It is no coincidence that the Change sign in the picture above is a yellow warning sign. Change is hard for many people. And taking on the learning of a new approach, like learning Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a considerable investment in time, energy and, let’s face it, ego. As a professional, we like to feel competent. When we learn a new skill, it takes time to get good at it and more time still to integrate it into your practice. Think about skiing: you can read everything about skiing, watch all the skiing videos, but if your skis aren’t on the snow, it will be very difficult to improve your skills.
And MI requires that the MI practitioner leaves behind the responsibility for the results (ahhhh!) and takes on the responsibility for the process (uh-oh!). MI is a client-centred, evidence-based communication approach that helps people who want to make a change, make it in the way that works best for them. The MI practitioner will learn how to evoke the client’s reasons to change (and not to change!) and how to explore the client’s past successes in a way that invites the client to see if those previously-successful strategies might work in this situation. And sometimes our sense of helplessness overwhelms us and out come the solutions. The client is, however, always in charge of the change objective and the method to make that change, in short, s/he is the expert on him/herself. So what about the practitioner? The practitioner is the expert on finding the client’s motivation to change and tickling it into life as well
as bringing his/her expertise in the content of the practitioner’s field and training.
Are you up for the challenge and relief of letting go of the results and getting deeper into the responsibility for a process that puts the client first, really, truly first in the intervention?
Join us for a basic workshop in Montreal, March 16-17 and renew your clinical skills! If you have already learned MI and want to go farther, consider our MITI 4.1 workshop, with John Brelsford on March 19-20.