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Psychotherapy Relationships That WorkEvidence-Based Responsiveness$
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John C. Norcross

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199737208

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737208.001.0001

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Reactance/Resistance Level

Reactance/Resistance Level

(p.261) Chapter 13 Reactance/Resistance Level
Psychotherapy Relationships That Work

Larry E. Beutler

T. Mark Harwood

Aaron Michelson

Xiaoxia Song

John Holman

Oxford University Press

Psychotherapists from all professions and perspectives periodically struggle to effectively manage a patient’s resistance to change. This chapter provides definitions and examples of patient–treatment matching applied to patient resistance or reactance. The chapter reports the results from an original meta-analysis of twelve select studies (N = 1,102) on matching therapist directiveness to patient reactance. The findings support the hypothesis that patients exhibiting low levels of traitlike resistance respond better to directive types of treatment while patients with high levels of resistance respond best to nondirective treatments (d = .82). Limitations of the research reviewed are noted, and practice recommendations are advanced.

Keywords:   resistance, reactance, treatment outcome, directiveness, meta-analysis, therapy relationships

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