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Working with Resistant Clients

Resistance to change in psychological therapies is an inevitable part of the work that we do. This can place huge strains on practitioners where high expectations and slow rates of client change can increase stress, burn out and demoralise even the best practitioner.   At the same time, very little attention has been paid to understanding resistance.  This course provides critical insight into the principle sources of resistance:  in the client, in the practitioner and in the approach. 


This course provides an extensive tool box of practical skills and techniques to help practitioners navigate resistance and develop change even with the most psychological stuck clients.


Who is the Course For?


This course will be helpful for any practitioners who work with a wide range of clients as well as those who work with clients with complex needs.  This would include supported housing, recovery orientated substance misuse services, women specific services, those working with families, children and young people as well as mental health services.   It will also help those working in trauma informed environments such as PIE.

Also Available to be Delivered Online?


Yes, Zoom based integration

Course Length

1 or 2 day course. 9.30-4.30

Max Number of Attendees 



Resources Required

Flipchart stand and paper


Method of Delivery


The training programme comes with an extensive booklet for each participant.  The training course is highly interactive, even during presentations. It uses a wide variety of learning approaches including presentations, pairs and small group work exercises and self-assessment.  The course is also supported with free e-learning and further resources to re-cap, review and refresh learning. 


Course Aims & Objectives

To orientate practitioners to the necessity of understanding resistance as a core activity within helping relationships and to provide them with critical strategies to address it.  

By the end of the course participants will have had opportunities to: 


  • Understand sources of resistance

  • Respond to resistance in stuck clients

  • Overcoming stuckness even when change is desired

  • Develop communication skills to bypass psychological blocks

  • Monitor  and respond to ruptures in the therapeutic alliance



"I have loved today-it was a shock when it ended- I would have had more-a joy to be spoon fed so many interesting ideas"

Consultant Social Worker

"Really enjoyed it!  Very engaging"

Family Support Key Worker

"I loved this training-so useful"

Preventative Caseholder

"So useful for SAS"

Mental Health Specialist & SAS Team Leader.

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