CIt could be substance dependence. Or maybe it’s because of depression. You are stuck in a quagmire. Still, I’m not sure I want to do anything about it. It’s ambiguity and we need to talk about motivational interviewing.
Readiness for change is not a characteristic of the subject but a result of interpersonal fluctuations.
Here at Chipur, we have explored various treatment and counseling approaches. And yes, let’s go for another one.
Motivational interviewing may not be featured often in cognitive behavioral therapy, but it’s a great approach when ambivalence rears its apathetic head.
Let’s see what we see…
What is ambivalence?
To understand motivational interviewing properly, we need to define ambivalence. According to the American Psychological Association…
- The simultaneous existence of contradictory emotions and attitudes toward the same person, thing, event, or situation, such as pleasure and displeasure, familiarity and hostility.
- Uncertainty or indecision regarding a course of action.
You don’t have to be a PhD or MD, but ambivalence can keep you from fulfilling your mission of emotional, mental, or physical recovery.
I mean, we can be hopelessly ill, but if we haven’t decided what to do about it, or even if we really want to do something about it, where is that hopelessly ill? I won’t go either.
Now let’s move on to motivational interviewing.
What is motivational interviewing?
Motivational interviewing (MI) is evidence based The approach to change was primarily developed by psychologist William R. Miller and Stephen Rolnick. Mr. Miller began his work in the early 1980s, and his efforts were based on working with problem drinkers.
MI is not limited to counseling/therapy, but can also be used in settings such as business and education. That’s why I prefer “subject” to “client” and “facilitator” to “counselor/therapist.”
Goals of MI include engaging subjects and facilitators, generating buzz about positive behavior change, and creating motivation to make the determined changes.
Given that motivation is so important, gaining insight into and resolving ambivalence is critical. And solutions are found by consciously and unconsciously weighing the pros and cons of changing versus staying the same.
When it comes to change efforts, being aware of the potential problems, consequences, and possible risks of the behavior in question goes a long way toward painting a realistic picture.
Rules for motivational interviews
Let’s take a look at what are called the rules of MI…
- Motivation for change comes from the individual and cannot be forced from outside forces.
- It is the subject’s job, not the facilitator’s, to clarify and resolve ambiguity.
- Direct persuasion is not an effective way to resolve ambivalence
- The session style is generally quiet and elicits information from the subject.
- The facilitator is directive in that he or she helps the subject examine and resolve ambivalence.
- Readiness for change is not a characteristic of the subject but a result of interpersonal fluctuations
- A helping relationship is similar to a partnership or companionship.
With that spirit in mind, I will approach the task at hand. Some highlights…
- The subject discovers their own interest in considering and/or making changes in their lives.
- Subjects express their desire to change in their own words
- Ambivalence towards change is openly discussed
- To facilitate change, a plan is developed that includes first steps.
- Bring out and strengthen “change talk”
- It is important to increase the subject’s confidence in taking action and to notice even small incremental changes
- Strengthen your commitment to change
So what do you think? Can you feel the power of MI?
For the record, MI is supported by hundreds of randomized clinical trials in a variety of target populations and behaviors. These include substance abuse, compulsive behaviors, health promoting behaviors, medical adherence, emotional/mental challenges, vocational rehabilitation, and criminal justice.
Change – it’s always your calling
Well, whether it’s drug addiction, depression, anxiety, or job dissatisfaction, you may be stuck in a quagmire of ambivalence. As a solution, you may want to consider motivational interviewing.
If you are considering attending counseling/therapy, determine if the facilitator is competent in motivational interviewing.
The same is true in a professional setting, but you may be referred to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
Conclusion: Do what you have to do. After all, change is always up to you.
There are many other articles about Chipur information and inspiration that inspired this article. Don’t be shy, just read the title.