Threat

People experience threat when they perceive that the stability of their basic constructs is likely to be shaken. Kelly (1955) defined tlneat as "the awareness of imminent comprehensive change in one's core structures" (p. 489). One can be threatened by either people or events, and sometimes the two cannot be separated. For example, during psychotherapy, clients often feel tlneat from the prospect of change, even change for the better. If they see a therapist as a possible histigator of change, they will view that therapist as a tlneat. Clients frequently resist change and construe then therapist's behavior in a negative fashion. Such resistance and "negative trans ference" are means of reducing threat and maintaining existing personal constructs (Stojnov & Butt, 2002).

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