4 paths to alcoholism

I’m one of those therapists who firmly believe that we can better help our clients by knowing the cause of their current dysfunctional behavior.  Knowing the cause allows us to provide more individually tailored interventions that I believe make us more effective therapists.  I’ve noticed that when it comes to alcoholism their tends to be four causes or “paths” that lead to it.  You’ll notice that I don’t list the “alcoholism gene” as a path.  If there is a genetic

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We learn a lot from our clients

It’s no surprise that our clients learn a lot from us therapists.  We teach them different ways of thinking about their life, give them tools to better handle challenging situations, and change their lives in profound in lasting ways.  But it would probably surprise our clients to know just how much we learn from them. People often comment how knowledgeable I am on a great range of topics.  People assume that I must be very well read or how lived

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You are not a punching bag

It was my first year as a therapist and I’ll admit, I didn’t know what I was doing.  School had taught me how to diagnose, provide interventions, and write assessments, but shockingly did not prepare me for interacting with my own clients.  This was unfortunately something I had to learn on my own through trial and error.  One day I was seeing a client in my little office, and the client was very angry.  Angry at his parents, angry at

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We do important work

I’ve been doing a lot of posts lately on therapist burnout, difficult clients, and accepting that some people don’t want to be helped.  I decided that I should really do something more positive.  I think sometimes it’s easy to forget the fact that we do such important work.  No one else can do what we do.  We study psychology for a decade, spend years in the field honing our craft, and then selflessly give ourselves to our clients.  We save

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How to help a client who doesn’t want to be helped

I saw that someone found my website by searching the phrase “how to help a client who doesn’t want to be helped”.  I could tell immediately that this is a therapist, possibly a relatively new one, who is having trouble getting through to their client.  We’ve all been there.  I remember in the early years of my practice just staying up all night worrying about how I was going to get through to a client.  Wondering how I could help

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The Third Wave: The Changing Face of Psychotherapy

Like most of the helping professions, psychotherapy has changed and evolved a lot since the early days of Sigmund Freud.  In the counseling profession, these changes have been referred to as “waves”.  The first wave includes Freudian Psychology or Psychoanalysis.  Although these are the oldest forms of counseling, they are still practiced by many therapists.  Criticisms of first wave psychotherapy are that sessions are unstructured, the therapist tends to take on a passive role, and progress tends to be very

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Here be trolls

I saw George R. R. Martin speak a few months ago.  For those that don’t know, he’s the author of the Game of Thrones books.  What I thought was very interesting was that he seemed to lament his rise in fame.  He said, “Back when I was a struggling writer, everyone supported me and said great things about my writing.  Now that I have an HBO show and a movie deal in the works, well, that’s when the trolls come

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What your clients really want

A lot of therapists want to know how to be better at their jobs, which often comes down to wanting to know what it is exactly that their clients want.  This can be tricky, especially when it seems like the therapist and the client want different things.  For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll explain:  The therapist of course wants the client to get better.  The therapist wants the client to be able to function

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Thinking twice about that group practice

I’ve been watching Casey Truffo’s video series about how to open your own group practice.  She’s selling it as a good idea for therapists that have a full practice.  This way you get to keep taking on new clients without getting burned out, simply have another therapist take over your case load.  I had been putting some serious thought into doing this.  At first I was excited and thinking I would definitely be doing it.  Then as I got more

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Why going into private practice is a great career move

The years leading me up to going into private practice were not great years for my career.  In fact, I remember feeling like my career was going nowhere.  The nonprofit I was working for went under and everyone was laid off.  I decided to use the opportunity to get a better position at another company.  It was about time I became a supervisor and I was tired of working basically entry level therapy jobs.  Well, despite meeting all of the

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Sliding Sidebar


My name is Marina Williams and I am a licensed mental health counselor with a private practice in Jamaica Plain, MA. This website is my professional website devoted to my activities as a therapist. If you are interested in finding out more about my private practice, please visit my other website JPcounseling.com


Do you want to make an appointment for counseling or supervision? Interested in having me speak at your event? Have any questions or concerns? Feel free to contact me at 774-240-5550 or info@jpcounseling.com