Treating the 'Difficult' Client: Where Power, Love, and Mindfulness Meet

Presented by Sam Alibrando, PhD on 04-10-2015 at 9 a.m. Pacific to 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern)

One of the biggest challenges we face as clinicians when working with “difficult” clients is that they throw us off-kilter. This workshop not only gives a model to understand and work with challenging clients, but also provides a road map to get us back into our therapeutic “sweet spot”—where power, love, and mindfulness meet. Outcome studies are clear and compelling: The variables that are the most salient predictors of therapeutic success are not related to our orientation nor techniques but to the therapeutic relationship.

In this web conference, Dr. Alibrando will present the Interpersonal Triangle—a meta-model developed from the work of Karen Horney and Wilfred Bion—as introduced in his book Follow the Yellow Brick Road: How to Change for the Better When Life Gives You Its Worst and further developed in the upcoming book Kilter: Where Power, Love & Mindfulness Meet. After introducing the Interpersonal Triangle model, we will look at its application in understanding our clients, our own countertransference, and the dynamics of the challenging client. Alibrando will then present the theoretically sound and most practical tool, Working the Triangle, to help us to get back into the dynamic balance—of power, love, and mindfulness—in order to help our clients to do the same. He will also mix in some neurobiology and mindfulness theory in good measure.

Regardless of your orientation or level of experience, this unique web conference will truly change the way you think about the therapeutic process, especially with more challenging clients.

This web conference is intermediate instructional level and designed to help clinicians:

  1. Identify the three dimensions of human interaction: Power (moving against), love (moving toward), and knowing/mindfulness (moving away) and how they relate to working with challenging clients;
  2. Explain the three basic ways organisms (including Homo sapiens) instinctively “protect” themselves, often to their own (and others') peril;
  3. Analyze which of the six ways therapists typically manifest their countertransference in therapy sessions with any given challenging client;
  4. Describe the three steps of “Working the Triangle” in order to guide moving from reactivity to proactivity—first in themselves as helpers and then for their clients.

If you have any questions or concerns about this web conference or would like more information, please contact us contact us here.

Event Reviews from Members

Presenter was very knowledgeable and relatable. He made very effective use of examples from his own life experiences and his work with clients. -Elaine Zachrel, MA, LCPC

He was so knowledgeable and quick on his feet ... very adaptable to all questions and requests. -Lori Toliusis, LCPC

Continuing Education (CE) Information

Two CE credits will be provided by for attending this web conference in its entirety. is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within counseling services. is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

To receive CE credit hours for an archived event, you will need to complete a survey as well as a 12 or 15-question exam, verifying that you listened to or watched the event in its entirety. Archived CE events generally are considered "homestudy" by licensing boards.

Registration Information

Premium or Pro Membership with GoodTherapy includes access to this web conference at no cost. Not yet a Premium or Pro Member? Mental health professionals can attend this live web conference for $30.95 or access the homestudy recording for $15.50.

If the event is canceled by GoodTherapy, registrants who purchased the event will be notified and the charge for the event will be refunded

If you have any questions or would like information regarding disability accommodations, please contact us.

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Meet the Presenter

Sam Alibrando, PhD

Sam Alibrando, PhD

Dr. Sam Alibrando has almost 35 years of psychotherapy practice experience, and he has spent the last 25 years as a clinical psychologist. He specializes in intensive depth therapy for individuals (based on object-relations, relational-psychoanalytic, systems theory, Neurobiology and a little CBT for good measure), addiction therapy (especially “sex-addiction”), couple therapy, parenting consultations, divorce recovery, and business-work coaching. Dr. Alibrando is also an OD consultant, helping organizations enhance work efficiency and positive work cultures through good hires, leadership and team development and executive coaching. He is a respected workshop facilitator and speaker as well as the author of several books that are the culmination of many years of work on the topic of how people change and the concept of the Interpersonal Triangle.

Dr. Alibrando received his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and his doctorate from the Rosemead School of Psychology. He served as President of the San Gabriel Valley Psychological Association and liaison in government affairs to the California Psychological Association. He has also served as Director of the Relationship Counseling Clinic and the Fuller Psychological & Family Services, two training and services organizations, and as an Adjunct Professor at Fuller’s Graduate School of Psychology. Currently he is a member of the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards committee of the California Psychological Association. For additional information on Dr. Alibrando and a complete list of his published books, please visit

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • Logo has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo This course has been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  •, provider #1352, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 03/30/2016 - 03/30/2019.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

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