Resistance to Assistance: How to Avoid Pathologizing “Resistance” and Build Trust

Why does it feel like some clients resist our best intentions to assist them? This course seeks to answer that question. It is a given that both client and practitioner have been wounded in previous relationships, and both will become activated when these wounds are touched. When clients resist our efforts, we may react in a variety of ways.

The course is based on the premise that much of what we now call “mental disorder” is a consequence of intergenerational trauma or absence of attachment, and that many present day “symptoms” started as coping mechanisms.

We will begin by clarifying basic human needs to both connect and to protect ourselves in any relationship. The protection may be against invasion of our boundaries and/or against abandonment, rejection or judgment. We will then identify the double bind that occurred when connection and protection were pitted against one another.  We will discern how the double bind gets repeated within the present relationship. By making explicit what already implicitly governs the relationship of practitioner and client, we can find ways to empathize and build a foundation of trust and collaboration.

Counts as Elective Course for Trauma Certificate Program

*Each class this year will be held via Zoom. Participant numbers will be capped to ensure a personalized learning experience and there will be numerous opportunities for engagement (e.g. small group discussions, role plays, case studies). As such, learners should prepare for active participation. We ask that students keep their cameras on as much as they are able, while understanding that it may not be possible to keep cameras on throughout the entire class. Rest assured that we will take many breaks throughout each class to help assuage Zoom fatigue.

Instructor: Martha Osterberg, MSW, LICSW

Date(s): 06/23/2021

Time: 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

CEUs: 6 CEUs; 6 Clinical Clock Hours – 2 clock hours in differential diagnosis and biopsychosocial assessment, including normative development and psychopathology across the life span, 3 clock hours in clinical intervention methods, 1 clock hour in culturally specific clinical assessment and intervention

Cost: $150

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