- Therapy-interfering behaviors: any behavior that the patient or the therapist engages in that are barriers to progress in therapy, group, or inter-session contact.
- The three types of therapy-interfering behaviors are those that interfere with receiving therapy, those that interfere with other patients, and those that burn out the therapist.
- Examples include missing or coming late to sessions, arguing incessantly with the therapist, or displaying a hostile attitude.
3 Types of Patient, Therapy Interfering Behavior.
According to the hierarchy of treatment targets, the second most important thing to address after life-threatening behaviors is what is referred to as therapy-interfering behavior. This is just what it sounds like, any behavior that gets in the way of therapy. Remember we treat life-threatening behavior first because as Linehan says, treatment can’t work if the patient is dead. In the same way, we address therapy-interfering behavior because the patient can’t receive treatment if they aren’t there physically or psychologically or if they quit or if the therapist terminates treatment prematurely.
Therapy-interfering behavior can occur in individual therapy, in group or during intersession contact. Though we will primarily focus on how to address therapy-interfering behaviors of the patient, be sure to listen to the later discussion on those of the therapist. Therapy-interfering behavior may be behavior that literally interferes with receiving therapy such as missing sessions, problematic interpersonal styles such as blaming or other issues that make therapy less than productive such as not doing homework.