Mental Health Professionals: The Grass Isn’t Greener on the Other Side

  I’ve just returned from a wonderful stay in London and Ireland, having had the opportunity to train mental health professionals who were eager to learn and absorb “trauma informed” theory and treatment strategies.  The welcome I received was more than kind. The British were anything but “reserved.” They were enthusiastic, had a great sense of...

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Planting Seeds of Hope

I have often likened being a therapist to being a diligent and nurturing gardener. So much of the time we are planting seeds, encouraging clients to become curious about their thoughts, feelings and behaviors, making it safe for them to re-evaluate existing beliefs in a compassionate, non-shaming way. Every time we offer our clients a...

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How am I Doing?: Making Sure Therapy is Working for our Clients

I believe that all therapists enter the field wanting to do productive and healing work with their clients, and are equally dedicated to forging a relationship that’s safe and reparative. And much of the time, therapy truly is healing, supportive, and non-judgmental. Clients describe their therapists as compassionate and they emerge from the process with...

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Staying Sensitive to Cultural Differences

As I travel with my family through Italy, this trip abroad continues to highlight the importance of being sensitive to cultural differences. It’s amazing (and a little embarrassing) how we automatically assume the values, norms, and traditions we’ve been raised with should be universally understood and applied, even though we are in a foreign country...

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Everything Old is New Again

Recently, I took a week-long training at the wonderful Cape Cod Institute on ACT- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Although I had heard of the model, I was not familiar with the paradigm and I was eager to learn something brand new that I could bring to my practice and my teaching. Although I thoroughly enjoyed...

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When Therapists Do Harm

There is a mantra in the mental health field, a code of ethics that we all live by: “first do no harm.” This seems like an obvious idea but, in truth, the definition of “doing harm” may not be universally understood and agreed upon. The relationship that is forged between a client and his or...

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The Importance of a Professional Will

For those of us who work in private practice and love what we do it’s hard to imagine not doing it. It’s even more impossible to imagine our own sudden and untimely death, and the impact that would have on our clients. Therefore, most of us have not even considered the necessity of creating a...

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To Refer Out or Not to Refer Out, That is the Question!

by Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA As a consultant to many beginning and seasoned mental health professionals, I am amazed by how often ethical concerns find their way into the clinical conversation. One of the more common dilemmas is whether or not to continue treating a long-standing client when a new issue emerges in therapy and...

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When Psychotherapy Doesn't Work: Why it Happens and What to do About it

In this hour we will explore the many reasons why psychotherapy might feel ineffective, leading people to terminate from the process prematurely or to seek out treatment somewhere else. We will look at the “cognitive and emotional” baggage that some clients bring in to the therapy process, which leads to preconceived notions and assumptions about...

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Being a More Mindful Clinician: Getting Back to Basics

by Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA In case you haven’t noticed, there are an awful lot of psychotherapy modalities out there!  And many trainers are adamant that their treatment paradigms are the best, or the only ones that you need to use in your work with clients.  As a result, many clinicians are understandably anxious about...

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