Friday, September 24, 2021
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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...

Psychodynamic psychotherapy and active substance use 

Active substance use, including marijuana consumption, can be problematic for psychodynamic and other uncovering types of psychotherapeutic treatments such as Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP).  My perspective is that of an outpatient psychotherapist, where clients see me for an hour or two per week and...

The Myopic Error: How a Narrow Focus can Hurt our ISTDP informed Clinical Work

Having studied my copious and countless clinical mistakes as well as the mistakes of others over the years, a few themes stand out, many resulting from what I call clinical myopia. When I refer to clinical myopia, I mean the act of missing the forest...

‘Crystallizing’ in Skorman’s Adaptation of Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy

This article is geared towards Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) informed psychotherapists. Case material is strictly hypothetical, examples of interventions are generic, and reading this article is not a substitute for receiving professional supervision and consultation The term 'crystallizing'...

9 Ways to Start Your Year Off in a Positive Way

The new year has begun and many people have chosen a resolution or a goal. If that is not for you this year because trying to figure out what you want to “change” or “start” stresses you out with, here are a few simple...

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