On-Demand: Understanding Client Resistance as Pathological Ambivalence - 5 CEUs


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  • CEs: 5 Core Education Clock Hours for Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, & Marriage and Family Therapists (please see below for details)
  • Format: On-Demand Webinar (“Asynchronous”) ~ At your leisure to be viewed at your own pace. You may pause, rewind, and fast forward at any point during the videos. You are in complete control of how you view this workshop. It also comes with a PowerPoint and references. There is a quiz at the end to ensure viewing and required by all CE approval organizations.
  • Investment: $115

Educational Objectives:

  • Conceptualize resistance as Pathological Ambivalence (PA).
  • Understand why some individuals are more prone to developing PA than others.
  • Quickly identify common expressions of PA.
  • Utilize strategies for sidestepping power struggles to empower clients to resolve ambivalence from within.
  • Help their clients understand and identify narratives and their projections while avoiding participating in the schemas or being the object of the projections.

Workshop Description:

Resistant, Oppositional, Borderline, Unmotivated. We often use such terms to describe patients who, despite expressing a desire to change, repeatedly reject our help. Therapists have all encountered clients that pay money for help and then resist the help offered often leading to labeling the client or causing the therapist to feel inadequate. Also it can be very difficult to know how to avoid getting into power struggles with our clients when they are not progressing as expected. This presentation, based on Dr. Buchanan’s Book, A Clinician’s Guide to Pathological Ambivalence: How to Be on Your Client’s Side Without Taking a Side, offers an alternative interpretation of patients’ apparent resistance, termed pathological ambivalence, which is rooted in early experience, biological functioning, and psychological narrative. These factors result in the development of strong but conflicting needs (such as wanting connection and fearing rejection) that can slow down, confuse or even halt the therapeutic process. The natural tendencies of therapists to take the side for growth can lead to many kinds of therapeutic obstacles. The therapist will be most effective when utilizing skills that promote a sense of being on the client’s side without taking any side. This workshop, will offer a framework to utilize specific strategies from a wide variety of evidence based treatments that enable the patient to resolve the ambivalence thus minimizing the likelihood that the therapy and/or therapist will become the target of the ambivalence. Case examples and experiential learning will also be utilized to educate the participants to sidestep power struggles, projections and splitting and to empower clients to resolve ambivalence from within.

Presented by: Linda Buchanan, Ph.D.

Dr. Linda Buchanan founded Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders in 1993 which was acquired by Walden Behavioral Care in 2017. She is now Senior Director of Clinical Services with Walden which provides Intensive Outpatient, Partial Hospitalization and Residential care for individuals with eating disorders in Dunwoody, Alpharetta and Decatur. Dr. Buchanan received her Master’s degree Georgia State University and a Diploma from the Psychological Studies Institute (now known as Richmont University) in Christian Counseling from which she received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for her work in founding ACE. Dr. Buchanan then went on to receive her Ph.D. from Georgia State University doing a residency at the Medical College of Georgia. She currently has a book in publication titled A Clinician’s Guide to Dealing with Pathological Ambivalence: How to be on Your Client’s Side Without Taking a Side the content of which she has presented at multiple national conferences. She has published two chapters on her model of treatment of eating disorders which have been used as texts in a local doctoral program for Clinical Psychology students. Additionally, she has published four research articles on the treatment of eating disorders including two outcome studies of the treatment provided at Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders. She has been married for over 30 years and is the mother of two teenaged boys.

5 Core or Related CE Clock Hours:

  • Psychologists: This workshop is approved for 5 Core CE hours. The Knowledge Tree (TKT) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. TKT maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
    • Georgia Psychologists: All online webinars (both live/synchronous and on-demand/asynchronous) count the same as live for 2021 (including ethics). Therefore, this workshop is approved for 5 Core CE hours. The Board states it will go back to the pre-COVID rules in 2022. You may want to consider completing all 40 CEs this year while you have multiple viewing options.
    • Licensed in another state as a Psychologist: The Knowledge Tree is a Continuing Education Sponsor Approved (CESA) by APA, so all our workshops should satisfy your CE requirements, but please check your specific state rules.
  • Counselors: This workshop is approved for 5 Core CE hours through the Licensed Professional Counselors Association (LPCA) of Georgia, approval # 2020-10-07-168AW.
    • Georgia Counselors: This workshop satisfies 5 "Core Hours" as an "on-demand/asynchronous" course. For more details about "On-Demand" hours, please see the blue highlighted section below.
    • Licensed in another state? Please see the yellow highlighted section below.*
  • Social Workers: This workshop is approved for 5 Core CE hours through the Georgia Society for Clinical Social Work, approval # 100220.
    • Georgia Social Workers: This workshop satisfies 5 "Core Hours" as an "on-demand/asynchronous" course. For more details about "On-Demand" hours, please see the blue highlighted section below.
    • Licensed in another state? Please see the yellow highlighted section below.*
  • Marriage and Family Therapists: This workshop is approved for 5 CE hours through the Georgia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, approval #133-2020.
    • Georgia Marriage & Family Therapists: This workshop satisfies 5 "Core Hours" as an "on-demand/asynchronous" course. For more details about "On-Demand" hours, please see the blue highlighted section below.
    • Licensed in another state? Please see the yellow highlighted section below.
  • *Licensed in another state as a Counselor, Social Worker, or Marriage & Family Therapist? Most states will accept CEs for Counselors, Social Workers, & MFTs if that workshop has approved status from another state, and this workshop is approved for all three licenses in Georgia. Additionally, we have National Approval for all of our courses through the American Psychological Association (APA).Many states will also accept APA-approved courses, but please check your specific state rules and regulations.
  • The Georgia Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage & Family Therapists & Ethics: For all Masters Licensed Therapists in Georgia, On-Demand ("Asynchronous") Webinars are allowed to comprise up to 15 hours of the total 35 hours required per renewal period (10 hours of On-Demand are expressly permitted, and the extra 5 would be your optional Independent Study hours). Please see our Live Webinars for more synchronous options if needed. And for details regarding this new rule (Oct 2020) from the Secretary of State, click here.

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