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MOTIVATIONAL INTERVIEWING. The Art of Possibility in Conversation: Motivational Conversations 101 Presented by Dee-Dee Stout, MA, CADC-II; Member of MINT; Advisor/Trainer, ICCE for Lake County Health Services Lakeport, CA July 2010. Favorite Teacher/ Positively Influential Person.

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motivational interviewing


The Art of Possibility in Conversation: Motivational Conversations 101

Presented by Dee-Dee Stout, MA, CADC-II;

Member of MINT; Advisor/Trainer, ICCE

for Lake County Health Services

Lakeport, CA

July 2010

favorite teacher positively influential person

Favorite Teacher/Positively Influential Person

Teacher, clergy, parent, anyone!



Wednesday July 11, 2007

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persuasion remember this is not mi
Persuasion(remember: this is NOT MI)
  • Explain why your client should make this change
  • Give at least 3 specific benefits to them of making this change
  • Tell them how to change
  • Emphasize how important it is for them to change, and
  • Tell them to “Just Do It!”

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taste of mi the speaker
Taste of MI: The Speaker
  • Topic: Something about yourself you..
    • Want to change
    • Need to change
    • Should/ought to change
    • Have been thinking about changing…

But you haven’t done yet (ambivalence!)

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taste of mi the listener part 1
Taste of MI: The Listener, Part 1
  • Listen intently with the goal of understanding your speaker’s circumstance & ambivalence
  • Give no advice
  • Ask these 4 open questions:
    • Why would you want to make this change now?
    • How might you go about it, to be successful?
    • What are your 3 best reasons to make this change?
    • On a scale of 1-10 (1 is low & 10 is high), how important is it to make this change?
      • How come you’re a ____ & not a 1?

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taste of mi listener part 2
Taste of MI: Listener, Part 2
  • Give a short summary/reflection of the speaker’s motivations for change
    • Desire for change
    • Ability to change
    • Reasons for change
    • Need for change
  • Then ask: “So, what do you think you’ll do?” and just listen with interest

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so what did you think

So, what did you think?

Could you see MI helping you work smarter? Would you like to know more?

8 strategies to learning mi miller moyers 2007
*8 Strategies to Learning MI (Miller & Moyers, 2007)
  • Spirit
  • OARS & client-centered skills
  • Recognizing & Reinforcing Change Talk
  • Eliciting & Strengthening Change Talk
  • Rolling with Resistance
  • Developing a Change Plan
  • Consolidating client Commitment
  • Switching btn MI & other counseling methods

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my hope skills spirit strategies
My hope? Skills, Spirit, Strategies
  • Spirit
  • Change, Change Talk, & No Change Talk (resistance/defensiveness)
  • Skills & Strategies
    • OARS
    • Traps
    • Principles
  • Readiness
  • Directiveness: Complex Reflections!

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so how does mi work
So How Does MI Work?
  • MI activates a client’s own motivation for change & adherence to tx (we think!)
  • Clients exposed to MI v traditional tx are generally more likely to:
    • Enter tx & stay
    • Complete tx more
    • Participate in follow up appts
    • Decrease drug use

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Great! Me, too, so let’s back up a second & talk about change for a bit….

about change
About Change…
  • Occurs naturally & is similar with or without treatment
  • Likelihood strongly influenced by interactions (“dancing”)
  • Very brief (5 mins or less) interventions can trigger change talk & other positive change effects!

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  • Within treatment, most behavior change occurs in the first few sessions
  • Resist the “urge to right”– the “Righting Reflex” can be deadly (Cocoon Story?)

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the heroic client scott d miller phd
The Heroic ClientScott D. Miller, PhD
  • “We should be humbled in the presence of our clients for they are the heroes of their lives.”

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do you think it s easy to change

“Do you think it’s easy to change?

Alas, it is very hard to change and be different. It means passing through the waters of oblivion.”

DH Lawrence, “Change” (1971)

how we talk to folks can actually

How we talk to folks can actually….

increase or

decrease motivation & resistance!

defense mechanisms bill miller 2009
Defense Mechanisms (Bill Miller, 2009)
  • The idea of "defense mechanisms" takes behavior & turns it into a trait. There is no evidence that people w/addictions truly have different (e.g., more immature) defense mechanisms than other people do, when these are directly evaluated via personality assessment. [And] with [defense mechanisms], you can double them or halve them [simply] by changing counselor style. A fourfold shift in "denial" within a matter of minutes doesn't exactly suggest a stable trait.

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walk away skill 1 ask tell ask
Walk-Away Skill #1:Ask, Tell, Ask
  • Ask what the client knows about the topic
  • Tell theclient the information (chunklets please)
  • Ask what their response is to this information

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faith spirit rule
Faith & Spirit RULE
  • Resist the Righting Reflex
    • Righting for others leads to dependency
  • Understand your client's motivations
    • If time is short, try simply asking why your client wants to make a change & how they might go about it (instead of that they should)

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faith spirit rule22
Faith & Spirit RULE
  • Listen, listen, listen to clients
    • Hard to do well; definitely improves w/practice
  • Empower Them!
    • Those who talk about change – the how & why of change – are more likely to do it
    • Can’t give empowerment; can only get for oneself

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summary three things in human life are important

Summary: “Three things in human life are important:

The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” Henry James in Leon Edel’s Henry James: A Life

the spirit of mi
The Spirit of MI
  • Collaboration
  • Evocation
  • Autonomy
  • Perception
  • Curiosity
  • Ethics

MI treats resistance asthinking

NOT as pathology

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motivational interviewing is

Motivational Interviewing is…

“Love with a Goal”

Simple but not easy!

motivational interviewing is not
Motivational Interviewing IS NOT…
  • A technique but rather a collection of skills & strategies
  • Learned in a 1 or 2- day workshop (but that’s a good start!)
    • Practice makes better; coaching improves
  • Something you use all the time
    • Use w/ambivalence & target behavior only

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  • “Treat people as if they are who they can be and you help them to become who they’re capable of being.”

-----Johann Wolfgang von GOETHE

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summary our real job
Summary: Our ‘real’ job =
  • Listen, listen, listen
  • Enter the client/client’s world
  • Accept. Believe. Let Go!

No ‘plumbing’ practiced here!

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4 basic principles of mi
4 Basic Principles of MI
  • Express Empathy –“Fence-sitting is normal!”
  • Develop Discrepancy* –“Who do you want to be & what’s getting in your way?”
  • Avoid Argumentation/Roll with Resistance –“Turn into the Skid”
  • Support Self-Efficacy -“The Tinkerbelle Effect”
  • Ethics – Ask permission!

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6 traps to avoid
6 Traps to Avoid
  • Asking Questions
  • Being the Expert
  • Taking Sides/Arguing for Change
  • Labeling People
  • Focusing Too Soon
  • Getting Caught up in Blame/Responsibility
  • Being Attached to Specific Outcomes (other than the client's!)

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summary of key concepts
Summary of Key Concepts
  • Ambivalence =


  • Getting REAL
    • Respect
    • Empathy
    • Affirm and
    • Listen!
  • Develop Discrepancy = Behaviors v Values
  • Rolling with Resistance = Dancing or Wrestling?
  • Supporting Self-Efficacy = Whose recovery is this anyway?
  • Goals of Change = The client’s or mine/agency?

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30 or 60?



Reflections are the key…and Teflon!

you mean that

“You mean that…”

Thinking in Reflections


one thing i like about myself is
“One thing I like about myself is…”
  • Speaker: Discuss some quality you like about yourself or that is positive or quirky
  • Listener: Make your best guess re: what quality the speaker is describing to you by saying “You mean that …”
  • Speaker: Answer with “Yes” or “No”
  • Continue until you get a solid “Yes!”

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Everybody Loves Raymond


walk away skill 2 oars
Walk-Away Skill #2: OARS
  • Open-Ended Questions
  • Affirmations
  • Reflections
  • Summaries

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getting directional 8 ways to show we re listening options for responding to no change sustain talk
Getting Directional: 8 Ways to Show We’re Listening/ Options for Responding to No Change (Sustain)Talk
  • Simple reflection (parroting)
  • Amplified reflection (take it up a notch)
  • Double-sided reflection (on the one hand…)
  • Reframe (get a new pair of glasses)
  • Emphasize individual choice(who’s recovery is this anyway?)
  • Change Focus (hit a wall, turn left)
  • Agreement with a twist (reframe & reflect)
  • Come alongside (paradox)

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reflections examples
Reflections: Examples
  • Simple Reflection: lets the client know that you understand what they said
  • Complex Reflection: adds more substantial meaning - oomph; reflect the emotion & the content of what the client has been describing.

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simple complex
Simple & Complex:
  • Them: I’m not the one with the problem. If I don’t take my meds, it’s just because my kids need the money for food.
  • You: The real reason you don’t take your meds all the time has to do with problems getting your food stamps. (Simple)
  • You: You’re worried that this treatment isn’t really helping after all this effort. (Complex)

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resistance is a key to successful treatment if you can recognize it for what it is

Resistance is a key to successful treatment if you can recognize it for what it is:

An opportunity!

walk away skill 3 rwr

Walk Away Skill #3: RWR

Rolling with Resistance:

Instead of taking the bait, simply “roll” the conversation back to the client (Teflon)

Client: “So, what am I supposed to do now anyway?”

You: “This feels so hopeless, it’s really frightening.”

practicing oars

Practicing OARS

Round Robin

so what do we listen for

So what do we listen for?

How do we


timing ok so i m ready recognizing readiness to change
Timing: OK, so I’m Ready…Recognizing Readiness to Change
  • Acceptance
  • Feels finished
  • Resolve
  • Questions about change
  • Envisioning
  • Experimenting
  • Change Talk!

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darn cat the new language
DARN-CAT: The New Language
  • Desire (I want to change)
  • Ability (I can change)
  • Reasons (It’s important to change)
  • Need (I should change)=»
  • Commitment (intention, decision, readiness)
  • Activate (ready, prepared, willing)
  • Taking Steps

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more no change sustain talk resistance strategies
More No Change (Sustain) Talk & Resistance strategies
  • Summarize what the client has said and even how you think he might be feeling
  • Give him some freedom to decide what to talk about or where to go next in the conversation
  • Check with her to see if you’ve offended her; remind her you’re not going to push her to make changes she doesn’t want to make
  • Apologize. A simple, non-dramatic apology can really be helpful

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mi in a nutshell
MI in a Nutshell
  • Talk less than the client
  • Offer 2-3x more reflections (esp complex) than questions
  • Ask 2x more open than closed questions
  • Listen empathetically through (lots of) complex reflections

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keeping the spirit alive
Keeping the Spirit Alive
  • Collaboration v Confrontation (the old kind)
  • Evocation (eliciting) v Education (installing)
  • Autonomy (them) v Authority (us)

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bill miller 2000

“MI is a way of being with people & that way must be of love. It is love & profound respect that are the music in motivational interviewing, without which the words are empty.”

---Bill Miller, 2000

homework value cards sort

Homework: Value Cards Sort

Please sort through these cards to find your top 10 professional values (there are some blank ones to write in your own, too). Be prepared to discuss them tomorrow. Thanks!

end day 1 great work

End Day 1: Great work!!

Thanks all!