Moving Clients from Resistance to Resilience

Rich Simon

Not all clients who find their way into a consulting room are there because they’re ready to change. Though most of us know this, it can still be frustrating to work with people who are so trapped in their own self-defeating beliefs of hopelessness and helplessness that they never begin the work needed to improve their lives.

Often labeled as “resistant,” these clients may not seem to have a genuine desire for growth and self-reflection. Rather, their unwillingness to do homework, try out new skills, or be honest with us can, at face value, seem like masochistic stubbornness. If we aren’t careful, we can slide into the false belief that they're as unchangeably depressed or anxious as they say they are.

But according to David Burns—author of Feeling Good and developer of T.E.A.M. Therapy—a client’s resistance reflects not blind belligerence, but inner beauty. In this clip from his 2013 Networker Symposium keynote address, which we’re revisiting in our new State of the Art 2013 virtual conference, David describes an approach to working with resistant clients that focuses on their strengths and deeply held values.


David’s keynote was selected for this year’s State of the Art because his “Motivation Revolution” addresses some of the most common presenting problems in therapy—anxiety and depression—as well as the barriers of resistance and low motivation. As with all 40 events in the virtual conference, it also provides practical tools and fresh guidance for working through difficult problems in therapy while maintaining hope and respect for clients. Join us this November to experience David’s full address and gain new tools for your practice from other expert therapists like Pat Ogden, Janina Fisher, William Doherty, and more.

State of the Art 2013
Starting November 4-8 And On Demand

Click here now for all the details

Topic: Professional Development

Tags: Janina Fisher | Networker Symposium | resilience | resistance | state of the art 2013 | Symposium | therapists | therapy | virtual conference | William Doherty

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