Reply To: Week 3 Homework Assignment (Applications of MI)

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Melissa Ivey

Melissa Ivey

Question 1:

I enjoyed watching the videos. I thought overall the counselor was very effective.

The client appeared to arrive fairly committed to not drinking. For example in the first video at 8:30, he states “I have made this decision.“ “There is either drinking or not drinking.” Throughout the video, the counselor uses both simple reflection and complex reflection to help solidify the clients decision to stop drinking. He also provides the client with multiple options. In the first video at 2:15, the client appears to be taking steps to reach his goal of not drinking. He discusses the need to understand his options. At 3:33 he discusses the idea of going to church, and eventually at 5:35, he discusses talking to a friend about attending AA. In the second video, he continues with the change language and develops a specific plan of talking to his friend at work about AA, not attending functions that had alcohol present, disguise of the school with his wife, and within the alcohol from the house.

When looking at setting up goals, his goal appears to fit the SMART acronym. It is specific about not drinking. It is measurable. The client believes it is attainable. It is relevant and time-based.

Question 2:

My only concern was that the counselor appeared a little pushy. I would’ve probably given the client more time to explore his options and for him to develop the list of ideas and steps he was going to take instead of the counselors appearing to push the list upon him. In the beginning of the second video, I would have asked the client and reflected back on what he believed would be helpful and ways he could implement the changes. When he stated he needed to know his options, I might have asked him what he believed was available in his area and ways to find out what is available. When he discussed the guy from work, I might have used complex reflections to explore his comfort level talking to people at work about his drinking. I probably would have used complex reflections regarding the clients ambivalence about attending church verses putting it on him and adding it to the list of activities of things he would be attending.

Question 3:

In future I may spend more time brainstorming different options with my client. I like the idea of eliciting from my clients the options and steps they could take to reach their goals. I also like the idea of using the: on a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to implement each option. I believe it allows the client to build their confidence in their ability to take the necessary steps towards their goals.

I currently use the SMART goal set up. I have also discussed with my clients the benefits of using the acronym when it comes to establishing goals. Often times I will take their long-term goal and have them develop ways in the various steps they can take it to reach their goal. This is often part of the brainstorming activity.

Once a goal has been established, along with their objectives, I will work on reaffirming the commitment with my clients going forward. I will help the client summarize their change plan. I will also help them, through reflections, discuss their commitment and the perseverance they will be needed to reach their goal. I do plan on incorporating questions such as “is that what you intend to do?“ and on a scale of 1 to 10, what do you believe, or how likely, is it that you will take the next step. I will remember the idea that anything under 7 the goals may need to be changed so that they are more achievable. I will also spend more time exploring how confident my clients are in the possibility that they will be able to make the necessary changes to reach their goals and how I can help them succeed.