Clifton Mitchell, PhD

The successful management of resistance is the pivotal point of effective therapy. It is also a critical component in alleviating therapists' stress. Although most therapists have been trained extensively in theoretical approaches, few have had extensive training in dealing with resistance. This session will review many aspects of therapeutic resistance including historic definitions and present a model for resistance that empowers therapists in managing the problem. This is followed by fundamental principles and techniques for avoiding and resolving resistance. The techniques presented are applicable across a wide array of clients and problems and can be integrated with all theoretical approaches.


  1. Differentiate between conventional and modern definitions of resistance. Participants will be able to conceptualize resistance in a manner that empowers them to avoid, circumvent, and utilize it for client benefit.
  2. Describe and understand the most common errors therapists make that foster and promote client resistance.
  3. Identify basic, overriding principles for dealing with resistance in therapeutic environments. Explain the importance of tending to each principle in therapeutic relationships in order to tactfully manage resistance.

Target Audience: Clinical personnel, counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, educators, criminal justice professionals.

Intermediate level. CE credits offered = 1.5 contact hours