Sabrina Johnson's Archive


16 Commentsby   |  11.15.09  |  Uncategorized

Nichols (1987) defines resistance as, “anything clients do to subvert or slow the process of therapy. In family therapy, resistance is the rule, not the exception” (p. 251). More »

Sabrina Johnson's Comment Archive

  1. Sabrina Johnson on First Order Change
    4:09 pm, 11.03.09

    I do agree that it might be more difficult to bring about 2nd order change in a system when you only have one individual with which to work. However, I’m quite sure you can work on boundaries and the formation of the system. I’m not too sure I understand first and second order change well enough to discuss this, but here goes:

    So, example… If I have an individual who is being physically abused in a relationship but the abuser is not willing to come for therapy then the likelihood that second-order change will happen in that system is very low. However, if by individual therapy this person decides an abusive relationship is not what he or she wants or needs and he or she decides to leave the system… isn’t that formation or a new system or boundaries or something? I’m not sure that it would be second-order change because the “system” is no longer a “system”… but it would be second-order change for that individual, would it not? Aye aye aye… I wish I knew this better than I do.

  2. Sabrina Johnson on Process
    2:54 pm, 10.28.09

    These counseling video crack me up… I know we rarely see real couple because of confidentiality, but surely we could splurge on some good acting once in a while. By the way, I am not volunteering!


    I think process is so difficult because we clients sometimes gives us SO MUCH content that it is hard to boil it all down to what really matters, the process. I have found that especially in the dyad sessions, there is so much information we want to explain that it is hard to get at the real issue which is most important.
    I think a good exercise for process/content would be to watch a foreign film and try to get at what the conversation is about by body language, and tone (process). Then you could watch the same film with subtitles (content) to see how close your theory about the conversation was.

  3. Sabrina Johnson on Content
    2:33 pm, 10.28.09

    I would add that another way you can tell that the focus of a session is on content rather than process is if the client does not talk about himself directly. I have observed in other sessions, and noticed in our dyads, that it is easy for people to talk about how others outside the therapy room influence them, both negatively and positively. It is important for the client to talk about the only person he or she can control, himself or herself. If the conversation switches to the individual, it usually helps to get at the process rather than the content of the session.

  4. Sabrina Johnson on Genuineness
    11:46 am, 09.22.09

    As a future therapist, what steps can you take to ensure you give your clients the genuineness they need?

    This is one of many questions I have not yet thought out completely quite yet. Here’s what I have so far…
    I chose to venture into the therapy world from all other places for a couple of reasons: 1. Jesus spent much of his ministry with people in conflict. 2. In Biblical days and the present, people in conflict seem to best understand the need for hope. They recognize something is missing from their life and this implies they understand there should be something more.

    Now, with that being said, it is not my direct goal to convert all those that come to me. My goal is to develop the eyes of Christ in order to meet them where they are and to see them not as a number or statistic but as a valued part of God’s creation because they are.

  5. Sabrina Johnson on Resistance
    11:21 am, 12.07.09

    *eyes rolling* Leave it to Scott… whatever that means :)

    I think you make valid points, Scott. I can certainly see how where all the perceptions of each other and perceptions of perceptions of perceptions can affect the client’s perception of the challenge. No, but seriously I can certainly see what you are saying with that. I see that everywhere there are relationships, which is everywhere. For example, as a cohort we all have perceptions of each other, and also perceptions of others’ perceptions of us (or so we perceive them to be). This can affect how we interact in class or outside the university at social events. Although we will not be hanging with our clients socially, we will definitely be able to see this played out in the therapy room as we try to bring about change in regards to the client’s presenting problem.

    However, I do wonder if our culture affects your proposition that “direct” therapists will encounter more resistance than “non-direct” therapists. By that I mean our American mindset of independence and “don’t tell me what to do.” Also, I have yet to see a “non-directive” therapist in any of our models.

    Also, I wanted to comment on your A and B equation. I can see how a client may feel inferior or incapable in the therapy relationship; however, I feel that Dr. Goff’s advice to us this semester will greatly decrease that feeling. She has told us numerous times before about how some clients will look at us and wonder what we have we can do to help them with some of us who have not been married, are not single, have not been divorced, have no kids, have no teenagers, have not had this, have not had that… etc. etc. If we advise them that they are the expert in their story and their experience and we have education and empirically validated (don’t use that language) theory to offer, they might be more inclined to listen and less inclined to resist.

    We certainly do play a part in the resistance of a client. Thanks, Scott Rampy!

  6. Sabrina Johnson on Resistance
    11:05 am, 12.07.09

    Great points, Kelsey. I also found it difficult to place blame on either the therapist or the client as far as resistance goes. Of course we will meet more or less resistant clients, but as trained therapists we should learn to manage both such that clients see less of a need to feel resistant. If seems to me that both parties play a role in resistance.

  7. Sabrina Johnson on Resistance
    11:01 am, 12.07.09

    Why Dean, it seems as if you have developed a systemic worldview this semester. :) You bring up an interesting point that we are part of a system in the therapy room!

  8. Sabrina Johnson on Resistance
    3:15 pm, 12.04.09

    Very true with kids, Tommy. I can remember when Ryan and I were in youth ministry during undergrad. work and it took time for each of them to trust and open up to us. Some did that rather quickly, and one in particular still was closed off right up until we resigned.

  9. Sabrina Johnson on Resistance
    3:12 pm, 12.04.09

    I have noticed it too, Elizabeth. Weird isn’t it? I especially notice when meeting new people, the cohort for example. I just realized that the one thing I am incredibly uncomfortable with, meeting new people, is going to be a part of what I do for the rest of my life. What was I thinking?

  10. Sabrina Johnson on Resistance
    3:10 pm, 12.04.09

    Nice! And I wouldn’t say I am a hater, just not a fan. :) lol I do hope you and Dr. Milholland will not hold that against me…