Focus on exploring past or present successful behavior change with the client/patient who is expressing self-defeat.

TAP the examples below to see what you can say in response.

Client: I've tried it before and it didn't work. I just can't do it.

Try: Tell me about the time you tried before.

OR: You've been very successful at... [e.g., maintaining employment, losing weight, taking medicines, keeping follow-up visits]. Tell me what worked for you.
Client: This is not going to work for me.

Try: You don't think quitting would work for you now. If you'd ever like to talk about available options, I would be happy to meet with you.

OR: I'm available to talk with you at our next appointment. We have a program that you might find helpful that is recommended by doctors, nurses and social workers.