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"Dealing With Ambivalence in Psychotherapy: How to be on Your Client's Side without Taking a Side"

Erin Evans

Friday, February 8, 2019 from 9:30 AM to 12:45 PM (EST)

"Dealing With Ambivalence in Psychotherapy: How to be...

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RSVP Feb 8, 2019 $65.00 $0.00

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Event Details

Course Description:

This workshop will focus on relabeling resistance to treatment as Pathological Ambivalence

(PA). Although therapists who treat eating disorders are all too aware of the ambivalence common to this population, it is often very difficult to know how to avoid getting in power struggles which naturally flow from the client’s ambivalence. PA is generally related to the narratives or schemas which individuals form throughout their life that result in the development of strong but conflicting needs and that when operating, can slow down, confuse or even halt the therapeutic process. If the therapist takes a side when a client is struggling with ambivalence, then the other side of the ambivalence is naturally invalidated such as when a therapist is trying to help the client recover thus siding with the part of the client that wants to recover. The therapist will be most effective when utilizing skills that promote a sense of being on the client’s side without taking any side. These skills empower the change to occur from within and minimize the likelihood that the therapist will become the target of the ambivalence, prematurely discount the client’s beliefs, unknowingly participate in the client’s previously formed scripts or perceive the client as resistant. Skills from many theoretical perspectives such as MI, Gestalt,

ACT and DBT will be presented which enable the therapist to avoid these common pitfalls focusing instead on facilitating a resolution of pathological ambivalence and helping the client re-evaluate and change their narratives.

Learning Objectives 

Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

1) Conceptualize resistance as Pathological Ambivalence (PA)

2) Understand why some individuals are more prone to developing PA than others.

3) Quickly identify common expressions of PA.

4) Utilize strategies for sidestepping power struggles to empower clients to resolve ambivalence

from within

5) Utilize evidence based strategies from a wide range of perspectives such as DBT, ACT, MI

for dealing with PA


Dr. Linda Buchanan founded Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders in 1993 which was acquired by Walden Behavioral Care in 2017. She is now Senior Director of Clinical Services with Walden, a leading national healthcare system specializing in the treatment of eating disorders (to all genders and ages 11 and up) providing the full continuum of care with facilities in Georgia, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Dr. Buchanan received her master’s degree from Georgia State University and a Diploma from the Psychological Studies Institute (now known as Richmont University) in Christian Counseling from which she received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for her work in founding ACE. Dr. Buchanan then went on to receive her Ph.D. from Georgia State University doing a residency at the Medical College of Georgia. She currently has a book in publication titled A Clinician’s Guide to Dealing with Pathological Ambivalence: How to be on Your Client’s Side Without Taking a Side the content of which she has presented at multiple national conferences. She has published two chapters on her model of treatment of eating disorders which have been used as texts in a local doctoral program for Clinical Psychology students. Additionally, she has published four research articles on the treatment of eating disorders including two outcome studies of the treatment provided at Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders. She has been married for over 30 years and is the mother of two adopted sons.


Continuing Education Credit: 

October Road, Inc. is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. Approval # 6469

Application has been made and pending approval by the NC Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board for up to 3 Substance Abuse Specific hours. Approval #

 Application has been made and pending approval by LPCA-GA

Refund Policy:

Requests must be in writing. Refunds will be given on requests postmarked or faxed no later than 7 business days prior to the seminar. No refunds will be issued for "late arrivals" and "no shows". Address: October Road, Inc, Erin Evans, Administrative Assistant/Seminar Coordinator, 119 Tunnel Road Suite B, Asheville, NC. 28805-1800. Fax: (828) 350-1300. Requests may also be emailed to


All programs are held in the October Road, Inc. Training Room. October Road is located Take 240 west to exit 6 (Tunnel Road/Chunns Cove). Exit left to end of road and turn left. Travel to light and turn left. Pass Applebee's on right and turn into parking lot between Applebee's & Olive Garden. Travel to back of parking lot and you will see large white concrete building on left.  If you are coming from 240 east at exit 6 (Tunnel Road/Chunns Cove) travel to light and turn right. Olive Garden and Applebee's will be on your immediate left. Turn left into parking lot between the two restaurants. Travel to back of parking lot and you will see a large white concrete building on left. 

Have questions about "Dealing With Ambivalence in Psychotherapy: How to be on Your Client's Side without Taking a Side"? Contact Erin Evans

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When & Where

October Road, Inc.
119 Tunnel Road
Asheville, NC 28805

Friday, February 8, 2019 from 9:30 AM to 12:45 PM (EST)

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