5 Hours | 5 CEs

This self-paced training program on Therapy with Reluctant Clients is presented by Stan Brodsky, PhD.

This course examines the clinical dilemmas faced by therapists who, for a variety of reasons, are working with involuntary or reluctant clients. These individuals often come to therapy through the judicial system but might also be problem employees or spouses persuaded to enter therapy by their mates. Under these circumstances, working together can be frustrating for both therapist and client. The typical therapist’s skills of reflecting, probing, and supporting often fail with individuals who did not enter into therapy of their own accord—or who, once there, do not engage readily with the therapist.

The inquiring approach to therapy, with its frequent questioning of the client, can have an unwelcome and intrusive quality for poorly motivated clients. Dr. Brodsky demonstrates how therapists can tailor their interventions to avoid impasses, build a firm alliance with the client, and help them develop more productive behaviors. Specifically, Brodsky proposes that therapists adopt a variety of techniques that largely avoid asking questions. Instead, he shows how therapists can make assertive statements about what is happening in the client’s life, identify behaviors, and describe choices the client might make. Through the use of case material, Brodsky demonstrates that interacting creatively with reluctant clients can lead to significant breakthroughs.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe at least 5 different approaches to working with reluctant clients

  • Describe at least 5 ways in which reluctant clients will act out

  • Describe at least 5 different transition sentences that can be used with reluctant clients

  • Describe the positive psychology approach to psychotherapy

  • Describe the group conversation method

Presented By

Stanley Brodksy, PhD

Dr. Stanley Brodsky is Professor Emeritus at The University of Alabama, where he coordinated the psychology-law PhD concentration for the last 2+ decades. His work specializes in the application of psychological knowledge to offenders, law, and legal issues. In 2006 he was the recipient of the Distinguished Contributions to Psychology & Law Award of the American Psychology-Law Society.
  • Intended Audience

    This self-paced course is intended for mental health and other allied professionals.

  • Experience Level

    This self-paced course is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

  • CE / CPD Credit

    APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC Click here for state and other regional board approvals.


  • 1


    • Review Before Proceeding

  • 2

    Part 1

    • Lesson 1 Video

    • Is Psychological Abuse Reciprocal in Intimate Relationships?

    • Shame in the Therapy Hour

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 3

    Part 2

    • Lesson 2 Video

    • Coerced and Reluctant Clients Ch 1

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 4

    Part 3

    • Lesson 3 Video

    • Reluctant and Coerced Therapists

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 5


    • Instructions

    • Evaluation

    • Submission Verification

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