Sticks and Stones: Words and Terms that Will Help You Ruin a Therapeutic Alliance

 Keynote or Breakout


Diagnostics categories, psychological constructs, and psychodynamic interpretations can all be helpful in better understanding how to help people.  But they can also become diagnostic labels and misused terms that signal negative and disempowering attitudes and approaches. This presentation will highlight a variety of clinical terms that are used in documentation, case presentations, clinical formulations and therapy that reveal negative attitudes likely to inhibit and even end a therapeutic relationship with clients.



Participants will be able to

  1. Identify clinical terms, psychological constructs and diagnostic categories that can be misused and inhibit alliance-building.

  2. Discuss case presentation, documentation and clinical conferencing attitudes that likely increase discord with clients.

  3. List solutions and alternative terminology to enhance alliance-building and facilitate lasting change with clients.