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©2017 by Josh Z Therapy

January 7, 2019

One thing I have learned after three years of seeing clients is that the “presenting problem,” which is what clients say is the cause of their suffering, is usually not the problem that needs to be worked on. The presenting problem is often a psychological defense agai...

December 27, 2018

In the last post, I talked about the importance of prioritizing process over content. Process is the how or why, whereas content is the what or when. Process involves taking a step back from the details of what a person is saying to focus on why or how they are saying...

September 9, 2018

In literature classes, students are not only expected to read the text, but also to understand everything around it (e.g., the context and subtext). In fact, in higher level classes, the text is conceptualized as just the beginning, a prompt to understanding the more i...

August 17, 2018

It is important for therapists to conceptualize themselves as part of the self-help industry, if only because clients will come to them with that assumption. My clients come to me in the same way they go to the gym, read self-help books, or attend religious ceremonies....

July 21, 2018

People take the concept of acceptance to mean two different things. One is helpful, the other is not. Many of my clients initially balk at the idea of accepting themselves as they are because it sounds like resignation. “But I don’t want to be overweight,” a client tel...

June 29, 2018

Last post I discussed the concept of core beliefs: why they are formed, when they are a problem, and how certain approaches (like cognitive-behavioral therapy) try to change them. In that post, I expressed the idea that many of CBT’s approaches—along with techniques fr...

June 12, 2018

If I had to define it simply, I would say therapy is the process of updating core beliefs, or beliefs we hold about ourselves and the world around us. An example might be, “Everyone thinks of me as a pushover” or “The world is an ugly place, full of people ready to put...

May 11, 2018

Even though many therapeutic orientations hang their hat upon insight—knowledge about oneself and one’s patterns—I have found that insight can be flat. In other words, there are many ways in which learning truths about oneself is not helpful. As an example, there is an...

April 27, 2018

I have been surprised over the last few weeks by how many of my clients believe in the saying, “You have to love yourself before you can be loved by another.” Of course I understand what it’s getting at: the idea that it’s easier to love someone who has a sense of self...

March 24, 2018

I’d like to follow up with the idea expressed in my last post, that much of what we say, and how we act, is disguising an emotional need, or emotional request, that we desperately want fulfilled. And although we may go about getting our emotional needs met in a variety...

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