A natural tendency of many animals, including humans, is to accelerate their internal processes when facing a challenge. Whether it is a physical danger, a stress arising from sparcity of time, or some kind of social pressure or threat, we will generally tend to start thinking, deciding and moving faster than usual. In complex relationships (and most modern relationships are complex) this is often detrimental for the structure within which we operate with others, and leads to deleterious outcomes in specific situations. Thus, it is an important part of psychotherapy to develop in the clients (and in the therapists) the capacity for informed and strategic inaction. Where accelerated action as a natural response might worsen the perceived impasse or crisis, inaction tends to be a better response, at least until more information is available and all parties to a social structure have been able to evaluate their relationship.
Learning strategic inaction, however, requires considerable philosophical content in the therapy sessions. It is a demanding process of acquiring a capacity that goes against the natural impulses to act in the face of adversity. The skill is a part of training of members of high stress professions, such as pilots, who are taught never to act on first impulse when en in flight emergency occurs. Many are able to implement this skill in their everyday lives, and notice the benefits of doing so where most other people, including their family members, find it virtually impossible to resist the urge to act.
One of the crucial elements of training in strategic inaction is the development of a particular philosophy of life, where the relationship with the therapist is key. Through this relationship, which offers a support structure to the client, one is able to gradually learn that inaction is often the most potent way of responding to challenges.