The confrontational style triggered resistance in Sal. He automatically took the opposite side. “I’ve had the dog for 12 years with no issues. Why is it a big problem now? His experience was not honored or validates as it was in the spirit on MI interview where it was acknowledged that it hasn’t been a problem so far and, if he makes other changes, it may not be, but to be open that it may be in the future. Sal took a closer look of the importance of taking his medication as prescribed and the potential impact it would have on his child.
The behavior is taking a 1 hour walk in the state park at least 5 days per week. Walking is a great way to maintain my overall health. Walking makes me feel so good that I don’t know when to stop. When I walk for more than 1 hour, it usually makes my back hurt for the rest of the day. When I walk for one hour or less, I still feel good and my back rarely hurts. If I walk for ½ hour, meditate for 15 minutes and then walk for another 1/2 hour, I feel great on all levels and rarely experience any discomfort. Excessive walking contributes to physical discomfort, but not walking at all contributes to spiritual, emotional and physical discomfort. It got me to think about different ways to look at taking a walk in the woods. I realized that if I took a break (to meditate) in the middle of the walk, it would help to at least minimize feelings of physical discomfort, if not eliminate it completely, and I still achieve the spiritual, mental and physical benefits.
Discussed behaviors for Clients often include stopping or moderating drinking / drugging, taking care of physical health (eating, medication, physical activities), Behaviors that result in legal issues such as selling drugs, and relationships issues such as domestic violence or non-payment of support..
Behaviors on my list can include abstaining from mood altering substances, peer support participation, not smoking, maintaining spirituality, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet, and abstaining from tobacco use.
My partiality to abstaining from ETOH et al could conflict with a client who is trying to cut down intake as an alternative to abstinence or using MAT as a harm reduction method. My choice of abstinence from tobacco could conflict with a client’s wish to cut down. The other lifestyle choices can also conflict with a client’s choice to initially reduce the occurrence of the behavior instead of stopping entirely. I may be inclined to right the clients thinking by insistence that my agenda or preferences is the only way success can be achieved with past consequences of behaviors such as overeating, alcohol/drug abuse or domestic and legal issues. I may be swayed to offer unsolicited advice such as attendance in peer-support groups, IOP’s, psychotherapy, or inpatient treatment. This could ultimately produce resistance in the client resulting in little or no progress for him/her.
My best course would be to listen to the client articulate his or her needs and what they think is the best course of action particular to their situation. If I wish to give advice, I should ask permission first.