This touching ad campaign shows how beautiful VR can be. For people living with multiple sclerosis, many lifelong passions are put on hold because of this unpredictable and often disabling disease of the central nervous system. For San Diego surfer Steve Bettis and New York City professional dancer and choreographer Amy Meisner, this was especially true. …
"...[Τ]here are some therapists, and even psychiatrists, who are very far removed from their clients and the families they see. They either don’t know how to relate or simply don’t care. There are also some professionals who simply should not be in the field. Everyone has strengths and sometimes a person’s strengths are not found in this profession. Other people are very intelligent but lack a lot of emotional intelligence. Still, others get into this field to understand themselves or those around them and have very little interest in actually helping. Whatever the reason, there are those of us who thrive in this field and those of us who don’t. As a result, it’s important to be able to identify the qualities that makes a therapist successful at what they do. Successful includes being able to relate to clients, validate their feelings, show compassion and true concern, and be interested in learning about the person behind the label (i.e., a diagnosis or long history of problems). Overtime, I have developed a listing, based on families and clients, of qualities that make a good therapist. Here are the 7 things that contribute to a strong therapeutic relationship:
Due to integrated social sharing features on all smartphones, it really doesn’t matter where or how these photos get taken, as they can end up anywhere. For most people, this can be a source of embarrassment and humiliation. For some, it’s a source of pr
"Mindfulness is now the fastest-developing area in mental health.
Many therapists have come to regard cultivating moment-to-moment awareness as a curative mechanism that transcends diagnosis, addresses underlying causes of suffering, and serves as an active ingredient in most effective psychotherapies. The clinical value of mindfulness interventions has been demonstrated for many psychological difficulties, including depression, anxiety, chronic pain, substance abuse, insomnia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
And it doesn’t matter which therapeutic approach we take, be it psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, or any other. Mindfulness practices can be tailored to fit the particular needs of our patients. Though historically mindfulness practices have been presented as one-size-fits-all remedies, as the field matures we’re beginning to understand how these practices affect different individuals with different problems, how to modify them in different clinical situations, and how to work with the inevitable obstacles that arise.
Mindfulness can also enhance emotional well-being of clinicians, helping us develop beneficial therapeutic qualities such as acceptance, attention, compassion, equanimity, and presence that enrich and enliven our work and help us avoid burnout. Once we have developed these qualities in ourselves, we can safely and thoughtfully introduce our patients to practices that lead to a wide variety of clinical benefits.
Here are a few ways that mindfulness can benefit a therapy situation..."
A classic Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) metaphor that resonates with many therapeutic approaches.
Call it The Adult Ego State, call it The Observer, call it Self-In-Presence, call it Self-As-Context, call it Self-As-Process. What is rather certain is that we need that pilot to be able to stay detached and defused.
"...To get a sense of what the researchers really mean by "authenticity" let's look in more detail at that last questionnaire. It consisted of 45-items in four categories: Awareness, which means how much someone is motivated to understand themselves (points are awarded for agreement with statements like "For better or worse I am aware of who I truly am"); Behaviour, which measures how much the person actually acts in accordance with their values and beliefs; Related Orientations, which is about how open and honest the person is in their relationships; and finally, Unbiased Processing, which speaks to how much someone can accurately evaluate themselves without being misled by what other people say or do. The researchers averaged across these subscales to give their participants an overall authenticity score.
The main result is straightforward. Across the whole group of students, feeling more lonely tended to correlate with being feeling more depressed and anxious; having more physical symptoms and more drink problems. Sadly, this is consistent with prior research on the sequelae of loneliness. But here's the thing: among those students who scored more highly on authenticity, these associations were all reduced. That is, if you felt lonely but you also scored highly on authenticity, then your depression and anxiety tended to be lower, so too your drink problems and physical symptoms.
This is a cross-sectional study – it only involved taking measures at one point in time – so we need to interpret the results with caution (we also don't know if the same findings would apply to a different demographic group, such as elderly people). But one hopeful interpretation of these results is that being true to yourself provides a kind of protection against the usual negative effects of being lonely.
Why might this be? Bryan and her colleagues posit a couple of explanations: First, perhaps highly authentic people don't overanalyse their lonely feelings – they don't see their loneliness as some kind of indictment of their personality, it's just the way things currently are. Second, authentic people are likely less inclined to try to get out of their lonely situation by hanging out with people they don't want to be with, or doing stuff they don't want to do. Yes, this might increase their isolation at first, but it probably helps prevent them from growing more bitter and resorting to counter-productive coping mechanisms like drinking too much..."
"...How we see ourselves plays a huge part. Part of that comes from what we imagine others think of us and from our need to be approved of. So as children, if we were lucky enough to grow up in an environment where we were loved and prized for who we were and not what others wanted us to be, we would be better able to keep in touch with what we think and feel rather than trying to live up to the values and beliefs of others. However the reality is that to a lesser or greater degree, we all end up on the receiving end of beliefs and values of parents, teachers and wider society and so we adapt to the messages which say ‘you are worthy if you………………..’ So who we really are becomes buried and in its place we have a self-concept which includes the messages about how to maintain the approval of others. The point at which we seek counselling is often the stage where the conflict between our experience, which may have been denied or distorted, and who we think we are becomes too great and we want change..."
So, it is the start of a new year, and I imagine many of you have some New Year's resolutions, and then again you may not. Either way, a great way to approach the New Year is to think about how you can be more compassionate and loving towards yourself.....
Launching a private practice is an exciting and terrifying proposition for most therapists. The truth is, many of us were trained in non-profit, agency environments and developing a vision of a for-profit business is foreign. Therapists also often have...
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