- Lessons from the Depths: Scuba Diving and Psychotherapy with Men
I've had my psychology license long enough to have acquired a reasonable amount of confidence practicing my craft. But as a recently licensed scuba diver, I'm quite conscious of my limitations underwater. When I joined friends last year for a dive in Monterey Bay, I knew I would face cold water, rough surf, a rocky coastline, entangling kelp forests, limited visibility—and the unlikely but nonetheless unnerving prospect of encountering a great white shark. But I didn't predict the exhilarating, challenging and frightening events that would shake up and later clarify my sense of self, my relationship to others, and my goals as a psychotherapist.
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- Reconceptualizing "the Container": Expanding the Application of Attachment Theory in Working with Men
In his recent review of TPI’s Fall symposium on Attachment in Psychotherapy,
David Edelson raised important questions about the duration, applicability, and likelihood
of success of attachment-informed therapy, particularly with patients who are unable or
unwilling to commit to such intensive therapy. He and others have raised particular
concerns about the applicability of such intensive intersubjective models of therapy with
men, many of whom initially convey little or no desire to explore their inner world in
therapy. Given the preponderance of male violence, depression, addictions, and buried
trauma in our culture, as well as underutilization of psychotherapy by men, these are
crucial questions. In this article I hope to expand the discussion of these concerns by
describing interventions--linked to attachment theory yet sometimes falling decidedly
outside of the traditional analytical frame--that expedite my work with male clients, who
comprise the bulk of my private practice.
- On Being Mentored: A Tribute to Henri Nouwen
This article is a first-person account of the author's experience of being mentored by the late Henri Nouwen, an inspiring priest and professor. The article describes the ongoing positive impact of that relationship upon the author's growth and development during his college years and early adulthood. The author argues that compassionate and inspiring mentors are of critical value to young men in today's world, particularly for individuals raised with distant, absent, or ineffective fathers. Key aspects of the mentoring process are deconstructed and delineated.
- Cultivating psychotherapist artistry: A model existential-humanistic training program with J. Fraser Pierson.
In Handbook of Humanistic Psychology, ed. By James Bugental, Kirk Schneider, and J. Fraser Pierson (2001).
The development of the therapist as a person is central to the preparation of existential-humanistic psychotherapists. In this chapter, Dr. Pierson and Dr. Sharp present participant-observers' views of the Art of the Psychotherapist (or "Arts") courses, a unique experiential training program designed to explicitly and implicitly teach an existential-humanistic approach to psychotherapy. They describe the philosophy, content, and process of the Arts program and provide highlights from a recent survey of participants. The most prominent themes observed in survey respondents' narrative answers are discussed and illustrated with selected quotations that provide the reader with intimate glimpses of the experience of being an Arts participant. The authors describe a model program that is perceived to strengthen professional identity and the ability to embody, not merely intellectualize, living existential-humanistic therapeutic principles.
- Existential-humanistic psychotherapy with James F.T. Bugental.
In Handbook of Innovative Psychotherapies, ed. By Raymond Corsini (2001).
This chapter describes a method of psychotherapy that evolved from the confluence of the rich traditions of existentialism and humanistic psychology. Existentialism developed with Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, and was popularized in the United States by Rollo May and Irv Yalom. Humanistic psychology originated in Post World War II American psychology. These two traditions address and emphasize human capacities such as choice, will, insight, creativity, intentionality and compassion within the unique context of each individual life.
The therapy process includes helping clients utilize a searching process as a means of addressing their deepest concerns. Close attention is paid to the client's immediate, ongoing experience during each session. A central aim is to help clients develop greater mindfulness in their ongoing quest for purpose and meaning. Existential-humanistic therapy complements and enriches attachment-based and relational psychotherapies.