Complex equivalence connects two ideas that don’t belong together.
For example, if your client is too upset about an argument with her son, she might say, “I can’t believe I told him he was lazy, now he’ll be traumatized forever.”
You could respond by asking questions about the kind of stresses that he has survived, and how he was recovered from them, maybe even how they have helped to build his character.
You could discuss ways to get over the argument and build better agreements about his responsibilities and the consequences of good and bad behavior.
You could talk about how to create more consistent rules at home and how this benefits everyone. One of the best says to help with complex equivalence, is to supportively approach the issue from several factual and positive directions, as in the example above.