Resistance can sometimes be a result of the person's lack of confidence in their ability to succeed in implementing change.
In order to defend their own self-image is it easier to say: "I do not" instead of "I can not". A prerequisite for change to happen is to support the person's self-competence. In order to want to begin a process of change, the person must have confidence that they have the ability, perseverance and the resources needed to cope with the everyday challenges they will face.
Some advice on how to manage resistance and strengthen the client's self-reliance:
- Use visual analogue scales: “How important is this to you?”(See previous bits)
- Ask about previous success at other changes.
- Work with mental and behavioral experiments "as if" - as if the change had already taken place. Some possible questions: "If you could change it / you, what would you do in that case? If you had changed you, how would it look like for you and your family / your colleagues? How would things be different?"
- The person may also need training in the social skills that they lack in order to feel more competent and begin to trust their ability to succeed.
Next time you come across a person who doubts they ability to make a change, I want you to test any of the above questions. What happens?