ERIC Number: ED389988
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Brief Therapy with Difficult Clients. Hatherleigh Professional Education.
Directions in Mental Health Counseling, v5 n12 Dec 1995
Brief therapy is an effective, time-limited approach that invokes clients values, appreciates their strengths, and is based on mutual respect. Counseling nonvoluntary clients can be extremely difficult because of the intense degree of denial, minimization, or rationalization of problems such clients typically bring to therapy. Therapists must overcome the challenge of working constructively with a client who does not acknowledge his or her problems and must find the will to treat the client with a modicum of impartiality. Brief counseling is arguably the best match for difficult clients--not only because health care plans continue to stress the need for short-term mental health care interventions, but also because these clients are not willing to participate in the counseling process. In this lesson practical strategies for working briefly with difficult clients are offered. Building cooperation, defusing dismal experiences with previous therapy, avoiding arguments, solidifying gains, and establishing a support network are especially important for successful therapy with this client population. By focusing on tangible behaviors and normalizing those which might otherwise contribute to isolation, a brief strategic approach to counseling and resolving problems lends itself well to clinical work with difficult clients. (JBJ)
Descriptors: Brief Psychotherapy, Client Characteristics (Human Services), Cooperation, Counseling Objectives, Counseling Techniques, Counselor Client Relationship, Counselors, Emotional Problems, Time Management
The Hatherleigh Company LTD., 420 East 51 Street, New York, NY 10022-8095.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Hatherleigh Co., Ltd., New York, NY.