Is your client resistant to change?


So you have a client and you feel stuck with them? They are showing up to therapy but nothing is moving. They say they want to change, but they seem resistant to it too. You’re wondering how you can help them get something that, when it comes to it, they don’t seem to want.

It may be that you need to switch targets. It’s tempting to focus on the change they want. It’s often more productive to focus on the good reason that they haven’t changed yet. 

After all, If they didn’t feel some resistance to change, they’d have changed already by themselves and wouldn’t need you.  Your job is to help them identify what is getting in their way. Once that is brought into awareness, that becomes your real target. 

A good starting point is to assume that it makes sense that they haven’t changed. They are locked into the status quo for a good reason. 

Let me give an example. Imagine there was a million dollars in the next room. It’s been left for you and all you have to do is collect it. Easy right? 

Yet to reach that room, you have to walk through the corridor, where there is a monster. 

You WANT the million dollars. But the monster is too scary. So you stay stuck in your non-millionaire life.

People might say you are resistant to getting the money. Too right! There’s a monster!

So how do you claim your million dollars? Not by focusing on the money you want. If the monster was no longer in the corridor, claiming the money would be easy.

That’s how it is for your client too.

After all, they are not just resistant to change. They are motivated to change too. That’s why they found you, paid you money and showed up in your office. These are all signs of a highly motivated person.

Your job, together, is to figure out what that monster is. So switch targets. The change will come easily once the monster has been dealt with. The monster is the focus of the transformation work. 

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