Resistance is generally defined as client opposition or ambivalence to treatment or refusal to participate in treatment. Clients may exhibit resistant behavior for various reasons including but not limited to a client's own motivation, program inflexibility, the level of counselor competence, or poor provider-client communication. Resistance can be tied to a client's belief that treatment for substance use disorders necessitates a loss of personal freedom or that substance use disorder treatment does not work. Whatever the reason for the behavior, resistance is an expected component of treatment that providers will inevitably have to address.

It is important that practitioners address resistance in some way because studies have shown that if resistance persists, it can prevent full client engagement and may lead to a client's early exit ...

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