear feelings.
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