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Archives for Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy

Germanwings: A Wake-up Call for Mental Health Professionals

I have no insider knowledge of the specific mental health treatment that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz did or did not receive, or what valiant efforts those professionals may (or may not) have made to avoid the tragedy that occurred. But the unsuccessful treatment that Lubitz underwent can serve as a wake-up call to all of us in the field.

Mental health work can have significant and far-reaching consequences. When we enter into other people's psyches, we must do so with...
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Psychotherapy

Diagnosis: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

With a new diagnostic manual out (the DSM-5 replacing the DSM-4TR), I've been thinking more about the dangers of diagnosis.  It's just human nature that if you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

So the way a therapist sees a client is shaped by the diagnostic criteria available, and that can influence how clients see themselves ("I'm a depressive borderline," one new client informed me.)

Given this, therapists have to diagnose with care.  And clients have...
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Assertiveness

Can a Narcissist Change?

Many of us are involved with narcissists (people who have difficulty empathizing with others, and behave accordingly, often manipulatively.)  The narcissist may be your parent, your significant other, even your child.  In order to decide what your options are in this relationship, you're wondering:...
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Communication

When to Seek Couples Therapy

Most people treat couples therapy as a measure of last resort: Your relationship is completely on the rocks, one or both of you is considering calling it quits.   It's like dialing 911.

But as I've said before, that's the worst time to start therapy--when you're feeling hopeless, when one or both of you has little investment in the relationship.  Seeking professional help sooner can make all the difference.

So what is the best time?

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Psychotherapy

To Medicate or Not to Medicate

In certain cases, it's obvious that medication is needed.  It can even be a prerequisite for therapy (when people are too severely depressed, suicidal or hopeless to engage; when they're floridly psychotic.)  But for others with, say, mild depression or non-debilitating anxiety, then the answer is not so obvious.

Of course, suffering is in the eye of the beholder (well, the experiencer, if I can coin a term.)  And it's relatively easy to get psychotropic medication.  The...
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Psychotherapy

The Isolation Dilemma

When faced with adversity, many of us find ourselves daunted.  We might feel depressed and hopeless.  And when we feel that way, we certainly aren't in the mood for company.

But the more we isolate, the harder it is to pull out of the negative spiral in which we've find ourselves, and the harder it is to generate solutions.  There, in a nutshell, is the isolation dilemma.
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