Why a Fresh Perspective Can Be As Precious As a Diamond

My good friend Judith, who is a psychologist in private practice, once told me, “If you can give me a new perspective on a patient’s problem, you’ve given me something of incredible value.” When you have a patient who’s just not making progress, it can be terribly frustrating for both practitioner and patient. But a new way of seeing a patient’s problem can unlock what once felt stagnant and stuck. In those discouraging moments, a fresh perspective can be as precious as the discovery of a rare, exquisite, glittering diamond. But how do we get those “a-ha” moments that can…

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On The Shoulders of Giants

Carl Rogers. Milton Erikson. Fritz Perls. Albert Ellis. Virginia Satir. These are some of the experts who shaped the interventions we use with patients today. And these experts stood on the shoulders of the giants who came before them. I’m thinking about people like Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Karen Horney, and Pierre Genet. The contributions made by all these pioneers have given us treatment approaches and strategies that help a large percentage of the people we see. But sadly, not all of them. So I’ve been wondering, “Where is the next generation of innovators who will help us…

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How Can We Expand the Circle of Healing?

Why does a particular treatment approach work with some patients but not with others? When I was in grad school, they used to say that in therapy, about a third of people get better, a third stay the same, and a third get worse. And from what I can tell, while we’ve improved some, we still aren’t helping as many people as we’d hope. But why is that? For just a moment, let’s imagine that this circle represents all of the people who are suffering: We help a large percentage of the people we see. Our treatments and approaches work…

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Why The Most Popular New Year’s Resolution May Be More Important than You Think

If I was a betting person I’d be willing to wager that, if you asked around at your New Year’s party last night, you found at least one person whose resolution was to hit the gym more in the coming year. And I’d bet that if you asked them why, they’d mentioned the extra pounds they’ve been putting on. I think my odds of winning would be pretty good, too. Getting more exercise is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, especially after the food-fueled holidays. But there are more benefits to exercising than just losing weight. For example,…

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Work That Makes a Difference

“What difference does my work make?” Have you ever asked yourself that question? I’m guessing it’s one that many people might ask themselves from time to time. Here at NICABM, we’re committed to making a difference in people’s lives by creating expert training programs for practitioners. But there’s more to it than that. From the very beginning, one of our core values has been to give back to people who are in need. So at this time of year, I like to take some time to look back and see how well we’ve lived up to that commitment. And I…

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How to Recapture the Mystery and Wonder of Small Moments

Life can get busy – chaotic even. And amidst the chaos, it can be easy to miss the small moments of wonder that are truly life-giving. Here’s a story from Rachel Remen, MD about a doctor who had his eyes opened in a powerful way. In fact, he says that experience freed him from the cynicism, depression, and frustration he’d been carrying for years. Take a look – it’s under 5 minutes. Doctors aren’t the only ones who can miss these holy moments, it’s therapists, teachers, and parents – it’s all of us. Now I’d like to hear from you….

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