Therapy With Difficult Clients: Using the Precursors Model to Awaken Change
Why is therapeutic change so difficult for some clients yet easy for others? What are the telltale signs that a client is ready to push ahead, and what remedy is there when the challenge of change seems threatening or insurmountable? For therapists, these questions are timeless.
In Therapy With Difficult Clients, Fred J. Hanna suggests that therapeutic change hinges on seven factors. If the client has hope that change is attainable, feels the necessity to change, is aware, is willing to experience anxiety or difficulty and willing to confront issues, if the client will exert will or effort and has social support, the prognosis will be positive, no matter what the therapist's theoretical orientation or techniques. On the other hand, if these change catalysts, or precursors, are absent or deficient, there will be roadblocks to therapeutic change no matter how skilled the therapist, how potent the theory, or how close the relationship. The good news for any therapist who has ever encountered a client who believes change is frightening, unattainable, or a waste of time, is that the obstacles are not insurmountable.
In this practical guide, Hanna offers a tool for assessing clients' readiness for change. He offers an abundance of strategies, examples, and insights for enhancing the precursors that are lacking and leveraging those that are present. This model offers invaluable guidance for the stalled client and therapist alike.