How to Work with a Hostile Critical Client

Skills for Working with Some of the Most Challenging Clients We See

When a client struggles with anger, it can impact their judgment and leave them vulnerable to difficult barriers to their healing.

And when a client’s hostility and criticism is directed at you - that can be one of the most painful aspects of being a practitioner.

But to help our clients effectively resolve their anger, we have to look at the crucial role of the subcortical brain and how it affects reactivity. We need to know how anger leaves traps in the nervous system and why it suffers from the same powerful neural linking as addiction.

That’s why we’ve brought together 20 of the greatest minds in our field to help us focus on more targeted interventions for clients with anger.

Practical Skills for Working with an Angry Client

Five Skills to Immediately Defuse Anger

Marsha Linehan, PhD      Stephen Porges, PhD
Kelly McGonigal, PhD      Bill O’Hanlon, LMFT

  • An emergency technique that halts rapidly escalating anger
  • The one skill that stops rising anger so you can problem-solve
  • The one subtle tweak to a breathing exercise that can bring down a client’s arousal state

How to Help Your Client Release “Stuck” Anger

Peter Levine, PhD      Pat Ogden, PhD

  • Why posture can be a key to integrating a client’s angry parts
  • How to create new bodily experiences that override a client’s anger
  • Rage vs. collapse: how to help a client integrate two incompatible parts of their anger

Strategies To Help Your Clients Stay Engaged With Their Anger

Marsha Linehan, PhD      Joan Borysenko, PhD
Bill O’Hanlon, LMFT

  • The one crucial idea you need to “sell” to your angry clients
  • The powerful “Fact Check” that can stop anger in its tracks
  • The one question that shifts a client from reactive to reflective

Why Anger Can Become an Addiction – And How to Help Clients Break Free

Rick Hanson, PhD            Steven Hayes, PhD            Joan Borysenko, PhD
Kelly McGonigal, PhD      Ron Siegel, PsyD

  • The one emotion that looks identical to anger in the brain
  • How a “hair trigger psyche” creates a “hair trigger body”
  • The deep connection between temperament and the immune system
  • How anger activates the brain

How to Approach the Rageful Parts of Trauma-based Anger

Pat Ogden, PhD      Bessel van der Kolk, MD      Ron Siegel, PsyD

  • Why the subcortical brain dominates the way trauma survivors can express anger
  • Why we may need to be more concerned with the non-hostile client
  • Why most “anger management” training fails

How to Help Clients Overcome the Main Fear That Drives Hostility

Sue Johnson, EdD      Dan Siegel, MD
Ron Siegel, PsyD      Joan Borysenko, PhD

  • The one deep-rooted fear that fuels most anger in relationships
  • How neuroplasticity can help us get inside a client’s anger
  • How to pull an angry client back in when they shut down in a relationship

What Can Go Wrong When Working with Angry Couples

Ellyn Bader, PhD      Stan Tatkin, MFT

  • One strategy to help expand a client’s empathy for their partner
  • How your opening question to an angry couple could actually be lighting their fuse
  • How to work with the narcissism that’s blocking a client’s ability to empathize

How to Work with an Angry Client Who Is Critical of You

Zindel Segal, PhD      Linda Graham, MFT      Sue Johnson, EdD
Stan Tatkin, MFT      Bill O’Hanlon, LMFT

  • Skills to Help You Stay Centered When Facing Criticism
  • The “Compassionate Barrier” skill, and how it can keep you connected in a session
  • One way to defuse a client’s anger in mandated therapy
  • How to go “one down” in your physiological state to avoid acting out your counter-transference

Two Ways to Work With a Passive-Aggressive Client

Rick Hanson, PhD      Zindel Segal, PhD

  • How to slow down a client’s anger to allow for more awareness
  • How to reframe a client’s disappointment and help them see the big picture
  • A nuanced strategy for working with a narcissistic client who throws down the gauntlet

Register Here for Only $197

and get 9 videos, audios, transcripts, plus 4 bonuses
to help you work more effectively with a client’s anger

3 CE/CME Credits or Clock Hours are available for purchase at checkout.

*** Click HERE to get information about CE/CME credits and clock hours as well as speaker disclosures ***

“That skill that I’ve learned has really been so invaluable and it really turned the corner with a lot of clients.”

— Karen MacKenzie, LICSW —


Extra Bonus When You Order Today

6 Perspectives on the Roots of Anger

Ron Siegel, PsyD      Michael Yapko, PhD      Stan Tatkin, MFT
Shelly Harrell, PhD      Ellyn Bader, PhD      Bill O’Hanlon, LMFT

  • The surprising emotion that many angry people can’t feel
  • Resist this one instinct to create a deeper, richer experience of anger
  • How some clients can turn you into a “bad other”
  • The four patterns that lead to anger (and the fact check that disrupts it)
  • The one critical function of trauma-based anger
  • The three elements that make up the “Anatomy of an Upset"
  • How to work with “Small teeth” threats
  • How “Felony Lies” poisons relationships

+ Bonus Handout: How Anger Affects the Brain and Body.

Download or print out our new Anger infographic to give to your clients

For This Short Course on Anger and Hostility, We Brought Together Some of the Top Experts in the Field

Bessel van der Kolk MD

Medical Director of the Trauma Center at Justice Research Institute; Author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Marsha Linehan PHD

Creator of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT); Professor of Psychology, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington and Director of the Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics

Peter Levine PHD

Founder of Somatic Experiencing; Author of Trauma and Memory: Brain and Body in a Search for the Living Past: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Working with Traumatic Memory

Richard Schwartz PHD

Founder of Internal Family Systems (IFS) and The Center for Self Leadership

Stephen Porges PhD

Leading expert on Polyvagal Theory; Distinguished University Scientist at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University Bloomington and Research Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Sue Johnson EdD

Creator of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT); Founder and Director of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy

Pat Ogden PhD

Pioneer in Somatic Psychology; Founder and Director of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute (SPI); Co-founder of the Hakomi Institute; Author of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment

Shelly Harrell PhD

Licensed Psychologist specializing in multicultural and community psychology; A Professor with the Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology

Dan Siegel MD

Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute; Co-Director of UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center; author of Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation and The Mindful Therapist: A Clinician’s Guide to Mindsight and Neural Integration

Rick Hanson PHD

Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley; New York Times bestselling author of Hardwiring Happiness and Buddha's Brain

Steven Hayes PHD

Creator of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT); Nevada Foundation Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno

Joan Borysenko PhD

Founder of Mind/Body Health Sciences LLC; Author of New York Times Bestseller Minding the Body, Mending the Mind

Ellyn Bader PhD

Co-creator of The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy; Co-director of The Couples Institute

Zindel Segal PhD

One of the founders of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT); Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto

Ron Siegel PsyD

Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology, part time, Harvard Medical School; Author of The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems and Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy

Laurel Parnell PhD

Leading expert in Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR); Author of Attachment-Focused EMDR: Healing Relational Trauma

Kelly McGonigal PhD

Health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University; Author of The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You and How to Get Good At It and The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It

Bill O'Hanlon LMFT

Co-developer of Solution-Oriented Therapy; Psychotherapist, speaker, and author of Do One Thing Different: Ten Simple Ways to Change Your Life

Stan Tatkin PsyD, MFT

Founder of the PACT Training Institute and developer of a Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT)

Linda Graham MFT

Author of Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being; Seasoned clinician and life coach

Here's What You'll Get:

Everything is yours to keep forever in your professional library.

Downloadable videos so you can watch at your convenience, on any device
Audio recordings you can download and listen to at home, in the car, at the gym or wherever you like
Professionally-formatted transcripts of the sessions, to make review and action simple
Four downloadable bonus videos to help you work more effectively with anger


Get 4 Bonuses That Give You Even More Strategies for Working with a Client’s Anger

Jack Screenshot

Bonus 1

An Internal Family Systems Approach to Anger

Richard Schwartz, PhD

  • The “Manager” and the “Seducer”: how these two protective parts run damage control
  • A direct negotiation strategy for reducing anger
  • How one Vietnam vet transformed his “Internal Monster”
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Bonus 2

An EMDR Approach to Anger

Laurel Parnell, PhD

  • How bilateral stimulation acts as an anger “metabolizer”
  • Two strategies for resourcing clients who feel powerless
  • How to get the benefits of EMDR without eye movements
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Bonus 3

Why Forgiveness Work is Especially Effective With Anger

Shelly Harrell, PhD      Bill O’Hanlon, LMFT
Joan Borysenko, PhD      Kelly McGonigal, PhD

  • Address this one emotional need and it can keep a client from lashing out
  • How to help a client open up to change while accepting others’ rigidity
  • Why clients might be more willing to try forgiveness if you call it this instead
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Bonus 4

Case Study: How Feelings of Anger and Love Physically Affect Us

Shelly Harrell, PhD      Joan Borysenko, PhD

  • The crucial reason we need to find compassion for the hostile client in our session
  • Why hostility is a relational adaptation

Register Here for Only $197

and get 9 videos, audios, transcripts, plus 4 bonuses
to help you work more effectively with a client’s anger

3 CE/CME Credits or Clock Hours are available for purchase at checkout.

*** Click HERE to get information about CE/CME credits and clock hours as well as speaker disclosures ***

Starting Today, This Program Can Change the Way You Practice

Paula Michal-Johnson, PhD

. . . some dare to go the extra journey to research and educate . . .

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Mary Corsello-Vilcheck, LCSW
Midlothian, VA
Sunil Thomas, LMHC

I benefit, my practice benefits, and most important my clients benefit . . .

"I live in Nova Scotia and have limited travel funds at the university at which I work. The series provided by NICABM gives me the rare opportunity to listen to the leaders in the field. As a result, I learn valuable information that would not otherwise be available to me. I benefit, my practice benefits, and most important my clients benefit from the knowledge and wisdom I gain from the series."

David Mensink, PhD Counseling Psychology, Psychologist
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Paula Michal-Johnson, PhD

I could see how each example could be applied to my work without any difficulty.

"[NICABM's] information was delivered in such an accessible and well-paced manner that it left me feeling really enthused about using it. I could see how each example could be applied to my work without any difficulty."

Helen MacWhite, Counseling/Psychotherapy
Dublin, Ireland

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Hands-on examples of how you can bring greater healing to your clients

Total focus on learning and skill-building that you can implement immediately

Why the Transcript Is Essential:


  • The transcript makes it easy to go back and double check concepts, citations and names that are mentioned
  • We put in a table of contents to make it easy for you to find the exact part of the webinar you need
  • Having the concepts already written allows you to take notes on how you’re going to use the ideas rather than transcribing the ideas
  • Some people simply learn better by reading than by listening or watching
  • You will be able to print out and share techniques presented in the session with your patients
Angela Lawrence

"I really liked being able to follow along with the transcripts as I was nice not to feel like I had to take notes. I really feel like I remember more when I both hear and see at the same time."

Mary Ellen McNaughton, Masters in Counseling, Psychology Counselor
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

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Register Here for Only $197

and get 9 videos, audios, transcripts, plus 4 bonuses
to help you work more effectively with a client’s anger

3 CE/CME Credits or Clock Hours are available for purchase at checkout.

*** Click HERE to get information about CE/CME credits and clock hours as well as speaker disclosures ***

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