Online workshop: Working with Clients Who are Compulsively Nice – Tue 25 Jan 2022

When overly nice people face challenges in their lives, they can sometimes go into an overdrive of niceness in order to maintain feeling Ok about themselves, others and the world. However, instead of helping, such a policy can lead to all sorts of negative effects: depression, anxiety, outbursts of anger, etc.

This workshop looks at some ways of working with overly nice clients including the use of provocative (and “not nice”) language in the therapy room, words such as “brash”, “edgy”, or “forceful”. How can such words be used, in an OK way, to challenge and disrupt an “excess of niceness in a constructive way.

We will also acknowledge the ways in which the meaning of “niceness”, “brash”, “edgy”, “forceful”, etc. can be different for men and for women, for those with more power and those with less. Some of this difference is due to cultural stories that swirl around us – both old and new – of what it is to be a good and kind woman or a good and kind man. While many “new” cultural stories aim to empower – for example, we often think we are more progressive than our parents’ generation – they can also oppress.

In the workshop participants will:

  • hear about two case studies (one man, and one woman) where the client was able to find their edge and take a stand against an “excess of niceness”
  • examine how cultural stories about “niceness” (and kindness, and compassion) can both empower (be used as tools) as well as oppress (be used as weapons). We’ll also ask about the stories that shape different therapy cultures, i.e. ask if/when/how therapists’ risk being caught up in an “excess of niceness”.
  • explore the use of “pokey interventions” – interventions that are definitely not “nice”, are definitely risky, but can be effective in working with “nice” people
  • discuss how ideas/methods, such as Non-Violent Communication (a “nice” way to communicate) can sometimes be weapons and not tools
  • touch on some connections between “niceness” and “brashness” and the theoretical ideas of “shadow” (from Jung)

This 2-hour workshop will be recorded and you can use the ticket function to pre-purchase the recording before the event. This will be useful for colleagues who are not able to attend the event live and also for those who attend the event live and want to watch again.

This workshop will be hosted on the Zoom meeting platform where we will use our camera and microphones to interact with each other as a group.

To support practitioners in this time of extraordinary circumstances we are offering access to this group for a self-select fee.

The self-select fee is a radical inclusion policy to open learning for all colleagues. The guide price for this event is £20.00, however, we appreciate that income varies greatly in different locations and circumstances. Please contribute what you can to help us maintain inclusive professional training.