Thursday, December 1, 2022
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What to do with defenses before we have a conscious therapeutic alliance? Enter the prudent landscaper

What do we do when defenses and resistances crop up early on in a session before a conscious therapeutic alliance and an agreement has been established about the therapeutic task? Tactical defenses are particularly common — gaze avoidance, vague and imprecise speech,...

The Universal Wound, Transference Behaviors, and Stepping out of the Shoes

— Transference behaviors here meaning both ‘resistance’ in the narrow sense  as well as distorted perceptions and unconscious attempts by the patient to pull us into enactments Stepping out of the shoes and the universal wound  Nothing really therapeutic and healing happens when we are in...

Portraiting: Considerations of some common issues

Here are a few brief and far from exhaustive reflections for ISTDP-informed therapists interested in the technique of portraiting the impulse component of emotions and feeling-states, such as rage, longing, and tenderness.  When portraiting, we want to first and foremost be clear about our aim....

ISTDP-informed Couples Therapy

— a Skorman/Kieding amalgamation perspective In couples therapy, you are initially dealing with needing to establish two separate conscious therapeutic alliances that have enough overlap so that there is a shared vision for what changes they each aspire towards. This shared vision, if...

When supportive therapy is not supportive

Consider the idea of pseudo-contact: the patient who is using the relationship with the therapist as a defense. The patient uses the supportive relationship with the therapist as a defense, allowing them to keep others at a distance because they are getting some pseudo-contact with...

Maladaptive interpersonal patterns and ways to intervene

Observations from thousands of hours of both individual and couples therapy sessions: The patient that monologues, gives speeches, and answers their own questions (and/or dictates to the therapist how they want the therapist to do her job): Th: Do you notice how you are...

A relational approach: perceptual flexibility, holding space to not know, (not pre-judging), and the investigative spirit

We are always filtering the data out patients share with us through the lens of our training and previous experiences. We would not be very functional if we didn’t.  I have noticed a pattern in trainees where perceptual flexibility is sometimes lacking and they too...

Key Take-Aways from over a Decade of Training in ISTDP with Marvin Skorman 

Contents: Background The felt sense of connection, the two tiers of mobilization, and openness to going outside of the ISTDP roadmap Troubling trends Technique as an important background element, and the central role of the head-on collision  Premature pressure is problematic  Creativity Supervision and Teaching  In closing Background  Though this text is ultimately...

The Need for putting the Psyche back in Psychology: The Reality of the Self and the insults of Materialism

In line with Carl Gustav Jung’s reflections on a psychology with or without a psyche, the following reflections point to what is at stake: a psychology that denies the reality of the psyche, or soul, or a psychology that recognizes the soul...

The Dark Underbelly of Psycho-Spiritual Change Models: Dangers and Pitfalls on the path of Personal Growth and Transformation

The inspiration and backdrop for this textI was 19-years-old when I started to take an interest in finding a more authentic and psychologically liberated way of life. This took the form of reading books on spirituality, attending meditation retreats, and this impulse...

Recent articles

Portraiting: Considerations of some common issues

Here are a few brief and far from exhaustive reflections for ISTDP-informed therapists interested in the technique of portraiting the impulse component of emotions...

More articles