The Use of "Challenge" in Therapy and Counselling

A two part, practical look at the evidence behind the types of challenge our clients want, with twelve practical examples showing how to challenge effectively.

The Use of "Challenge" in Therapy and Counselling

Workshop Description:

We know from recent research that clients exhibit a strong preference for challenge and direction in therapy. We also know they do better in therapy (fewer dropouts and better outcomes) when we match therapy to their preferences. This workshop will consider why clients want more direction and challenge, why therapists and counsellors are sometimes reluctant to provide that, and some practical suggestions to counteract that tendency. The workshop will present a number of concrete examples of challenge in action within sessions, and will conclude that challenge and empathy are two sides of the same coin.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the extent to which clients want challenge and direction and why they want that.
  2. Recognise their own reluctance to challenge and find practical ways to accommodate more of their client’s preferences.
  3. Combine challenge and empathy in common clinical situations - through clarification, use of humour, reframing, prompting and encouragement.
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Further Reading and Reflective Questions
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