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EP21 Speech 05 - On Second Thought: Responding to Ambivalence in Helping Professions - William Miller, PhD

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Topic Areas:
Speeches |  Therapist Development
Evolution of Psychotherapy |  Evolution of Psychotherapy 2021
William Miller, PhD
Course Levels:
Master Degree or Higher in Health-Related Field
1 hour
Audio and Video
Original Program Date:
Dec 02, 2021
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Sometimes regarded as "resistance," ambivalence is a normal human reaction to potential change and a fundamental dynamic in helping relationships whereby well-intended efforts can backfire. In practice there is an important conscious choice between neutrality and direction, leading to different clinical strategies. Dr. Miller will describe different responses to client ambivalence, and their consequences.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe at least three of the four "flavors" of ambivalence (candy store, trap, yoyo and pendulum)
  2. Explain how "horizontal" differs from "vertical" ambivalence in which one pole is unconscious
  3. Differentiate directional vs. neutrality strategies in helping clients resolve ambivalence



William Miller, PhD's Profile

William Miller, PhD Related Seminars and Products

Dr. Miller is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico.  He has published over 400 professional articles and chapters and 50 books including Loving kindness (2017), Motivational Interviewing (2013), Controlling Your Drinking (2013), Treating Addiction (2011), and Quantum Change (2001).  The Institute for Scientific Information has listed him as one of the world's most cited scientists.