The Therapeutic "Aha!"

10 Strategies for Getting Your Clients Unstuck

Courtney Armstrong (Author)

Overview | Contents

A concise guide to shaking things up in therapy.

Courtney Armstrong’s The Therapeutic “Aha!” explores the thrilling and rare moment when a client reaches an elusive realization, allowing them to make meaningful change. In 10 straightforward strategies, this practical book demonstrates how to shake things up in therapy when a client is stuck or stalled to jumpstart progress. Readers will learn how to spark the “emotional brain”—the part of the brain that houses automatic, unconscious patterns—and create new neural pathways that engage and advance the healing process.

Divided into three parts—(1) Awakening a Session, (2) Healing Emotional Wounds, and (3) Activating Experiential Change—the book walks readers through specific techniques for harnessing the emotional brain and re-patterning its routine. Elegant therapeutic insights and coping strategies only go so far; until we intervene with something our emotional brain can understand—a compelling felt experience—old, established neural patterns will persist. The brain-based strategies Armstrong presents include how to enliven the therapeutic alliance; elicit exciting goals; identify the root of an emotional conflict; reverse trauma with memory reconsolidation; invoke inspirational imagery; and use stories, humor, music, poetry, and even mindfulness to induce change.

Concise, reader-friendly, and filled with helpful case stories and client–therapist dialogue, this wonderfully accessible book puts a new spin on neuroscience knowledge, showing clinicians exactly how it can be used to make those once-elusive therapeutic breakthroughs more frequent, leading to greater healing for your patients.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • April 2015
  • ISBN 978-0-393-70840-0
  • 6.5 × 9.6 in / 224 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

The Therapeutic “Aha!” provides a wealth of options for inspiring therapists to think outside of the proverbial box. . . . [Armstrong’s] idea of creating a mood-modifying playlist so resonated with me that I found myself recommending it to two separate clients just yesterday. . . . By being open to bringing new ideas into the practice of psychotherapy, we avoid becoming stuck ourselves, which can only serve to benefit our clients.” — Metapsychology Online Reviews

“Armstrong understands that just as a person can become stuck in his or her patterns of thought, therapy itself can become stuck. . . . Reading Armstrong has already helped me stay engaged.” — PsychCentral

“[A]n easy to understand explanation of how the emotional/reactive brain works and fun, creative strategies on how to help it change. . . . [T]his is a book which will teach you how to help others heal from trauma while igniting (or re-igniting) your passion for being a therapist. I highly recommend it.” — Potential Not Pathology

“Written in a warm, friendly tone, Armstrong provides clinicians with fresh strategies for respectfully resolving resistance, engaging clients more fully in the change process, and inspiring hope and possibility in even their most challenging clients. ” — Bill O'Hanlon, author of Do One Thing Different and The Change Your Life Book

“People learn and change through compelling emotional experiences much more than through logical discussion. The Therapeutic "Aha!" is a hands-on guide to creating and using emotional experiences to mismatch beliefs and create alternate futures. Building on her work in hypnosis and induction for trauma, Courtney Armstrong guides readers through a variety of methods to elicit healing through "memory reconsolidation." It is practical and accessible, informed by current neuroscience research, and clearly demonstrates her structured RECON approach. An excellent how-to!” — Simon D'Orsogna, Therapist & Associate Instructor with the Coherence Psychology Institute, and co-developer of the online training, "Theory and Practice of Coherence Therapy"

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  1. Book CoverRethinking Trauma Treatment: Attachment, Memory Reconsolidation, and Resilience


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