Empathic Attunement

As a result of SP/SR, participants reported that they had greater acceptance of ‘‘where the client was at’’, and adapted their skills and strategies accordingly. They were more sensitive to the client’s readiness or lack of readiness to change; they made fewer assumptions about the client’s level of knowledge or skills, and checked these out or gave simple explanations before proceeding; their empathy for homework non-compliance was increased substantially as a result of their own experience; and they ‘‘rolled with resistance’’ in various ways –

Cognitive therapy from the inside 151

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for instance, by making use of ‘‘failures’’ in therapy, being more accepting of apparent resistance, and reinterpreting the meaning of resistance.

Jane noted that she had changed her attitude and response to homework non-compliance as a result of her experience of SP/SR:

The other effect this exercise had for me was that I am more understanding of clients not doing their homework because I wasn’t very good with it either and by the second week had a really hard time keeping up with the writing of thoughts. Somehow behavioural experiments seem a bit easier to complete than homework and so, I guess I changed what I give clients as homework too. If they don’t record thoughts by the third session, the homework is behavioural and that seems to work pretty well. I give behavioural experiments as home- work earlier in therapy.


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