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


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  • CE Hours Included: 5 Core (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
  • Presented by: Linda Buchanan, Ph.D.

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 CE Clock Hours:

  • Psychologists:
    • Georgia Psychologists: 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. In Georgia, all CE hours earned through online webinars, both live "synchronous" and on-demand "asynchronous," will count the same as live in-person for 2021, both Core and Ethics. The Board states it will go back to the pre-COVID rules in 2022.
    • Licensed in another state as a Psychologist: 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. Therefore, all of our workshops should satisfy your CE requirements, but please check your specific state rules.
  • Counselors: The Knowledge Tree has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7153. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Knowledge Tree is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. This workshop is also approved for core CE hours through LPCA of GA, approval #2020-10-07-168AW.
    • Georgia Counselors: Per the Georgia Composite Board, Core CE hours are now permitted to be earned through on-demand "asynchronous" webinars, and will count the same as live in-person Core CE hours. Ten asynchronous hours are expressly permitted, and an additional five hours can be used as "independent study" hours.
    • Licensed in another state as a Counselor: The Knowledge Tree has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) #7153, so all of our workshops should satisfy your CE requirements, but please check your state rules.
    • Licensed in Canada as a Counselor: This workshop is approved for 5 credit hours through CCPA, event code 64956056.
  • Social Workers: This workshop is approved for 5 core CE hours through GSCSW, approval #100220. TKT maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
    • Georgia Social Workers: Per the Georgia Composite Board, Core CE hours are now permitted to be earned through on-demand "asynchronous" webinars, and will count the same as live in-person Core CE hours. Ten asynchronous hours are expressly permitted, and an additional five hours can be used as "independent study" hours.
    • Licensed in another state as a Social Worker: Please see the yellow highlighted section below.*
  • Marriage and Family Therapists: This workshop is approved for 5 core CE hours through GAMFT, approval #133-2020. TKT maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
    • Georgia Marriage & Family Therapists: Per the Georgia Composite Board, Core CE hours are now permitted to be earned through on-demand "asynchronous" webinars, and will count the same as live in-person Core CE hours. Ten asynchronous hours are expressly permitted, and an additional five hours can be used as "independent study" hours.
    • Licensed in another state as a Marriage & Family Therapist: Please see the yellow highlighted section just below.
  • *Licensed in another state as a Social Worker or Marriage & Family Therapist? Most states will accept CEs for Social Workers, and Marriage & Family Therapists if that workshop has approved status from another state association which ours have been (see above). Additionally, we have national approval for all our courses through APA & NBCC. Many states will accept APA & NBCC approved continuing education hours, but please check your specific state rules & regulations. We strongly recommend saving the course description and educational objectives, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity, and please contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

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