Rolling with client "resistance"

Resistance-aait

We are having an interesting conversation over in the Fellowship Training Group Graduates Club that I thought I'd share. There is a collective wisdom in the community and we can all learn.

Client "resistance" can become a catch all word for all the ways healing arts practitioners feel a bit off our game, not making the progress in the moment we think is possible.

It can feel pretty yucky to both the client and practitioner. There's a subtle energetic blame. Even if we don't use the word "resistant" with our clients, if we are carrying the energy of thinking of them as RESISTANT, we LOSE the opportunity to DISCOVER more about their HESITANCY to move forward and ease them into acceptance. Energetically, we have created a crack in the crucible of our relationship.

The practitioner I mentioned earlier is working diligently to learn and practice new skills, naturally some clients will want things to remain the same. She described the questions she asked to address the hesitancy. What is noteworthy is that these questions were asked in the context of wanting to support her client in trying something new while NOT simply returning to more familiar talk therapy OR sacrificing the therapeutic bond. It can feel like a tightrope.

Walking across this tightrope is quite the balancing act. Yet, developing our skills in this area makes the difference between continuing with traditional ways of working and shifting paradigms even when this means more efficient and effective relief from suffering. The paradigm shift is both compelling and challenging.

It's good for all of us to learn to "roll with resistance," or better, REMOVE the word resistant from our collective vocabulary. This would prevent us from the sloppiness of using a clinical trope to blame our clients.

This link provides useful reminders of how to support our clients in their hesitancy. How do you support clients in these times?

If you haven’t already, join us in the AAIT Community to engage in conversations like this that help us all!