Counsellors and psychotherapists often encounter difficult situations with clients for which they feel ill prepared. At any stage in the process a client may experience a crisis or set back in their progress or simply be unable to move beyond a certain point. Working through Setbacks in Psychotherapy is therefore intended to help therapists respond to such events which form major obstacles to the successful development and maintenance of the therapeutic relationship. The authors present a framework for understanding the problems that arise and offers effective guidance for working through difficult situations which test the skills of even the most experienced practitioners. Until now little has been written about the

Impasse and Resolution: Changing the Pattern

Impasse and resolution: Changing the pattern

When you find yourself stuck as a therapist, the problem is compounded by a dilemma. As a feeling of paralysis takes hold, there is on the one hand a temptation to resign oneself to passively opting out: it can bring a sense of relief. On the other hand, there will often be a mounting sense of frustration: stuckness can be a profoundly unpleasant experience and the only alternative seems to be to do something now. There is a temptation to resort to dramatic interventions, random experimentation, changing the style of therapy or ending it suddenly. Sometimes, of course, this will ‘work’. However, more usually it will be useless or damaging. There are serious risks ...

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