Facing a client who is resistant or possibly hostile to the therapeutic process or therapist can be unsettling and challenge the treatment’s success (Clay, 2017).
However, the therapist must be careful. Labeling behavior as resistant may result from a lack of knowledge or therapeutic skills, and an inadequate response to the situation can damage the client’s progress (Shallcross, 2010).
Reframed, uncomfortable interactions can strengthen the therapeutic relationship and further treatment, and encourage client growth.
This article explores resistance in therapy, the therapist’s potential to reduce its negative impact, and its use as part of the therapy process.