Rather than just a single area of psychology, I mostly work with patients that are intentionally resistant to therapy. They may not want to feel as if they are being brainwashed or inadvertently resistant because of fear or hopelessness.
Reasons for Treatment Resistance
1. People may be resistant to therapy because they do not think they can fulfill what they need. They think, “if a solution does not exist, what is the point in looking for one or making changes?” Other times, what they think is the solution makes them miserable, but they do it over and over again thinking they need to, becoming even more miserable in the process.
2. Some people have a preconceived, negative idea of therapy and what the process looks like, which prevents them from seeing how it can be useful or why they should partake. They may think that they just sit there and listen to me give them advice or tell them what is wrong with them. In reality, they are an active part of therapy. Together, we collaborate on fixing the problem, figuring out what fits and what doesn’t.
3. Another common cause is people who have had failures in the past when it comes to therapy; it may not have been a good fit, or the approach was off. A lot of the people I talk to have had multiple therapists, and I receive referrals from therapists who have not had much success or seen substantial change in their patients despite spending some years in therapy.
Treatment resistance is just the confusion between wants and needs and understanding the process. I focus on the relationship component of therapy as opposed to technique, which helps overcome resistance. Building trust and respect helps me treat patients and help them realize that their life is going to be better after we are done.
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