Stephen Ratcliff

Stephen Ratcliff

Stephen Ratcliff is a Counselor in private practice in Albuquerque, NM. He specializes in helping Children and Adolescents with Addiction, Psychological Trauma, and Attachment Disorders. For more information or to contact Stephen, please visit

  • Client’s getting worse in counseling

    Jul 14, 2016
    In a recent blog post ( and the associated interview video, Scott Miller discusses some compelling research regarding negative outcomes in therapy. Based upon randomized clinical trials, it is estimated that 35% of clients in therapy do not improve at all in counseling and 15% see a negative outcome in treatment. How astounding to imagine that these numbers suggest that 15% of the average counselor’s clients get worse in treatment!
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  • Stuck in that blasted family of origin role

    May 12, 2014
    As a therapist who primarily conceptualizes from a family systems perspective, the idea of family roles is far from new to me. However during a recent meditative retreat, I was struck anew by how pervasive the roles instilled in family of origin can feel. It is one reality to help another person with their family role rigidity and another to personally confront the emotional struggles of my own role despite years of contemplative growth.
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  • And the media “traumatizes” yet another…

    Jun 17, 2013
    A friend recently remarked that after briefly browsing CNN’s website she felt as if the world was coming to an end. Perceptions of apocalypse prevail when at every corner a natural disaster, shooting, rape, gang violence, or drug cartel event explodes from the screen complete with special effects and action packed cinematography!
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  • Teachable moments

    Jan 29, 2013
    “I’m an awful parent” is a common lament of many of the parents I work with professionally. These parents will enter my office with anger and regret tattooed from face to toes. A child or teen is commonly tugged in their wake, head downcast. Meeting individually with these parents to check-in regarding the cause of their disparaging facade, they commonly spill forth tales of their child’s becoming quite the little terror recently, to which they with all the heaviness of an over-stressed individual, responded in anger, only to deeply regret it later.
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  • A lesson in unconditional positive regard

    Dec 20, 2012
    In working with individuals who are struggling with co-occurring mental health problems and addiction, its not totally uncommon to have a client arrive to session intoxicated to a degree. This raises a number of ethical questions as well as the dilemma of whether or not to continue the session. Client safety is paramount of course. It makes sense to me that a person struggling from the intense emotional overload of psychological trauma or severe depression may self-medicate with a substance such as marijuana, yet therapeutic work with an individual who is intoxicated is typically of limited substance.
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