Family Therapy Networker

Articles from Vol. 24, No. 6, November/December

A Matter of Life and Death: When the Therapist Becomes the Survivor
I've been in full-time private practice for almost 30 years. I've seen maybe 10,000 families (it certainly feels that way.) In that time, three patients in my practice killed themselves. Strangely enough, the three suicides were eerily similar. Each...
BOOKMARKS; Neurofeedback Is Changing the Way We Think: Challenging Beliefs about How the Brain Works
A Symphony in the Brain By Jim RobbinsAtlantic Monthly Press. 260 pp. ISBN 0-87113-807-7 Brainwave biofeedback sounds like something you might find advertised on a 2 A.M. infomercial or in the back pages of a New Age tabloid--"Condition your brain...
CASE STUDIES; the Four Pillars of Wisdom: Helping Singles Counteract Conflicting Cultural Messages
Time magazine's recent cover story on single, heterosexual women features women who are self-confident, who prefer being single to "being stuck with a man and in a marriage that didn't feel right." I have found in my work with single women that those...
CLINICIAN'S DIGEST: Computers and Family Therapy Supervision
Every Clinician's Digest consists of several brief (400-500 word) articles of specific clinical relevance to therapists. For technical reasons, it is impossible to provide a Preview of the individual articles within a Digest.The subject of your search...
FAMILY MATTERS; Silverware Meditation: A Lesson in Letting Go
It was a Sunday in spring. My husband and my daughter were away camping, and I was catching up on a week's worth of dishes, when the phone rang. It was Rosa at the beauty shop downtown. "I think your mom's going into one of her tailspins again,"...
GETTING UNSTUCK; Learning to Heal the Healer: Steps for Helping Therapists Avoid Burnout
Q:  I've been a therapist at a community mental health center for six years and I feel burned out--tired, unmotivated, questioning my ability to effect change. What should I do? A: Before therapists can get control of burnout, they must get control...
How Involved Is Too Involved?: Twenty-Two Years and Still Wondering
The sky had gone dark and ominous. The halyards kept banging on the mast as the wind picked up. I was in an exposed anchorage and had to get out of there before the blow hit. Unfortunately, this was my last writing day on my boat, and I had barely...
My Most Challenging Case
From graduate school onward, we are bombarded with tales of spellbinding clinical transformations by master therapists, from the Lazarus-like resuscitation of a dying marriage to the single-session exorcism of trauma to the sudden, exuberant flowering...
My Most Spectacular Failure: Voluntary Simplicity Meets Shop till You Drop
I will never forget the Correys, who were referred to me by their family doctor in western Nebraska. As is not unusual in our vast, rural state, they flew to our sessions by private plane. Frank was a wealthy businessman and realtor. Donna was a housewife....
NETWORKER NEWS; Shaping the Future of Psychotherapy: New Opportunities for Growth and Service
Changes in science, society and the therapy profession itself are happening so quickly, on so many fronts, that therapists are being challenged to radically rethink what they do in ways hardly imagined even 10 years ago. The explosive impact of cybernetics...
SCREENING ROOM; Dreams of Glory, Dreams of Love: Choose Your Heroes and Love Objects Carefully
"Dreams are the touchstones of our characters." Henry David ThoreauWe all need romantic fantasies of lovers and heroes to get us outside ourselves, to bring out the best in us and to lift us away from the messy reality of life. It is not just that...
Small Winnings: Learning from a Therapist's Nightmare
I'm turning 45 in less than a year now, midlife by any definition, and I'm adjusting to it. As the life fulcrum shifts slightly under me, I like to think I'm breathing and seeing more deeply. I'm getting better at being where I am. Details matter...
The Godfather Strategy: Finding the Offer a Client Can't Refuse
Most of my career has been spent working with cases that other therapists find challenging. I was in Berkeley, fresh out of college, when the public schools were first integrated racially and I worked with teachers resolving racial conflicts. When...
The Invariant Prescription Redux: The Key to Effective Parenting
In the early 1980s, as an impressionable young family therapist, I remember picking up a copy of the Italian analyst-turned-family-therapist Mara Selvini Palazzoli's Paradox and Counterparadox . After reading the book in two days, I became a convert...
Therapist, Colleague or Friend?: Stretching the Boundaries of the Therapeutic Relationship
When you work with people with AIDS and their families, stories of total devastation are common. I remember Mrs. Martinez, a grandmother raising six grandchildren on her own. Four of her five children had died of AIDS, and her surviving son was in...