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
Our premise is that relapse – no matter how ambiguous the term – is a setback that occurs relatively often, and it is good practice to acknowledge it rather than avoid it. Therapist avoidance is most likely to happen either as a result of believing that relapse is an inevitable part of certain illnesses or syndromes which therapy is powerless to eradicate, or feeling that it is a sudden, inexplicable phenomenon which can overwhelm the client at any time – leaving the therapist with the sense that she and her client are helpless in the face of it. Recognizing that unwelcome but familiar behaviours, thoughts and feelings will recur and are part of the process of achieving change and growth, is ...