CHAPTER 12 HELPING WITH MALADAPTIVE RELATIONSHIP AND COMMUNICATION PATTERNS BETWEEN SOCIAL WORKERS AND CLIENTS M aladaptive patterns analogous to those that surface between members in families and groups often arise in the relationship between clients and social workers. Summary of Content 1. Types of Maladaptive Patterns Disruptions in encounters between clients, their workers, and the agency reflect their respective efforts to maximize their influence over the situation and the process. Workers may influence their encounters with clients through premature and superficial reassurance and interpretation, imposition of values and solutions, impatience with the process, avoidance of relevant content and feelings, or inadequate exploration. Clients’ efforts to influence the focus and direction of the helping pro- cess may be reflected in active behaviors like provocation, intellectualization, interruption, and projection passive behaviors such as withdrawal, artificial compliance, and silence flight behaviors such as “instant” recovery, can- celed appointments, and abrupt termination and avoidance behaviors such as changing the subject, withholding information, minimizing concerns, and forgetting appointments.
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