Therapy With Coerced and Reluctant Clients

Pages: 233
Item #: 4317242
ISBN: 978-1-4338-0870-8
List Price: $39.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $29.95
Copyright: 2011
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
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For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


This thought-provoking book examines the clinical dilemmas faced by therapists who, for a variety of reasons, are working with involuntary or reluctant clients. These individuals often come to therapy through the judicial system but might also be problem employees or spouses persuaded to enter therapy by their mates. Under these circumstances, working together can be frustrating for both therapist and client.

The typical therapist's skills of reflecting, probing, and supporting often fail with individuals who did not enter into therapy of their own accord—or who, once there, do not engage readily with the therapist. The inquiring approach to therapy, with its frequent questioning of the client, can have an unwelcome and intrusive quality for poorly motivated clients.

Stanley Brodsky demonstrates how therapists can tailor their interventions to avoid impasses, build a firm alliance with the client, and help him or her develop more productive behaviors. Specifically, Brodsky proposes that therapists adopt a variety of techniques that largely avoid asking questions. Instead, he shows how therapists can make assertive statements about what is happening in the client's life, identify behaviors, and describe choices the client might make.

Through the use of case material, the author demonstrates that interacting creatively with reluctant clients can lead to significant breakthroughs. The provocative ideas in this book will be welcomed by therapists and counselors who work with offenders, probationers, involuntarily committed patients and, more broadly, other clients who fail to make progress.

Table of Contents


I. Treating the Clients Nobody Wants

  1. Coerced and Reluctant Clients
  2. Reluctant and Coerced Therapists

II. Not Asking Questions

  1. Don't Ask Questions: General Principles
  2. Don't Ask Questions: Why They Don't Work With Coerced Clients
  3. Don't Ask Why
  4. Clients Asking Questions

III. Therapeutic Frames of Reference

  1. Objective Self-Awareness
  2. Clients' Personal Constructs and Repertoire
  3. Additional Approaches to Therapy

IV. Working With Client Hostility, Scorn, and Avoidance

  1. Hostility and Scorn
  2. Avoidance
  3. Illustrative Cases

V. Conclusion

  1. Final Observations



About the Author

Author Bio
Stanley L. Brodsky is a professor in the Department of Psychology at The University of Alabama, where he coordinates the psychology-law PhD concentration. His work specializes in the application of psychological knowledge to offenders, law, and legal issues. In 2006 he was the recipient of the Distinguished Contributions to Psychology & Law Award of the American Psychology-Law Society.
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