One thing I like to say is that change is hard! If change was easy, there would be no need for therapists, counselors, social workers, etc. Furthermore, change is a process that is difficult and can be a lot of work and/or painful (Polcin, 2003). It is therapeutic change, and a break down of client resistant behaviors that therapists strive to engage. Moreover, resistance has multiple purposes and causes depending on the nature of therapeutic involvement (voluntary or non-voluntary) or extent of content to be disclosed (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2009). Some examples of resistant client behaviors can include: (1) too much talking, (2) lack of talking, (3) late/early arrivals, (4) lack of preparation or too much preparation, and (5) too much or lack of emotional control (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2009). (See below for References)
Lynn Shallcross wrote an excellent article on client resistance and the role of client resistance/managing that resistance as a counselor. Click the text to go to the full article!
“You can’t change anyone else; you can only change yourself. Many counselors have used this common bit of wisdom to help clients overcome problems, but it’s crucial that counselors internalize that idea themselves, says Clifton Mitchell, a professor and coordinator of the community agency concentration in the counseling program at East Tennessee State University.”
Polcin, D. L. (2003). Rethinking Confrontation in Alcohol and Drug Treatment: Consideration of the Clinical Context. Substance Use & Misuse, 38(2), 165.
Somers-Flanagan, J and Somers-Flanagan, R. (2009). Clinical Interviewing. 4th. Ed. Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.