Working with Resistance

The therapeutic play of unconditional presence

This workshop focuses on working with client resistances to being fully present.

Grasses, rock, water at Upper Trout Lake

Regardless of a person’s style and degree of self-defensiveness, we respect that any habitual resistance has been – but may no longer continue to be – an effective coping strategy of self-protection or self-preservation. The enduring paradox of seeking psychological change is wanting both to be free from self-limitations and not wanting to lose the security of protective self-limitations.

Acknowledging the both/and dilemma of this predicament can lighten – for both client and therapist – the weight of a therapy agenda fixated on change; and, it can awaken a too-comfortable, sleepy therapy agenda fixated on support. Invoking a non-intentional yet wakeful therapeutic presence opens the way toward transforming tedious or boring therapy work into a free, and freeing, play of authentic exchanges.

Shifting the focus from what is being resisted to how a person resists opening/being her or himself, brings therapy into the living moment, the only moment when self-limitations can loosen and lift.

 6 CEUs for MFTs and LCSWs                                  Space is Limited

9:00 – 4:30 Saturday May 21, 2016                       Cost: $160

                                                                                             Register by April 1: $125

Location: Dondrub Ling, 2748 #D Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA                     

To register, contact: Mary Smyer at