Overcoming Resistance


Ever feel like you’re working too hard with a client and getting nowhere? You don’t need to let your client’s defenses block progress.

This audio course teaches you how to quickly identify and address subtle resistances used by highly resistant patients. If you have tried to explore feelings with patients and got nowhere, these studies will show you what to do.

How It Works

In this practice-oriented course, you are the therapist asking me scripted questions, and I am your ‘patient’, responding with defenses. You will intervene. Then I will give you a recommended answer and offer some teaching and supervision along the way, reinforcing the intervention technique and theoretical framework.

As we explore numerous examples of each defense, you’ll have ample practice time to learn how to recognize defenses immediately and intervene effectively. You’ll rapidly improve your assessment and intervention skills and learn to handle problems easily that would have stumped you in the past.

Defense Work You’ll Learn to Do

Defense against Feelings: When the Patient Resists Feelings

  • Defenses against giving a specific example
  • Differentiating stimulus from feeling
  • Blocking defenses by inviting feelings
  • Blocking defenses by labeling the defense and inviting feelings
  • Defenses against feeling: vagueness, diversification, hypothetical speech, cover words, and rationalization
  • Maintaining a focus on feelings in a current relationship: differentiating feelings from defenses
  • Defenses against grief

Working with Resistance: When the Patient is Resisting Emotional Closeness with the Therapist

The most common problem therapists encounter with resistant patients is not recognizing when the patient shifts from resisting feelings to resisting emotional closeness with the therapist. These are the first studies ever developed to help you acquire this special set of skills. It is impossible to succeed with highly resistant patients unless you have these skills:

  • Identifying the resistance to emotional closeness
  • Identifying the resistance to emotional closeness and inviting feelings
  • Identifying the resistance to emotional closeness and inviting feelings: an endurance study
  • Clarification and challenge of the resistance
  • Clarifying the function of defense and mobilizing the patient’s will to the task
  • Clarifying the price of the defense
  • Pointing out the resistance to emotional closeness and inviting feelings toward the therapist
  • Maintaining an effective focus when there is resistance to emotional closeness
  • Projection of the superego

Before you buy this comprehensive multi-part skill-building audio course, we recommend you do the Twenty Skills to Build an Alliance course. This set of studies is more complex and it builds on the earlier set of studies. Your learning will be faster and more efficient if you do the first set of studies first.


  • Identify and address defenses and resistances immediately and effectively
  • Study from 4+ hours of studies to learn 21 new skills
  • Gain proficiency at identifying and blocking resistances that can prevent a therapeutic alliance from forming
  • Get moment-by-moment analysis and coaching
  • Practice at home or on your commute
  • Thousands of hours of experience distilled into over 4 hours on 5 mp3 files
  • Learn twenty one techniques so well that they become automatic


Length: 4 + hours
Cost: $97

Format: five mp3 files (downloaded as one zip file)

See What Therapists Say About these Audio Studies

Jon Frederickson has created a superb set of audio training programmes… These recordings have added a dimension to my skill building that I have not been able to achieve through my other learning methods. To me the secret lies in the succinct introduction of the skills and the repeat exercises. Jon guides the listener in an interactive way through various therapeutic scenarios. Each module is clearly introduced and focused on a single skill, with various examples given on each technique. Jon then takes you through various practice runs to help you think through and internalise the skill. He builds your confidence gradually to deal with complexity so that you never feel overwhelmed. 
I noticed the effects in my clinical practice immediately. Jon’s clear instructions are sound bite long and easy to remember, and because of the practice runs with the tapes, I found myself able to immediately incorporate the skills within my established practice. Importantly, the recordings highlight the core ISTDP skills so succinctly that it has given me a renewed appreciation of how important it is not to rush the basics (such as clarifying the problem and the client’s will/motivation). I would recommend these recordings to anyone who is interested in learning the ISTDP method.
 Thank you for making this available Jon. These skill-building guides have proved an essential aid to my learning the ISTDP method through your clear and focused introduction to the therapeutic skill set. I look forward to future releases.
 Anthony Theuninck, Psychologist, United Kingdom

The Skill-building audio course is a great learning tool for ISTDP practitioners at all levels. The exercises are very well structured, the learning objectives, and how to get there, are crystal clear, and Jon Frederickson is, as always, a very inspiring teacher. I can highly recommend the skill-building audio course.
 Thanks again, Jon!
Allan E. Larsen, 
Clinical psychologist
, President, Danish Society for ISTDP

I want to thank Jon Frederickson for making this audio course available. Even though I have been studying ISTDP literature and in a core study group for three years, this audio course still proved to be a wonderful learning experience. It reviewed how to handle defenses that are blocks patients frequently (and unconsciously) erect. Jon acts in the course as the patient in role-plays and then waits as the listener gives a response. Then Jon gives a response that would probably be effective. The repetition and drilling helped my competence in ISTDP.
Deborah Cole, Ph.D., USA 

I’m so glad that I purchased these skill building audio recordings. For several years I have been seeking guidance as to how to work around patients’ defenses to help them tap into their emotions. The books that I have read and the psychologists with whom I have consulted have failed to address the techniques that Jon addresses in these recordings. They are basic concepts but they had never occurred to me and they are really important. For example, you ask a patient how her father’s behavior made her feel and she responds “It made me feel disappointed.” That’s actually not a feeling, that’s what happened to her, her father disappointed her. So you can’t just take that as the answer to how that made her feel. You’ve got to dig deeper and he teaches you how. 
I also like that these are in an audio format so you can put them on your iPod. The other day I listened to 3 hours of them while I was painting my office and it made the time go much faster and I learned a lot. I think I will end up listening to them over and over again to solidify the concepts. Looking forward to the release of the next set of recordings!
Jeremy Bartz, Ph.D., USA

Love so much the first set. Can’t wait to have the next series of skill building exercises. When will they come out?
Nicole Lediard, MSW, Indonesia

With these mp3 files, therapists around the world are becoming more skilled!