Reactance/Resistance Level

Larry E. Beutler, T. Mark Harwood, Aaron Michelson, Xiaoxia Song and John Holman

in Psychotherapy Relationships That Work

Second edition

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199737208
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894635 | DOI:
Reactance/Resistance Level

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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

Chapter.  10045 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology

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