Fiction is healing

Could you treat your emotional woes with a good piece of literature? Yes! Bibliotherapy is a healing tool that allows clients to live, experience, and practice in an imaginary simulation that the brain considers to be real life. If you’re curious, I highly recommend this interview with Lucy Horner, author of Tolstoy Therapy: A fiction prescription, The Healing Power of Fiction

My inspiration: David Whyte

I love David Whyte and his works including books, poetry, talks, CDs, workshops, etc. His philosophy and approach to life, especially writing, rings very true for me. I thoroughly enjoyed reading an interview with David Whyte recently on Spirituality & Health and I would like to share it with you. Whether you’re a writer, or just someone living a life, there is wisdom for you here.

Courageous Conversations: An Interview with David Whyte

Telehealth leading the way for distance therapy

There is such a struggle for therapists trying to provide out of state therapy by phone, webcam, or whatever, within their license and malpractice limitations. The growth of telemedicine, thanks to the AMA supporting multi-state licensing, could mean the rest of the psychological world will catch up and support distance therapy as well.

AMA Supports Multi-State Licensing to Further Telehealth’s Reach

I’m a winner!

Not many of you know, but this past November I participated in NanoWrimo (nanowrimo.org) and I’m excited to share that I successfully completed the challenge! I wrote over 70,000 words of my latest novel. Yes, I will publish it and yes I will share the details of how you can get your hands on it as soon as I have that information. What I can tell you so far is it’s sort of a memoir.

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What is the role of positivity in couple therapy?

Jefferson Singer & Karen Skerrett shared highlights from their recent book, Positive Couple Therapy: Using we-stories to build resilience (Routledge Press; www.we-stories.com) with the Imago audience at their annual conference held in Washington, DC from October 29th through November 1st, 2014.

All couple therapies, from Integrative Cognitive Behavioral to Emotionally Focused point to trust as the key to building positive relationships. Every approach, including Imago Couple Therapy, emphasizes relational consciousness as the necessary platform for trust. By acknowledging the primacy of the relationship in their lives, partners go a long way toward reassuring each other that they are both ‘all in’. Singer & Skerrett suggest that couples can build this trust by shifting their focus away from thinking about what each partner takes from and gives to the other and instead turn their attention to what each can do for the third entity in the room – the relationship – the ‘we’.

Deep trusting relationships are about what partners are building together-something that is synergistic and more than the sum of individual concerns. Authentic we-ness means that two “I’s” live inside the “We” and that there is respect for each of these separate individuals to grow independently and together. The book is based on research and clinical work that has shown that the ‘we’ consists of seven elements that therapists can help partners cultivate as the basis of their trust in one another. The elements are: security, empathy, respect, acceptance, pleasure, humor and shared meaning and vision (SERAPHS) and we like to think of them as the higher angels of our nature.

To achieve even a few of these elements of SERAPHS and build a powerful ‘we’ is an aspiration and dynamic process, not a fixed reality even for the healthiest of couples.  Therapists have a powerful role in helping couples develop stories that reflect more and more of this ‘couple first’ focus and then to coach them in regularly scanning their daily lives for evidence of the ways it shows up. It may be as simple and profound as pointing out to a disconnected, hurting couple who had a hard time finding anything positive about their relationship that the husband never failed to bring two coffees into the session-one for himself and one for his wife.  Helping couples reorient to the small ways each are committed to building on this aspiration is what allows the deep and abiding trust to take hold and grow.

Read more about Karen Skerrett at www.we-stories.com
Her book is Positive couple therapy: Using we-stories to build resilience by Jefferson Singer & Karen Skerrett; 2014, Routledge Press.