Archives for Therapeutic Relationship

General

Are Your Beliefs Holding You Back?

Your Belief System: The Longer-Shorter Path In the last post, we focused on coping skills and strategies, which are the emotional scaffolding upon which your life reconstruction can begin. In this post we'll discuss your general belief system. This may include beliefs about who you are, how much self-determination you believe you have, spirituality/religious beliefs, what your life is truly about, and so on. These are the foundation upon which your life actually rests. A dysfunctional belief system is a set belief or group of beliefs that impair an individual’s ability to function in a mentally, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and physically healthy manner.
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Flying Phobia

Need Better Coping Skills? Therapy Can Help

Your Emotional Scaffolding: Developing Coping Skills The systematic, yet personal approach that I believe really works is a combination of the use of proven treatment methods and the therapist’s techniques. Effective therapists primarily use proven treatment methods supported by their own studiously developed personal techniques. Whenever possible (and that is the vast majority of the time), it's important for your therapist to first help you improve—or, if necessary, develop from scratch—your emotional scaffolding comprised of your coping skills and strategies, before digging up and exploring your past.
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Communication

What Is Therapy, Really?

*Let's begin answering this essential question: What is therapy, really? By definition, psychotherapy is “The treatment of mental or emotional problems by the use of techniques that are tailored to the unique problems and backgrounds of the individual and that may include talk therapy, behavioral modification, medication, and other treatments.” The goal of psychotherapy is to help resolve an individual’s mental and emotional problems and, at the same time, teach that individual how to attain the skills needed to deal with life on life’s terms. Therapy is also an inner journey with the therapist as guide. With a good therapist assisting you, your emotions (what you feel) begin to get in sync with your intellect (what you know). When your head leads and your heart follows, the world becomes an easier, more meaningful place in which to live. Therapy is not about
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anxiety

When A Patient Becomes Aggressive & Passive-Agressive Vs. Assertive

A therapist I supervise came to me with a case: F. struggles with relationships and socializing. The sensory processing and cognitive issues she's struggled with since childhood cause her to misunderstand or miss social cues. Therefore, her responses to people's words, gestures, or tone of voice often were often wildly inappropriate and misfire. One of the biggest issues for her used to be her inability to read when someone was belittling or bullying her. Her social awkwardness made her an easy target. With the guidance of her counselor as well as support in developing a healthy response to bullying, she began to be able to assert herself and even stand up for herself, too. She learned about healthy boundaries and in cases where she used to get overly involved in other people's lives, especially people who were using and/or abusing her, she began to be able to recognize
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General

Do You Have To Tell Your Therapist In Person That You’re Leaving?

Dedicated, skilled, and caring therapists will, together with you, discuss the right time to end therapy. Usually they'll discuss it with you in the first few sessions so you can be prepared for about how long therapy might take. They'll share with you possible treatment time-frames, and together you'll decide how to proceed. Your therapist and you will schedule regular progress check-ins, every few sessions or even once per session, and assess how effective the therapy is for you. If it isn't after a reasonable period of time, a responsive therapist will try other approaches with you or might even suggest a different therapist. But suppose that you decide your therapist isn't for you and you are planning to leave therapy, either to work with someone else or because you feel you no longer need therapy—what should your course of action be?
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Communication

Do You Really Need To Talk About Your Past?

Does therapy absolutely require you to "talk about your past?" Do you need to "go down that road?" My answer, adapted from Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On, may surprise you. Your therapist will, beginning from the very first session, evaluate how you cope with problems and challenges. Where your coping skills aren’t as strong as they might be, a good therapist will teach you how to strengthen them. I believe that generally, only then, should your therapist ask your permission to go ahead and explore important events in your past.
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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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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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