For those who work in social services, it can be very challenging when clients are vulnerable, stressed-out, or quick to engage in conflict.  Difficult dynamics in the service relationship are often amplified by environmental factors.  Participants will analyze what contributes to these challenges, including the intra-personal factors, inter-personal factors and organizational factors. Utilizing case studies, participants will learn how to alter their interactions with clients they find difficult in order to transform unhealthy patterns, resulting in more positive outcomes. This workshop gives participants a straightforward approach that creates dramatic differences in the outcomes of conversations with clients they find difficult.

About This Workshop

Workshop Outline

  • What Makes a Client Difficult?
  • My Case Study
  • Interrupting the Cycle of Difficult Behaviour
  • Professionalism and Emotional Labour
  • Working with Mental Health Challenges
  • Assessment: Is it Mine, Theirs, or Ours?
  • Dealing with the Passive Aggressive Pattern
  • Dealing with the Chronic Anger Pattern
  • Dealing with the Chronic Resistance Pattern
  • Creating a Cycle of Cooperative Behaviour
  • Case Studies and Skill Development


Method of Delivery

Lecture, video, case study review, group exercises, and small group discussion.

Target Audience

This is an introductory level workshop intended for social service and health care professionals, teachers, and anyone working with people who exhibit challenging behaviours.