Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What can motivational interviewing do for you?

By Kate Watson

On April 23, I will be presenting a two-day workshop at The College focusing on motivational interviewing. Motivational interviewing is a communication style developed by clinical psychologists that, when used correctly, may allow you to help make positive changes in others’ behavior.

What is motivational interviewing?
In short, motivational interviewing is a particular type of conversation about behavioral change. The goal of motivational interviewing is to spark and execute a collaborative discussion that spurs the other person's motivation to alter a certain behavior. It’s designed to increase the likelihood of behavioral change by eliciting and using the person’s desire to change for their own reasons.

Let’s go to an example: If you are hoping to help a friend stop smoking, you might use motivational interviewing. Over the course of the conversation, you might ask the friend to share some reasons that he or she may consider quitting smoking. This could include some of the ways that smoking has negatively impacted his or her life, or some of the strategies that he or she may consider using to fight the urge to smoke. You would be, essentially, helping your friend to talk themselves into changing the behavior for their own meaningful reasons.

Many people are familiar with traditional interventions from the media. Traditional interventions are defined by confrontation, a tactic that many motivational interviewing experts know through decades of research that clients are unlikely to respond positively to. Rather, motivational interviewing calls for a compassionate conversation with someone that isn't threatening or judgmental.

How will I use it? 

I mentioned above that motivational interviewing can be used in everyday life, in work, school, and social settings. In fact, everyone in the Peirce community can elicit positive responses and changes from those around them by honing this skill. Here are some scenarios that demonstrate how you can use motivational interviewing as a student, professional, and community member.

  • As a professional. As a professor here in the College’s Healthcare administration program, I can identify several examples where a healthcare administrator can benefit from knowing about motivational interviewing. In my studies, I have seen that medical staff who use the concept have patients with a higher rate of successful treatment. Administrators may be in the position of providing motivational interviewing training for clinical staff as a method of improving health outcomes.  
  • As a patient. Once you are well-versed in motivational interviewing, you might even be surprised to find when it is being used by someone else to elicit change within yourself! Has your own health care provider asked you to define your own reasons to make a change? Perhaps your dentist asked you to state the reasons that flossing is good for you. Maybe your primary care physician asked you to list the reasons to take your blood pressure medication. When that happens, you’ll know that your provider is utilizing this technique with hopes of respecting your autonomy.

What are the benefits of knowing motivational interviewing? 
To prepare you to use motivational interviewing skills in your life, we have designed a workshop where you will be able to participate in role play to practice these skills with others, and vice-versa. You’ll practice open-ended questioning, reflective listening, and build a repertoire of affirmations to help your subject build their confidence. More benefits include:

  • An understanding of the challenges of changing a behavior 
  • Learning about the theories behind behavior change, particularly the stages of the change theory
  • Building listening skills, and how to use them to better understand when someone is trying to explain what’s challenging for them about changing behavior
  • Knowing how to handle and work with “resistant” subjects with compassion and respect

Where can you sign up?

The workshop will be held April 23 and 24, from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. in room 51 in College Hall.

MEET THE AUTHOR: Kate Watson is an
Assistant Professor at Peirce and a Motivational
Interviewing expert
Peirce students and alumni can take advantage of a discounted registration fee of $45. Normal registration is $160 before April 11, or $240 after April 11. A group rate is offered for $125 for groups within the same organization with 10 or more participants.

To register, visit www.peircemotivationalinterviewing.com, and contact Tara Gilman at TMGilmartin@peirce.edu for more information.

Who am I?
I am an Assistant Professor of Healthcare Administration, and teach courses in public and community health, health policy, and healthcare delivery in the U.S.

In addition to my work at Peirce, I also work part-time as a Motivational Enhancement Therapist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, and am a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers.

Furthermore, I am currently studying health policy at Drexel University and work as a Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Weight Management Specialist.

I look forward to seeing you at our workshop!