Guiding Therapeutic Change with a Client-Centered Approach to Transforming Ambivalence
“Digging for Treasure - Together”
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an evidence-based practice in the treatment of substance use disorders and supports many other types of behavioral change as well. MI focuses on exploring and resolving therapeutic ambivalence by engaging motivational processes within the client that facilitate change. By looking at the change process that clients are embarking upon as one that has both positive and negative attributes worthy of thoughtful investigation and nonjudgmental understanding, the MI approach has the tendency to dispel power struggles between therapist and client and dissolve notions such as "resistance" and "non-compliance."
Motivational Interviewing differs from more externally-motivated therapeutic methods in that it does not impose change on clients from the outside, but rather supports self-initiated change from the client in ways that are congruent with the client's own values and concerns. Motivational Interviewing therefore aligns with many of the concepts and techniques from humanistic psychology familiar to mental health professionals in that it assumes people are oriented toward growth and are doing the best they can with their current resources. Motivational Interviewing is a little bit different from the typical humanistic approach, however, in that it also helps to highlight discrepancies between what clients want and what clients are doing. In this way, Motivational Interviewing is more like a "client-centered, but therapist-directed" approach to therapeutic change.
Because only about 10-15% of the people who are wanting to make a change in their lives are actually at a place where they are ready, willing, and able to make those changes, it is crucial for mental health professionals to have an understanding of what the change process looks like, how to assess clients for their stage of change, and determine the therapeutic skills and interventions that are most effective - and even necessary - at each of the different stages of change. Motivational Interviewing provide just such a framework and therefore significantly increases the chances of making a positive impact on the other 85-90% of individuals who involved in the change process.
Participants in this experiential training learn the following:
This 15-hour training is for counseling psychology graduate students and post-graduate mental health professionals who are interested in learning more about the process of therapeutic change, how to align with their clients during this process, and the repertoire of skills needed to effectively work with clients along the change continuum.
Ryan Kennedy, LAC, LMFT, LPC, RN, CACIII, CGP, DBTC, ACS, is the Executive and Training Director at Noeticus Counseling Center and Training Institute and an Approved Clinical Supervisor with the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) affiliate, the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE). He has been a psychotherapist since 1993 and a counselor educator and clinical supervisor since 1996, serving as core faculty at Naropa University in the Graduate School of Psychology and as adjunct faculty at the University of Colorado Denver, Prescott College, and Front Range Community College. Ryan’s clinical training is in the areas of trauma and dissociative disorders, chronic and persistent mental illness, psychiatric nursing and psychopharmacology, addictions and recovery, domestic/family violence, and living with life-threatening illnesses. He was introduced to the tools and techniques of Motivational Interviewing in the mid 1990s and has been using and teaching this material since then.
This training draws from the text, Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change (3rd Edition) by William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick. Training participants are encouraged to read the book prior to the training and to bring it with them as a resource during the training. The book is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Motivational-Interviewing-Helping-People-Applications/dp/1609182278
Noeticus Counseling Center and Training Institute® is a community-based, not-for-profit group counseling practice and professional training organization based in Denver, Colorado. Our mission is to provide innovative, effective, and affordable counseling and educational services to a broad range of individuals, couples, and families living within the greater Denver/Boulder community. We are also committed to offering basic and advanced training opportunities to graduate students and mental health professionals both locally and across the country. We especially value doing this through collaborative and engaging community partnerships or affiliations with other like-minded individuals, organizations, agencies, institutions, universities, and foundations. For more information, we can be reached at: www.noeticus.org
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