Posts Published by Tara MacGregor

Issue 45: ‘Thank YOU MI!’ Find out what your colleagues are thanking MI for in 2017

I’ve planned a fun edition this issue, the last for 2017. It’s all about saying thank you – such an important expression of this festive season. At the end of every MI 2 workshop, attendees are invited to write a thank you note to MI ‘as if they met MI in the street, like an old friend’. It is a playful way to round off the days learning and always heart warming. For this issue I have selected some letter highlights to affirm and encourage your own work towards continuing to develop in a client centred direction. I really hope you enjoy it.

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Issue 44: The Trap of using MI to ‘Fix’ our Clients

This Issue is taking time out from our current exploration of the methodology or ‘mind-set’ of Motivational Interviewing. Inspired by recent discussions with colleagues in Ireland, this editorial offers some thoughts about the ‘heart-set’ of MI. In particular our practice of acceptance of our client’s autonomy: why respecting this is vital and challenging and what it can feel like when we lose our way with embodying this attribute. I hope you find this month’s editorial supportive and thought provoking.

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#autonomy #spirit

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Issue 43: Referring on ‘in partnership’ when confidence building requires in depth work

Over recent issues (41 and 42) we have been exploring conversation options available to us within Motivational Interviewing when assisting clients expressing low confidence in their ability to change. In this issue we will be looking more closely at the challenge we may face if confidence building work is outside of our scope of practice. This may be particularly true when the behaviors our clients are trying to change are functional. In this challenge, our MI Spirit and framework can be a wonderful asset. Finding our client’s own reason for attending therapy through a respectful, values based conversation can help a sometimes risky discussion flow with empathy and connection. Read on for more about understating functional behaviours in a super soundtrack for this month.

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Issue 42: One Way to Build Confidence to Change from within your Client

Motivational Interviewing invites us as practitioners to have a deep belief in our client’s capacity to do well in their lives, if they so choose. In MI the therapist will put this belief into action and to go looking, with the client, for their resources and beliefs that would be an asset for the difficult task of behaviour change. This aspect of MI practice is highly relevant to our current exploration of the importance of confidence in our client’s ability to change and the role we play as practitioners in optimising its development. Last Issue 41 we took a look at skillful conversational options available to us when a client expresses low confidence in their ability to change. In this issue, I will be introducing a beautiful practice written by Bill Miller which you may find useful when helping your clients to develop confidence in their own ability to get some traction with important self-care behaviours.

Read on for more….

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Issue 41: What if your Client is Not Confident about Change?

If you have been reading in sequence from Issue 39 you will be familiar with the skill of using scaling questions in MI to identify our clients’ own thoughts about the importance of change in their lives and confidence for making that change. In Issue 40 we focused particularly on working with low importance for change. The challenge this issue’s editorial will feature is: how do we work effectively with our client who believes strongly it is important to change but they are held back by a lack of confidence? Read on to explore some ideas of what MI might encourage us to do (and NOT do!) when this challenging scenario presents.

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#confidence #scaling questions

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Issue 40: What to do when change is NOT important to your client

In this issue we will be extending on our exploration of Scaling Questions introduced last newsletter. These questions can be powerful invitations for our clients to connect more clearly to why change matters to them and where they are in the change process. So here’s a wrinkle: what happens when our clients share with us that change is NOT that important to them? Read on to explore some ideas of what MI might encourage us to do (and NOT do!) when this challenging scenario presents.

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Issue 39: How to ‘Thicken the Story for Change’ with Scaling Questions

Regular readers will be following the thread of discussions on the Evoking process of Motivational Interviewing over the past few newsletters. In this editorial I am going to be featuring a style of open questioning featuring ‘change rulers’ which can be powerful invitations for our clients to connect more clearly to why change matters to them and where they are in the change process.

These questions, also referred to as Scaling Questions, are particularly oriented towards evoking from the client their own perspective on the importance of change and their confidence for making change. They can be powerful questions for evoking more change talk from the client. They can also serve as excellent indicators of where the client is at in their change process to enable us to ‘dance in sync’ with their stage of change.

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Issue 38: What Do You Say When a Client Just Wants To Be ‘Told What To Do’?

What a challenge this common conundrum is – when a client insists that you ‘just tell me what to do!’. When it comes to engaging in a sound Evoking process – this is a surefire derailment.

Given the evidence is clear about the unhelpfulness of advising ambivalent clients, how do we skilfully reply?

In this issue we will be spending some time exploring how Motivational Interviewing may encourage us to respond to this request in a manner most likely to open a more fruitful discussion for our client’s benefit.

Read on to colour in some context to this question, learn about when giving information is good work and what we might do when it is NOT such good work.

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Issue 37: When a Client ‘Won’t Change’ – Are You Getting What You Ask For?

February’s Issue 36 introduced the concept of ‘change language’ and the first steps in working with this important aspect of dialogue with clients. Readers were encouraged to start by simply identifying Change Talk in their client’s speech and to simply reflect it and ask for elaboration. This vital aspect of client perspective is at the core of the third process of Motivational Interviewing: Evoking. In this issue we will be exploring more about getting Change Talk alive and kicking in session. It is so obvious it seems too simple……..just ASK FOR IT!

If you are feeling stuck with a client who is clinging to the status quo in their dialogue with you – it may prove fruitful to have a look at what you are asking for.

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Issue 36: Listen Up! Your Client is Talking About Change

In January’s Issue 35 we explored the Righting Reflex – the part of us that wants ‘good things’ for our client and the paradoxical impact this desire may have on promoting unhelpful behaviours for our ambivalent clients.

We can manage our Righting Reflex by many skillful means. One such means is being able to attend to the ‘change language’ of our client. In this issue we are going to take a toe dip into what we mean by change language to equip you with some starting points if you are practising implementing MI into your counselling skill repertoire. Read on for more…

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