2018 was full of inspiration. As I look at this list, I see how I’ve been motivated by traditional family therapy ideas, as well as my own interests in leadership, mentoring, and continuing to live and work well. Here they are: The top 10 blog posts, from Family Therapy Basics, of 2018!
The adoption of circular causality allows for a systemic perspective of problems and solutions. The systemic perspective holds the assumptions that a) problems are caused and maintained in the system through unhelpful relational dynamics and ongoing interactions, and b) solutions are created and maintained by individuals within the system changing their communication and interactions with, and responses to other members of the system. Read more.
In his last book on narrative practice, Maps of Narrative Practice (2007), Michael White presents maps as "constructions that can be referred to for guidance on our journeys--in this case, on our journeys with the people who consult us about the predicaments and problems of their lives” (p. 5).
In Maps, White throughly explains the structure of externalizing conversations, re-authoring conversations, re-membering conversations, definitional ceremonies, conversations that highlight unique outcomes, and scaffolding conversations. In this post, I offer an overview of the first two conversations: Externalizing and re-authoring. Read more.
I feel personally it's impossible to treat a child and see results, especially when we're dealing with behavior and anxiety, without involving the parent. And, I had so many people, so many parents, calling me saying, “I never even met the child's therapist, or I never even had a conversation with my child's therapist,” and that just seemed so strange to me. So from the beginning, I just would tell people in our initial conversation, and I still do: “This is the format of the session. And, every week you'll be meeting with the therapist at the end of the session for at least 15 minutes.” Read more.
What does it take to be a leader? Thousands of words have been written on the topic. Here’s the truth: there’s no magic formula. But I do suggest three important elements to work on over time: Know yourself, know your purpose, and know your people. How to live that out will differ for every leader and every setting. Read more.
Working with children in family therapy is a challenging and exciting process that elicits therapists' creativity. It also has the potential to generate anxiety and lead us to make decisions out of fear rather than faith in our client families.
This article is the first in a series on family therapy with children, during which I'll cover six general guidelines for working with families. You'll learn how to engage every member of the family, stay mindful of your triggers, support children's voices in therapy, and more. Read more, and find links to more articles in the series.
Any time we head into a new season (literally and figuratively), it’s time to evaluate where we’ve been, and where we’re headed. As you approach a new year, a new quarter, a new milestone you may want to reflect on what went well, what didn’t, and what needs to change for you to move forward intentionally.
In The Refreshed Therapist Network, members go through a quarterly and yearly goal-setting and reflection process. Today, I'm bringing you a few of the questions and strategies I use to guide members through clarifying their goals. Read more.
Students starting their first field course (i.e., seeing clients for the first time) typically experience nerves, confusion, and/or worry. Worry that they won’t be helpful to clients, or don't know enough to provide effective therapy, as well as general anxiety about managing their studies, sessions, and often, the necessary assertiveness required to complete their clinical hours.
An email subscriber in her first field experience emailed me recently to request an article on tips for first-time counselors. In this post, I cover tips that I’ve learned as a therapist and supervisor, as well as those offered to brand- new therapists by members of the Get Refreshed Facebook Group. Read more.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about the role of work in my life, as well as how I relate to work.
This train of thought naturally leads me to also evaluate how well I am engaging with people (and myself) as more than a worker.
How much time and mental energy does my work take from me, or give to me?
How much of my drive and motivation does my work inspire?
These are a few of the questions I am asking in order to continue my mission for myself and other therapists: To live and work well.
So, in today’s post, I’m bringing you some of my ideas, and I’m also inquiring into your relationship with work. Read more.
Rather than simply encouraging mindfulness, which I believe creates a gap between knowledge and implementation, my aim with this post is to get into the details of what mindfulness looks like for therapists. Because, that’s where the gold is—the new idea, the recognition that I can do it, the simple step. That’s what I need. Not more information or understanding, but examples, clarity, and most of all, compassion for myself. Read more.
During my time as a post-graduate intern therapist, I held a leadership position in my church. I was the director of the church's counseling center. The position opened my eyes to a variety of organizational dynamics, and it also revealed, over time, what I saw as inconsistencies between the professed personal values and interpersonal habits of some of my leaders.
I brought my feelings about these discrepancies to my clinical supervisor, and she referred to what I was going through as “losses of maturation.” This term has stuck with me.
I’m not sure if she coined the term, or if it comes from her chosen theory, Contextual Therapy. Nevertheless, it offered me words and context for my frustration.
I’ve come to understand losses of maturation as the loss of “heroes” that we have created "in our image;" that is, with our projection. It’s not typically the hero who has changed, it is us; we have a new, expanded understanding of our hero’s humanity. Read more.
Let me know in the comments below:
Which FTB article was your favorite post from 2018?