Reply To: Week 1 Homework Assignment (Applications of MI)

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Caj MacDonald

Question 1
I felt physically uncomfortable watching the vignette with the confrontational interviewing style. Sal is defending himself throughout the interview and his frustration builds as a result. He initially expresses confusion about why now his pet would be negatively impacting his asthma, but there is no opportunity to pursue this. The therapist jumps to discussing putting his pet up for adoption which increases the disconnect. I also feel the therapist shames Sal about not having read the informational brochures never inquiring into what may have prevented him from doing so. This vignette felt more like a parent berating a child rather than a therapist counseling a client. The interview in the Spirit of MI is much easier to watch and the conversation flows more smoothly. From the opening line Sal’s agenda is acknowledged. Sal is given the opportunity to talk about his confusion, sadness and hopes (for son to grow up with the dog). This non confrontational interview is more likely to lead to change because it allows Sal to explore his various experiences/history, changes he has been making (and receive affirmations for) and also self identify what he would look for to indicate a change is necessary.

Question 2
I feel ambivalent about exercising (walking) on very cold and windy days. I dislike being cold and having to bundle up isn’t always comfortable. My exercise routine is important to me and I feel better when I exercise daily. Caj, on one hand exercising on cold days can be physically uncomfortable and having to bundle up adds another layer of challenge. On the other hand your daily exercise routine is important to you and you feel better when you exercise. This activity is helpful as it allows me to acknowledge the challenge (the cold weather and bulky outfits) while also reminding me of why exercise is important to me (my mental health). If I only focus on the negative or the obstacles to something I am unlikely to make much progress. When I remind myself of the rewards for doing a specific behavior it helps me get up off the couch, grab my jacket and get walking!

Question 3
Three possible consumer based target behaviors may be discussing increasing irritability with others, wanting to have fewer detentions/school consequences and wanting to pass classes. Three target behaviors on my agenda include talking about possible depression, exploring challenges impacting consistent attendance including sleep routine/self care and impact of substance use on mood, focus and productivity. The righting reflex is around the role of substance use in the student’s life including connection to mood, subsequent consequences and academic challenges. In regards to setting the agenda I might acknowledge the student’s personal goal of graduating on time (with peers) and ask what they would like to talk about in regards to reaching that goal.