Do you ever dread confronting an angry client for fear that you will be attacked or aggressively challenged? Do you ever worry that an untimely or poorly worded confrontation will result in a permanent rupture or at least a significant disconnection to a therapeutic alliance that you have carefully built?
Perhaps your anxiety is strong enough that you avoid making a confrontation that you know is important.
Or maybe you start to make a powerful confrontation and before you know what’s happened, an artful client has wiggled away from your carefully crafted words.
You just got distracted and the moment is lost!
You either forget to go back to it or are uncertain about the best way to return to your challenge effectively. And when you do couples therapy, this process is even tougher than in individual therapy because you must reflect on the impact of your confrontation on two people, not just one.
My good friend and colleague Dr. Ellyn Bader is doing something creative to start off the year. She’s doing a free 5-day “mini-workshop” on Confrontation in Couples Therapy from January 3rd through January 7th.
Join her to learn from:
- Confrontation Video: 6 Types of Confrontation and How the Cycle of Confrontation Unfolds
- Confrontation Transcript: Indecision After Infidelity
- Confrontation Video: Challenging Hypocrisy
- Confrontation Options: Financial Irresponsibility
- Confrontation Transcript: Disrupting Hidden Symbiosis
Sign-up to participate in her workshop.
So many partners in struggling relationships rationalize their lack of accountability and their minimal efforts while excusing themselves for acting in ways that devalue their partners.
Unless you become skillful at challenging regression, violations of trust, indirect hostility, addictive thinking and behavior, or lack of commitment, your couples work will just skim the surface.
Therapeutic confrontation is more art than science because skillful confrontation includes saying just the right words, with the right facial expression, at the right time and with the right voice tone.
Don’t let your desire to avoid feeling anxious or insecure lead you to shy away from refining your confrontation skills. Ellyn makes it easy. Join her for a few minutes a day for 5 days.
And between now and when this starts on January 3rd, ask yourself:
- Do you want to learn more about confrontation?
- What confrontations are hardest for you?
- When is confrontation easiest?
Do you agree that confrontation is a big part of couples work?
Start 2017 feeling more centered and clear about how to confront behavior that maintains the status quo. Sign Up Here.
Anne Evans-Cazier, LCSW