Show Summary Details
Page of

(p. 135) The Process of Confrontation 

(p. 135) The Process of Confrontation
(p. 135) The Process of Confrontation

Brian A. Sharpless

Page of

date: 21 May 2019

Confrontations direct attention to important but overlooked, denied, or incongruous patient communications. These interventions are used to (a) encourage the patient to resolve inconsistencies, (b) note denial or acting out behaviors, (c) help the patient face an uncomfortable reality, or (d) indicate that clinical material has psychodynamic importance. This chapter outlines three specific forms of confrontation (i.e., spotlight, connective, and prohibitive), provides suggestions for when to confront patients, and includes detailed clinical examples. Although they are potentially powerful interventions, confrontations are not without clinical risk. Improperly worded or poorly timed confrontations can lead to alliance ruptures or unnecessary patient distress. They can also be overused or underused by psychodynamic therapists. Suggestions for wording and the appropriate using confrontations are provided.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Clinical Psychology requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.