Further, the benefits and drawbacks vary depending on the situation at hand. With highly resistant clients, it is critical to be on target with the method of influence you use relative to their current degree of acceptance of your approach. For example, although there is definitely a time and place for direct confrontation, it is usually not in the initial stages of counseling.
Further, the benefits and drawbacks vary depending on the situation at hand. Effective therapy hinges upon therapists using an appropriate level of influence with regard to the client's current state of mind.
With highly resistant clients, it is critical to be on target with the method of influence you use relative to their current degree of acceptance of your approach. Resistance is created when the method of influence is mismatched with the client's current propensity to accept the manner in which the influence is delivered.
For example, although there is definitely a time and place for direct confrontation, it is usually not in the initial stages of counseling. Confrontation delivered early in the process will likely be incongruous with most clients' initial inclinations toward accepting such a forceful method of influence.
To be effective, direct confrontation should only be employed after considerable rapport and respect have been established and other approaches exhausted.
This is not to say that therapists are not to influence clients. Indeed, it is impossible not to influence. The key is to understand the benefits of each method of influence and to then maximize the use of diverse methods of influence at various times during the therapeutic process.
More specifically, in order to manage resistance, you must incorporate the most fitting method of influence relative to the dynamics that are present in the therapeutic relationship at a particular point in time.
Effective therapists are constantly adjusting and matching their method of influence with their client's current state of mind.
This is perhaps why research continues to support the idea that the therapeutic relationship is the most critical factor in successful therapeutic outcomes.
When the method of influence used is incongruous with the client's current state of mind, what is commonly labeled as "resistance" occurs. If you deal with clients who display much reluctance to change, it is important to understand the relationship dynamics at work.
For every force there is an equal and opposite counterforce. In a model in which overcoming resistance potentially becomes a contest, the client will often win.
Here, the method of influence utilized is likely mismatched with the client's current inclination to accept that method. In order to subvert therapist influence, clients must expend energy as they focus on not coming under another's control i.
In reaction to clients' reluctance to accept their influence, most therapists try even harder to influence. As therapists' attempts to influence increase, so do the clients' rationales and inner needs to circumvent this influence.
A vicious cycle is formed that is fueled by the escalating attempts of therapists and clients to not be influenced by each other. Often, what originated from an inappropriate method of influencing intensifies into an arduous battle of wits.
In such relationships, it is as if the client and the therapists are in a tug of war with each pulling harder on his end of the rope in order to drag the other across the line into submission.
Each is exerting considerable effort to force the other to give in and agree with the opposing perspective. The result is that clients are reinforced by the secondary gain of not having to face their struggles and change, and therapists are exhausted and approaching burnout in their work.
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