Effective Techniques for Dealing with Highly Resistant Clients

The successful management of resistance is the pivotal point of effective therapy. It is also a critical component in alleviating therapists’ stress. Although most therapists have been trained extensively in theoretical approaches, few have had extensive training in dealing with resistance. This is a fast paced, highly practical seminar designed to teach innovative approaches and ideas to prevent, avoid, and resolve resistance. These techniques are applicable across a wide array of clients and problems, and can be integrated with all theoretical approaches. Emphasis will be on “how to” aspects of resistance management, though the theory behind each approach is provided.

Specifically, this seminar will first present definitions and a model for resistance that empowers therapists in managing the problem. This is followed by a discussion of common mistakes therapists make that promote resistance and a discussion of the general principles for dealing with resistance. More specific approaches and techniques are then presented with particular attention given to utilizing the inherent power of language to circumvent resistance. Common client impasses such as “Yes, but…” responses will be addressed. Upon completion of the training, participants will have a broad array of techniques to add to their repertoire and to aid in reducing the stress that accompanies their most frustrating clients.

Event Info:

EVENT DATE: Wednesday, September 11, 2019
EVENT TIME: 8:30AM – 11:30AM (Registration begins at 8:15
EVENT LOCATION: Cumberland Heights River Road Campus (8283 River Road, Nashville, TN 37209) – FLC Auditorium

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Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will have the knowledge required to:

  1. Differentiate between conventional and modern definitions of resistance. Participants will be able to conceptualize resistance in a manner that empowers them to avoid, circumvent, and
    utilize it for client benefit.
  2. Describe and understand the most common errors therapists make that foster and promote client resistance. Explain the pitfalls of over-questioning when working with resistant clients and how to employ more effective alternative approaches.
  3. Identify basic, overriding principles for dealing with resistance in therapeutic environments. Explain the importance of tending to each principle in therapeutic relationships in order to tactfully manage resistance.
  4. Understand methods for dealing with common difficulties such as “Yes, but…” responses.

Detailed Program Agenda for a 3 – Hour Training (time permitting):

Understanding Perceived Resistance

  • Developing a Personal Philosophy for Managing Resistance
  • Caring for the Therapist: Resistance Management = Stress Management
  • Conventional definitions
  • Alternative perspectives: Empowering Therapists

Critical Principles for Maximizing the Potential for Movement

  • Do the Unexpected
  • Slowing Down to go Faster
  • It’s All in the Details
  • Empathy and the Real Reason People Change
  • The Perils of Assuming a Knowing Attitude
  • Your Client is Not Making Progress Toward What?
  • The Great Deception: Just What is a Therapist?
  1. To Ask or Not to Ask, That is the Question
  2. The Problems with Questions
  3. When Not to Ask
  4. Quelling the Urge to Ask
  5. Utilizing the Curious Command for Gentle Movement Using the Question Wisely
  • Managing “I Don’t Know” Responses
  • Just What Does “I Don’t Know” Mean?
  • Responding to “I Don’t Know”
  • How to Avoid “I Don’t Know” Responses
  • The Classic Pretend Technique: The Good and the Bad Advanced Responses
  • Conclusion

Audio Visual Needs:

For this training I will need:

  • A LCD projector and screen and hookups. I will bring my own computer.
  • A wireless lapel microphone–I am moving the entire time.
  • A flip chart or a large dry marker board and markers. Large board needed for keynotes.
  • A table on the left of stage (from audience perspective) with a power cord running to it from which to work and sell books.
  • A podium is not necessary but can be used if available. Please make sure is placed on the left of stage from the audience perspective.

Brief Bio: Clifton Mitchell, Ph.D.

Clifton Mitchell, Ph.D.Clifton Mitchell Ph.D. is an international clinical trainer and keynote speaker who has a love for teaching and over 30 years of training experience. He delivers practical information in a uniquely entertaining, fast-paced style that is filled with humor and illuminating examples. In his latest book, Priming: Programming the Mind for Habit Change and Success, he teaches a scientifically-based system for partnering with the subconscious to eliminate bad habits and create success-advancing behaviors. He also demonstrates how to use priming to radically intensify therapeutic communications and improve outcomes.

For over 20 years, he has studied and presented seminars on methods for dealing with resistance in therapy. In his book, Effective Techniques for Dealing with Highly Resistant Clients, he presents cutting-edge approaches for managing psychological resistance. He has also trained thousands of mental health professionals in the management of difficult, perplexing legal and ethical issues and his latest training is in an entertaining, dynamic game show format.

He is a contributing author in therapy books and published in numerous professional journals including the Psychotherapy Networker, Psychotherapy in Australia, Journal of Personality Assessment, Perceptual and Motor Skills, Psychology and Education, Journal of Psychological Type, The Professional School Counselor, Sober World, Counselor, Vistas, and The Advocate. His research includes investigations of therapeutic resistance, legal and ethical issues, subliminal message tapes, stress and coping, PMS, and personality types. His ideas and writings have also been published in Men’s Health Today and Barron’s Financial Weekly. Dr. Mitchell is currently a professor Emeritus at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN, where he was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2002. For more information please visit: www.cliftonmitchell.com.

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