Confrontive Therapy

A young woman won't talk to her therapist

At Trinity Teen Solutions, our team works hard to help our patients overcome the source of their troubling behavior, so that these girls can build a foundation that leads to fulfilling lives. To do this, our therapists will often utilize confrontive therapy. One of the most common strategies of therapy in the United States, according to prominent psychiatrist James F. Masterson, is confrontive therapy.

Forcing the patient to identify destructive behavior

Essentially, the strategy of confrontive therapy involves literally confronting the patient’s destructive behavior. Instead of trying to get to the source of that destructive behavior, continuously drawing attention to the behavior itself causes the patient to adopt an outside viewpoint of how their actions and perceptions affect other people. This makes it difficult for a patient to avoid therapy tactics, which can happen with other forms of therapy. Confronting the behavior head on makes therapy feel more tangible to the patient, and attacks the problem head on.

Simplifying the therapy process

The key to confrontive therapy is to simplify the therapy process. In confrontive therapy, you don’t focus on anything that is less tangible than the patient’s behavior. In this sense, their history and underlying sources of this behavior aren’t trying to be unrooted. Other symbols of their mental state, such as dreams, or literal mental disorders, such as depression, are considered less of a factor in confrontive therapy than they are in other types of therapy.

Avoiding combativeness

One important thing to remember about confrontive therapy is that it must not dissolve into a combative procedure. While there is something inherently acute about taking on a person’s behavior in a straightforward way, this type of therapy should never be downright antagonistic. Usually, this will push a patient away and reaffirm negative stereotypes that they may have about the therapeutic process. This undermines the very purpose of confrontive therapy, which is to make a patient adopt other viewpoints about their behavior as their own.