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

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Michael Bean

Michael Bean

Question 1:The client is certainly not ambivalent about trying to be sober but the catalyst may have been his wife requesting that he get help. The client is not resistant at all and the counselor does a good job at identifying tools that others have found helpful in early sobriety.

The client is clear that he would not consider an in-patient program but he appeared committed to outpatient therapy, AA, avoiding situations where people drink, and engaging in social situations where alcohol is not available like church and dancing with friends.

The client appears to have an outgoing personality and and a self-deprecating sense of humor. There was mutual laughter during the sessions but things didn’t devolve into silliness and focus was maintained. The counselor was skilled and knowledgeable about the recovery community and levels of care and the client committed to clinical services, AA and making better social choices.

The counselor was quite skilled in MI while also informing the client of several tools for recovery that may be available to the client. By laying out the information and allowing the client to reject certain aspects, like in patient treatment the client was in control of their change plan.

Question 2: The client’s initial goal of taking a look at his drinking allowed the counselor to use MI to explore the client’s willingness to make a commitment to sobriety. The counselor discussed levels of care including inpatient, IOP and outpatient, while also discussing AA. Also, the counselor also discussed specific social events where the client admitted that they would be at high risk of relapse and others which would be low risk.

The client appeared to be outgoing and gregarious and the counselor came across as quite friendly and open. Discussing a matter as serious as initial sobriety can be stressful for both parties but the counselor kept it light and seemed to have a good sense of humor, as did the client.

Overall, I thought the counselor was effective in using MI and I wouldn’t change much. Not sure if I would have discussed the “God” aspect of AA unless the client brought up concerns about God and the higher power part. Counselor seemed to offer that information unprompted.

Question 3: What I have learned in this class is that I use MI quite regularly in my practice but in other cases I blow through MI strategies and do the work in a manner which is solution focused. My MI, like the counselor in the video, is informing the client of the options available to them to allow them to make good decisions when they are ready for change planning. Overall, I am learning a lot and will be reflecting on how I can better integrate MI techniques in my practice.