Resistance in Group Counseling Group Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Counselors should be careful that adult survivors of childhood trauma generally suppress memories of some traumatic incidents or lessen their symptoms, either deliberately or not. (Substance abuse treatment for persons with child abuse and neglect issues) These are a few instances where the problems of resistance originate within the individual, and are not very easy to remove.

Shift perception of resistance to a solution:

Till now the problem of resistance is being viewed in the manner of a counselor. The view here is that resistance is a problem for solving the issue that has to be solved. From the viewpoint of a psychotherapist, the finding of resistance is very important as he can use this to find out the reasons for resistance and then he can change the client. (Differences between Counseling and Psychotherapy)

Exploration/Collaboration of Resistance:

The awareness of the requirement for the changes or variations comes by means of three steps - first is called awareness, the second is in terms of the acceptance of the need for bringing about changes and the third step in relation to the efforts made for bringing about changes. Thus the first step is the urgency to find out the basic underlying cause with regard to resistance by the individual. This happens with most of the individuals and most of them like to deny or ignore some of the attitudes, behaviors or weaknesses that they have. These are unacceptable thoughts prevalent in their minds. The tendency is with regard to ignore them or be ashamed about those issues. Further denial is not in terms of progress and shame also this also reduces the scope of action. The person can have the responsibility to take action only after understanding about the particular behavior or attitude which was the reason behind those difficulties. (Some Thoughts about Resistance)

Pre-Group Model, working with Resistance

Explore resistance prior to entering group:

There are many instances of this type of feelings and let us take the issue of college admissions. This was studied by Abela and D'Alessandro in 2002 and they found that the students developed negative views about their future and this controlled their interactions between dysfunctional attitudes and enhancement in depression. As such this was clearly lending support to Dr. Beck's claim that those at risk for depression due to dysfunctional attitudes, and were thus unable to get into the college of their choice begin to doubt their future, and it is those thoughts which lead to the feeling of depression. Thus the self-perceptions of the students became negative due to their failure to get into college and this led to the depression due to their own thinking. (An Overview of Beck's Cognitive Theory of Depression in Contemporary Literature) Thus it can be seen that the development of resistance is often due to our own actions, though that is not true in all cases. There are also cases that this has been caused by actions of others, but in the end, we have started blaming ourselves for the situation. This type of resistance may exist and should first be looked into when any group is being formed.

Identify "Precipitating factors" to resistance:

Now there is also a model being suggested by Teasdale and this is in terms of the vulnerability with regard to depression and relapse is not based on dysfunctional attitudes but is based on the negative thinking that has its origin from the negative thinking prevalent in mild depressed conditions. In such instances, cognitive therapy is useful since it focuses its activities on the patterns of negative thinking. Hence due to cognitive therapy, patients tend to stop believing about their emotions and would tend to identify themselves with regard to their negative thoughts and feelings. These negative experiences are being treated as being similar to transient mental events. This leads it to provide improved better results in comparison to pharmacotherapy since it allows the reduction of relapse and recurrence levels. In short, it could be said that it is probably better in comparison to antidepressant medication. Even when the patient is dependent on antidepressant medication, cognitive therapy may prove to be helpful in recovery. (Cognitive Therapy)

Support/Encourage client's perspectives:

The people under treatment for the purpose of substance misuse, and it is about them that we have been talking from the beginning of this write up, often tend to predict about their own actions in terms of producing statements like "Doing a line will make me feel really good." The prediction could be considered as a statement which will probably lead to a repeated occurrence of the line and action, or may ultimately in the end up in conditions of depression and self-loathing. Well then how can his self-confidence levels be improved upon so that he stops saying things as he mentioned earlier? He should be asked to take on the challenges which occur in his life and which he can achieve, and he will in the end achieve them and be grateful for his own achievements. Yet, human nature does not believe in terms of thinking small as can be evidenced by the enormous amount of creations being made by us. (Cognitive Distortion Mechanisms)

Implement pre-group outcome studies to determine effectiveness:

Many theories exist on this, and the most renowned is Bandura's social cognitive theory. This says that individuals have a self system that enables them to exercise control over their personal thoughts, feelings, motivation and activities. This system provides methods for perceiving, regulating and assessing behavior. This comes from the interplay between our systems and the external sources of influence. As a result of this system, all individuals have the capacity to control their own cognitive processes and actions and thus change their environments. (Current directions in Self-efficacy research) Most of the statements made in this theory is however already stated in our concept of God, and in most religions, we are trying to reach God in some form or another. Thus what has been stated is not new.


The difficulty in all these statements is that there are no clear cut answers and all are shades of grey, so truth is a very difficult commodity. In any case, for a person to develop himself on these lines, it would be best to find out why young women avoid math-related courses and careers because they underestimate their capability rather than because they lack competence or skill. It is a long standing question, and no one knows the answer.


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