Resistance in Couple and Family Therapy
Name of Concept
Resistance in family therapy has been defined as all behaviors of individuals within the system which prevent the progress of the system as a unit. Such behaviors can be manifested through each individual, the relational aspect to family dynamic, or even from therapists’ level of engagement with the family (Anderson and Stewart 1983). A couple and family therapist will encounter a level of resistance from a client at some point in their career. For beginning therapists, the concept of resistance is one that can be particularly frightening. Novice therapists have the tendency to internalize a family’s resistance and subsequently becoming hostile, frustrated, or hopeless (Anderson and Stewart 1983). Nevertheless, resistance is not always an indication that the therapeutic relationship is flawed or at risk; many times individuals and families become resistant due to their behaviors being challenged or subject to change. That resistance then can...