Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Debbiesiu Lee

Second Committee Member

Scotney Evans

Third Committee Member

Elizabeth Harry

Fourth Committee Member

Lissette Perez-Lima


This grounded theory analysis explored the perspectives of court-mandated psychological service providers to generate new theoretical explanations regarding the cultural and contextual influences on the resistance this clinical population often demonstrates towards their treatment. The study was conducted across multiple mental health care facilities across South Florida. A total of 9 local clinicians participated in interviews and provided feedback on the iterative analysis employed by the current investigation. The ultimate outcomes of the study entailed the co-construction of three major themes and sixteen categories outlining the most salient issues representing how clinicians understand and address resistance in the local context. Themes conceptualizing the phenomenon identified 1) a spectrum of resistance and the treatment process, 2) the vulnerability and disempowerment underlying clients’ resistance, and 3) methods of successfully addressing resistance. Based on participant perspectives, a sociocultural and contextual paradigm for conceptualizing resistance is posited along with implications regarding clinical practice and considerations for future research.


counseling; resistance; forensic; mandated treatment; grounded theory