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

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Robert Hussey

Question 1
What are your general reactions to these two video role plays of a counselor using MI strategies to help a client develop a change plan to stop drinking? Overall, how effective is the counselor’s use of MI in evoking Commitment, Activation, and Taking Steps change talk? How effective is the counselor’s use of MI to help the client develop a specific change plan? Be specific.
The client made the determination to stop drinking but needed assistance with strategies and resources. The counselor used open-ended questions, reflections to keep client engaged without becoming overbearing and confrontational. The conversation was receptive. Client admitted he might need some help since he could list strategies that could help but did not know how to implement. Client asked for info. Client was formulating a plan and realized that he needs more supports to help him reach and maintain his goal of not drinking alcohol. Possible supports including counseling, family, church, and AA meetings.

Question 2
What, if anything, would you have done differently if you were the counselor in this role play? Would you have used different MI strategies for change planning? Which ones? Why? Be specific. If you would have used the same MI strategies, how would you improve on what the counselor in the video did? Why? Be specific?
I would have allowed client to expand upon and own his solutions. Keep asking open-ended questions to keep the client talking and engaged. I would have provided info if client asked for the information first. Having the client form a plan and repeat the plan makes the plan seem more concrete and attenable. Creating action steps and clarifying with client: How will you know the step is completed?

Question 3
How do you or would you envision using some of the MI strategies for change planning discussed in this lesson in your own work with consumers/clients/patients?

I need to remember to get the client to talk about goals and plans without input from me unless client asks for information or feedback. The client will feel more empowered if the plan is seen as formulated and implemented by the client. The client might need the counselor as a sounding board just to talk out the goal and plan to get there. I need to work on timing the reflections. I need to remember to ask more questions such as: What will this look like? How do you know? What will this be tomorrow? What will this look like a week from today? Basically, getting the client to create checklists of accomplishments and supports.