Working With The Borderline Client

Dick Schwartz Demonstrates How to Minimize Reactivity

When a deeply troubled client begins a first session by shifting erratically through different mood states and periodically going numb, many therapists recognize—with a certain sense of dread—that they may be working with a borderline client.

It doesn’t have to be dreadful, according to Dick Schwartz, originator of the Internal Family Systems model. In fact, Dick suggests that our effectiveness in working with borderline clients is less about them than the capacity to tolerate our own reactive inner “parts.”

In this video role-play with Rich Simon, Dick shows us how he introduces his “parts” approach to clients in the very first session. It’s a short video with a big impact, and it gives you a taste of a model that has proven to be highly effective with borderline and other challenging clients.

Richard Schwartz, Ph.D., is director of the Center for Self Leadership and the originator of the Internal Family Systems model. This clip is taken from his session in our challenging cases video course:

Tough Customers: Effective Approaches to Challenging Clients

Tough Customers: Treating Clients with Challenging Issues
These clinical innovators will help you master a variety of new approaches and methods that can transform your work with your most challenging cases. You’ll learn how to:

  • Successfully move past impasses with borderline, narcissistic, attachment-disordered, and self-destructive clients
  • Gain and retain therapeutic leverage, use empathic confrontation, and repair certain ruptures in the clinical relationship
  • Identify and avoid common errors such as sounding like a disappointed parent, relieving the client’s pain too soon, and letting your own vulnerabilities get in the way
  • Customize treatment to the characteristics and needs of your client

Want More Free Stuff?

You can view more free videos here. Or check out our free articles on challenging cases.

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Do you learn by watching? Check out our current online video courses here.

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