Friday, May 19, 2017

Congratulations to Professor Kate Watson on her most recent accomplishment!

I am proud to announce that Professor Kate Watson has written and published a chapter for the SAGE Encyclopedia of Clinical and Abnormal Psychology. Along with her co-author, Scott Glassman, Professor Watson contributed a piece about Motivational Interviewing, an internationally-recognized counseling technique which emphasizes evidence-base strategies for helping people change their habits. Although Motivational Interviewing is a set of skills commonly utilized by social workers, psychologists, physicians and nurses, this technique is gaining traction among correctional officers, probation officers, police officers, and victim advocates. These skills can be useful for anyone who is aiming to help others behave in healthy ways, make good decisions, or live a happy life.

Do you know someone who is battling a bad habit, or who struggles to make changes? Communicating with that person in a MI-consistent manner is likely to uncover their intrinsic motivations to improve their behaviors. The key is: you have to help the person make their own arguments in favor of change, rather than asking him or her to explain reasons not to change.

Here is an example: Rather than asking, “Why do you think you struggle so much to quit smoking?” you might ask a person, “What do you think you stand to gain, if you quit smoking?” Motivational Interviewing emphasizes that a person must be motivated by their own intrinsic values to resolve uncertainty about changing habits. Using skills like open ended questions, reflective listening, and affirmative statements, people who use Motivational Interviewing are likely to find that their clients, patients, students, or loved-ones are more likely to feel motivated to make changes in their lives (quitting smoking, studying harder, paying down debt, eating healthy foods, taking medication, etc.).

Professor Watson has grown her own skills in Motivational Interviewing by participating in the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). Every year, she meets with MI practitioners from all around the world at an annual forum. If you are interested in learning more about Motivational Interviewing, I encourage you to visit www.motivationalinterviewing.org.

Please join me in congratulating Professor Watson on her accomplishments!