Understanding And Coping With Client Resistances Community Work Essay

Professional social workers frequently face a thorny situation called client resistance. As level of resistance is inescapable in the intervention process and will very likely have an effect on the intervention final results, study of client resistance is important to cultural personnel and learning how to control it will be pivotal to achieve expected goals and objectives. This newspaper will firstly narrate the writerїЅїЅs personal experience to be able to put the problem of client level of resistance on the agenda and give a short description of involuntary clients or customer amount of resistance, then present the article writerїЅїЅs knowledge of them in conditions of the several distinctive features, and finally propose tentative strategies of dealing with client amount of resistance.

Keywords: amount of resistance; involuntary clients; involvement skills


As potential communal workers, we probably will be brought into contact with more and more їЅїЅinvoluntary clientsїЅїЅ in the foreseeable future, like mentally health problems patients, deviant action children, violent parents, battered children, etc. . Some of them are їЅїЅlegally mandated to engage with service providersїЅїЅ (Rooney, 1992), while some are experiencing їЅїЅcommunal or non-legal pressures, for example, being coerced by members of the family to seek assistance for a particular tendenciesїЅїЅ (Rooney, 1992).

These sorts of clients constitute a high proportion of complete clients and screen more resistant actions than those voluntary ones. Often, they don't seek help willingly and could demonstrate resistant conducts such as negative evasions, pretended behavior or undisguised hostilities, dangers and attacks from the very beginning of the workerїЅїЅs treatment.

Therefore, how to interact with and intervene in this kind of clients has turned into a tremendous challenge in the field of interpersonal work practice and it is important for social workers to obtain a deeper understanding of involuntary clients.

Case Example

X once was a primary school teacher with a fine income, and her hubby Y has been owning a stock which creates a great deal of wealth to everyone. Everything seemed perfect that the couple were devoted to each other and also have a daughter C who was simply in her second calendar year in a satisfactory university.

Unfortunately, X was thoroughly burnt in an explosion accident three years ago. Since then, she lost self-confidence because of her disfigured face and refused to go out for the worries of being laughed at. The little girl Z tried to had taken her out for an airing and reduce her anxieties and inferiority about the disfigurement but failed. Since a whole lot of people directed at her on the street, X felt unpleasant and tended to isolate herself.

To make things worse, not too long after her accident, her man Y began to make romance with another woman and was spending a large sum of money and time on that woman. He visited his factory early on and back later every day and seldom had foods at home which was entirely different from what it was before. Furthermore to YїЅїЅs indifference, Z was their studies at a university so far from your home that she was struggling to accompany her mom on a regular basis. As a result, X always staied by itself aware of the feeling of helpless and hopeless. Although sometimes Y would come back home and cook meals for any, he had little or nothing to talk with X.

Actually, the little princess Z here is me. I had been extremely anguished, discovering my actually harmonious family quickly disappeared. I attempted to cope with such a depressing family atmosphere, but found it difficult. However, as i look back again and combine yesteryear experiences with what I have learned in MSW, I have already been realized that there were such a lot of unwise activities had been taken to resolve my family problems. Samples are showed as follows:

In that time frame, I tended to communicate with my mom more than with my father and owe this difference to gender similarity and the tragic fighting of my mom. I spent much time on comforting her because she was the only victim as in my belief. I constantly educating my mother how to relax herself down and change her mindsets, so as to survive in a unpleasant feeling. Unexpectedly, whenever i suggested her chatting more with my dad, she just sneered, expressing їЅїЅhe is so obstinate that nothing changes his brainїЅїЅ. It could be inferred that she was still pessimistic and lacked drive to make changes regardless of my regular encouragement.

On the other side, the stereotypes that men are always emotionally better than women made me totally forgot that my dad was suffering aches and he needed good care as well. Rarely had I made a decision to concern for and talk to my father whenever i learnt that I should take him into consideration early. By far the most challenging thing was that he had been greatly unwilling to speak about either his former or current marriage with my mother especially the information about his extramarital love. He even didn't admit any mistake he previously made. I have to acknowledge that I was livid when I found out that my dad had been two-timing his better half and was highly psychological and illiberally prejudiced against as a result. Only now do I understand the reasons why I failed to assist my parents in settling their contradiction. My lacking concern of my daddyїЅїЅs personality and the dignity as a guy almost turned an equal dialogue into a thoughtless bickering. In fact, my father was defiant in the whole procedure because he was frightened that his authoritative status in the family would be ruined, however, I did so not realize that kind of unwillingness at that time.

No question, neither my mother nor my father is my customer in the sense of professional, but if they're seen as clients, it will be a classic case of client amount of resistance.

Definition of Client Resistance

When doing the literature review, I came across that the word involuntary is sometimes used interchangeably with immune, however, the former identifies їЅїЅthe status of the consumerїЅїЅ, while the latter identifies їЅїЅ behaviors or characteristics that hinder the healing processїЅїЅ (Chui & Ho, 2006). Usually, involuntary clients show some tolerant thoughts and behaviors.

Freud (1914/1957) actually conceptualized amount of resistance as їЅїЅthe clientїЅїЅs effort to repress anxiety-provoking stories and insights in the unconscious during psychoanalytic free associationїЅїЅ (Freud, 1914/1957).

According to the perspective of social relationship theory, resistance is їЅїЅmental health forces aroused in the client that restrain approval of effect (approval of the counselor's suggestion) and are generated by the way the advice is explained and by the characteristics of the counselor stating itїЅїЅ (Strong & Matross, 1973). Simply stated, resistance has been defined as їЅїЅa procedure for keeping away from or diminishing the self-disclosing communication wanted by the interviewer due to its capacity to make the interviewee uncomfortable or anxiousїЅїЅ (Pope, 1979).

Client resistance shouldn't be thought to be їЅїЅsomething that occurs within the client, as a reply to his or her internal workings, and must be triumph over by the counselorїЅїЅ (Cowan & Presbury, 2000). Alternatively, resistance should be recognized as їЅїЅa sensation that emerges between client and therapist in the unfolding conversation between their in another way organized subjective worldsїЅїЅ (Cowan & Presbury, 2000).

In a expression, resistance is treated as results from the communication style of the counselor and your client. Quite simply, level of resistance emerges when the involvement strategies aren't items to clientsїЅїЅ determination to accept the style in which the treatment is conducted.

Typical Involuntary Clients

This part is an individual understanding towards customer resistance. Predicated on an study of the case example and the books review, I summarized three types of involuntary clients.

1. Clients WHO'VE Inadequate Durability or Ability

Some clients do not have the ability to manage themselves or seek help from others, including the disabled, the battered children and the left behind elderly. These clients are normally obligated by others to talk to a company and a cultural worker.

2. Clients WHO'VE Insufficient Motivation

The clients who fall season into the difficult position for a long period may feel emotionally exhausted and also have no extra will to seek help. Take some battered women for example, they tend to have a despairing view of the matrimony because of the learned helplessness and may find it meaningless to become listed on in the treatment tasks.

Similar to those who have inadequate power or ability, the majority of the insufficiently determined clients are not willingly attended the intervention jobs.

3. Clients Who Shortage Introspection

Although a lot of people know that they are mired in troubles because of their misbehaviors, they have got inadequate self-contemplation, and self-examination when faced with the problems they have got, which, as a result, make the problems relapse over and over. This is also the reason why most drug or alcoholic abusers find it difficult to completely triumph over their improvements.

Skills of Dealing with Client Resistance

For involuntary clients, it is a common phenomenon that they can be unwilling towards self-exposure and conventional to their own experience because they be anxious about this not doing this would threaten their self-concept. It's important for a sociable worker to understand how to ease clientsїЅїЅ excessive stress and anxiety. Social workers are anticipated to adjust their treatment methods and the styles to the need of clients. Since most involuntary clients pay much attention to self-protection, the workers shouldn't only avoid requesting or anticipating their self-betrayal, but also avoid any activities that attempting to rip down clientsїЅїЅ face mask.

1. To Find Out the 3rd Party

In general, cultural workers are required to listen carefully to clients, thus provide clients more opportunities to express their thoughts and perceptions and make them feel respected and admitted. However, things will vary when confronting involuntary clients. Because it is an issue of ability and control that the pouring-out people are usually prone whereas the hearing people always have the energy to make analysis and diagnosis, the involuntary clients have a tendency to crave a feeling of empower through the procedure of amount of resistance and rebuttal.

In involuntary conditions, the third get together is needed in the course of the entire conversation. If I intake a customer like my mother, I will not unilaterally concentrate on counseling the client changing herself, but on concerning several means to bring the 3rd party into the involvement so that building a їЅїЅpublic work їЅC consumer їЅC the 3rd partyїЅїЅ triangular communication system. In short, the third party is ones who thrust clients to seek help or compelled them to require counseling.

2. To help make the Intervention Process Clear

Apart from understanding about the drive that push clients into the intervention, the employees should also enquire about if the clients have every other confusions. It is aimed at discovering the problems which clients want to boost. The employee as a listener should do something to give clients a feeling they are under a plainly planned effective assistance.

In addition, it is vital to be sure that clients know what will the staff member do and will not do. For instance, summarizing or reflecting clientsїЅїЅ current situation or their main resentment can possibly promote their expectation to the guidance and enhance sociable workersїЅїЅ stability as well.

3. To Alleviate ClientsїЅїЅ Anxieties about Changes

Resistant clients may or might not recognize they have a difficulty, and/or might not want to activate in an activity of change (Rooney, 1992) so that they will take level of resistance as an methods to protect themselves from the unknown (Yalom & Molyn, 2005). They might be resistant on the therapeutic process because it consists of changing their current maladaptive action (Chui & Ho, 2006).

An available solution to ease clientsїЅїЅ anxiousness about change is to make sure they are feel more sense of control. The less the clients can control the process and results of treatment, the more they will view social staff as the reps of those who force these to participate in the intervention. As a result, the amount of amount of resistance may increase dramatically. Such situation requires public workers to discuss with clients about the reasons why they are suggested to really have the counseling. If a client is compelled to accept counseling, the public staff member may point it out to the client that he could reject the counseling and bear the consequences of such rejection, thus rebuild their sense of control.

Furthermore, as cultivating new behaviours is much easier than changing old ones, it might be more sensible and effective that public works make an effort to train the customers to foster some new patterns of communication and behavioral behaviors, rather than amend their previous habits, thus establish a harmonious romantic relationship with clients. Even more complex involvement, such as educating clients rest skills, or assisting them in examining the irrational thoughts, may have immediate utilities to the involuntary clients.


The relationship between the social worker and your client is definitely living regardless of what happened in the process of intervention. One of the major responsibilities for social workers is paying enough focus on the quality and the health of rapport-building process. To some extent, clientsїЅїЅ changes or improvements come from an appropriate and valid discussion inside a harmonious romance.

As potential cultural employees, in addition to understanding of various ideas or therapies which provide different methods to resolve client level of resistance, we ought to also figure out how to їЅїЅdetermine how better to dwelling address that relational active in guidanceїЅїЅ (Joshua, 2008).

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