A skillful guide using Motivational Interviewing will start a session by engaging the client in a conversation about where he or she would like to go with the conversation and which topics are a priority. Set the table with a number of options and then evaluate (in collaboration with the client) which topics are priorities.
- Below are some MI-consistent ways to engage a consumer in an initial conversation about his/her concerns:
- Here are some topics we might talk about for a few minutes
- They are all things that can be related to your health/mental health
- I wonder if there is one of these you might like to talk about as an area where you are concerned or could improve your health/mental health
- Or perhaps there is another topic you’d rather discuss in the time we have(?)
- Use a visual tool (see below) to offer a menu of possible options and make sure to leave one or two blank for the consumer to fill in.
- Then prioritize the list to see what is on top of the consumer’s agenda and begin there.
Source: Miller and Rollnick, 2010
Engaging the Consumer and Following Her Agenda Video
Here is a 5-minute video of an MI interview with a young women who is exploring her drinking. The video demonstrates a less systematic way of inviting the consumer to set the agenda and also demonstrates how reflective listening (the “R” in OARS) engages the consumer in a non-confrontational exploration of her drinking.
This completes our first class lesson.
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