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

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Olivia Hamlin

Question 1
After watching both videos of Sal responding to the two different styles of MI, I was able to draw conclusions that will benefit my future work with MI. Initially, Sal came into both meetings seemingly willing to work with a clinician and hoping to process new health information. I grew more disappointed in the first video, as Sal was shut down for not reading enough information and his progress and vulnerability went unrecognized. Sal responds much better in the second video, as he is given autonomy over the conversation. Sal is able to direct the conversation more and list his concerns. This is a complex situation for him, and is tied to many emotions with his family, child and dog. Sal ultimately responds well when his efforts to improve his health are recognized, he feels heard with accurate empathy and is given the ability to make his own choices, with support.

Question 2
Behavior: Spending too much time on social media.

1. I enjoy keeping up with friends from different places and life stages.
2. It helps me decompress after a long work day or allows a distraction when I am overwhelmed.
3. I like to wake up and fall asleep to something that provides news, updates and often helpful or funny content.

Other Side:
1. Social media gives a limited and unrealistic view of people’s lives and takes time away that could be spent engaging more meaningfully with people I care about.
2. Social media is a distraction that does not always lead to mindfulness or long term stress relief.
3. News and content is very filtered by social media and often lacks depth.

1. You mentioned that you value keeping up with people that you don’t see everyday, but don’t feel that the time spent on social media leads to deeper connections or accuracy about someone’s life.
2. You describe feeling overwhelmed and using social media as a way to take a break, but you also recognize that it does not always have the benefits for reducing stress that you are seeking.
3. You like to have information all in one place, but also wonder if it is the best way to receive updates.

This exercise was helpful both for myself and for allowing more concrete ways to practice MI with clients. This helps to simplify the concept of ambivalence, while also allowing for accurate empathy. I felt that I have a deeper understanding for myself of why I use social media, but also how it does not always work to help meet my goals.

Question 3

1. I want to use hard drugs less.
2. I want the school to stop getting me in trouble.
3. I want to get a license.

1. To work with the client on developing goals that engage with harm reduction and work to resolve ambivalent thoughts slowly and in small steps.
2. To work with the client to identify the how and what of the problems at school, instead of the why.
3. To break down the steps of getting a license with the client.

This exercise was so interesting! I feel that I instantly want to jump to the “righting reflex” and to simply tell the client how they can meet their goals. Although my intent is honest, this does not foster their autonomy and more so creates more conflict in our time working together. I think adding parts to our already existing plan will help to enhance the agenda setting and offer the client more say in how the time is spent. Instead of me deciding what we do and talk about in our sessions, it can be more beneficial to have the client choose their topic.