The evolving possibilities of manhood

The new year has been tough for me. I’m experiencing a lot of firsts – I’m going to be a first-time dad, my wife and I just purchased our first home, and we also opened our first private practice. From the outside looking in, it’s all very exciting – and I do feel excited. But…

The connection between mental contamination, OCD, and trauma

“It’s as if this horrible dark feeling just comes over me and everything seems extremely gross and dirty. My whole life seems disgusting.” This is how my client Roselle described her internal experience when her OCD symptoms became triggered. To avoid this feeling or to “make it go away”, she would engage in a multitude…

Interpersonal Psychotherapy: perhaps the most effective treatment you’ve never heard of

If you’re a mental health practitioner, you’re doubtless familiar with evidence-based treatment modalities like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). In recent years, CBT has become part of the vernacular, and not just in the mental health field. But what if I asked if you had ever used interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) in…

Getting the most out of exposure therapy

I sat quietly while the client in front of me closed her eyes and recounted in vivid detail the sexual assault she had experienced many years before. The pain of the memory was evident on her face and in her voice. The details were shocking and sad, yet I felt truly honored to bear witness…

Exploring the final frontier: multicultural competence

This post is part of a series for practicing mental health professionals. When I was in graduate school, I had the privilege of attending a lecture given by psychologist Joseph White, who is sometimes referred to as the “Godfather of Black Psychology.” He took me and my classmates on a tour of the psychological movements…

Best practices in risk assessment and safety planning

This post is part of a series for practicing metal health professionals. As a mental health professional, you know that psychological crises vary widely in form and gravity. Whether a client is dealing with suicidal thoughts or plans to harm someone else, you play a major role in helping them receive appropriate support to cope…

Integrating self-compassion into your practice

Right now, the science of mindfulness, as well as acceptance and compassion-focused therapies, are growing at warp speed. Clinicians are steadily presented with new treatment options for anxiety and depression that are grounded in centuries of meditation tradition and tested and honed by advanced research. It’s understandable that this rapid emergence of new methods and techniques can seem a little daunting. After years of education and many more years of practical experience, do we really want to roll up our sleeves and learn a whole new mode of therapy? Thankfully, we don’t need to begin again from scratch when we wish to work with innovations in mindfulness and self-compassion.

The wisdom and benefit of clinical consultation

I find having an experienced clinician pay close attention to my therapeutic work liberating. That’s why I’m a strong advocate for supervisory consultation. However, I’ve observed that once licensed, many clinicians find themselves so busy that supervision gets left behind. Granted, making time for supervision in an already full schedule is challenging, but participating in supervision and consultation practice is vital if we are to give clients the best of what we have to offer.

Combining care and convenience with video therapy

If you’ve considered video therapy, you may have asked yourself, “Could this actually work?” The good news is that numerous research studies have shown that video therapy is a feasible option. It’s been used with a variety of clients, from children, to adults, to couples. According to research, it produces clinical outcomes similar to traditional in-person therapy and is generally associated with good client satisfaction. 

What is evidence-based practice and why is it important?

If only there was a way to figure out who was likely to use the most up-to-date scientific methods, while still thoughtfully considering the circumstances of the individual needing help. That is exactly what evidence-based practice is.