Reactance is a personality characteristic that manifests as one of two extremes—defiance and opposition at one end of the spectrum, and compliance and dependency on the other.
According to John Norcross, author of Psychotherapy Relationships That Work
, knowing where to start with a reactant client is the key to forging a successful therapeutic alliance. That’s why assessing client characteristics is the cornerstone of John’s work.
In this video clip from that series, John gives us a clear and compassionate take on reactance—what it is, how it’s different from resistance, and how to begin with each extreme. All that in less than 3 minutes!
is a professor of psychology and distinguished university fellow at the University of Scranton, a clinical psychologist, and editor of the Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session
. He’s the author, coauthor, and editor of many books and publications. This clip is taken from his session in our challenging cases video course:
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
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Challenging Clients & Treatment Populations
severe attachment disorder