Continuing with Pavestones’ end of year tradition, I am sharing a selection of this year’s ‘Thank you Notes to MI’. These thank you notes are written at the end of the MI 2 workshop by each attendee, who are invited to imagine that they bump into MI in the street, like a favourite old teacher: ‘What might you say?’ The notes are then randomly shared amongst the class. It’s a great way to wrap up a couple of days playing with MI and the process is always a joy for me to participate in as a trainer. I hope you enjoy this selection and be inspired to keep up your MI, whatever your stage of skill development!
I recently received a link, from a MINT colleague, to a reading of the children’s book The Rabbit Listened by: Cori Doerrfeld (2018 Penguin Putnam Inc). This sweet, simple story highlights so many of the ways that listening punches way above its weight in its ability to truly assist when meeting with someone experiencing struggles. You can access a link to the story in this editorial and observe what resonates with you about the power of this vital skill. I’ll offer some thoughts as well for your reflection.
In this Issue, I am very excited to be offering a video recording of a lecture by MI co-founder Prof Steve Rollnick recorded in Cape Town South Africa this March. This presentation was hosted by the South Africa HIV Addiction Technology Transfer Centre (ATTC) and explores the clinical applicability of Motivational Interviewing (MI) in various contexts ranging from harmful substance use, ARV adherence and mental health. In this presentation Steve tries to answer the perennial question for all of us involved in the work of assisting others to be their best version of themselves: ‘What does helpfulness really look like?’.
Prof Rollnick is Honorary Distinguished Professor in the Cochrane Institute of Primary Care and Public Health, School of Medicine, Cardiff University. I would like to express my gratitude to Steve for confirming permission to share this wonderful learning opportunity with you all.
To tune in to Steve’s wisdom click through to this issue below.
This Autumn issue features content from guest contributor and dear colleague Molly Kellogg LCSW CEDRD. Molly is a Psychotherapist, Certified Eating Disorder RD and a MINT member based in Philadelphia USA. In this article, Molly explores the challenge of staying on topic with clients. Whilst Molly’s focus is on assisting nutrition therapists with this task, this challenge is raised as a universal issue across disciplines in my MI workshops and so I highly recommend a read, no matter your scope of practice. Staying on topic with clients can be appreciated from many different angles and this article provides an excellent exploration of the possibilities for skillful practice.
At the close of every MI 2 workshop attendees are asked to write a ‘thank you note’ to MI, as if they had just met MI in the street, like a favourite old teacher. I have collected over 120 notes again this year again and have featured in this issue, some of the most impactful letters of gratitude. This editorial was so well received in the end of year issue for 2017, I thought I’d make this a new Pavestone tradition. I hope you find the sentiments expressed inspiring and encouraging of your growing MI practice.
The interest in MI as a central (not ‘specialist’ or ‘fringe’) skill for health practitioners is growing fast. I was recently approached by Allied Magazine to pen a brief article on MI in progressive allied health practice. What evolved from this invitation is reproduced and extended in this issue featuring Five Pearls for you MI practice. I do hope you find it a supportive recap of many of the explorations in your MI learning so far, or a stimulating intro for those of you coming along new to these concepts.
In this issue I am extending on the beautiful Parker Palmer poem shared in Issue 48. If you missed it or would like a refresh you can take a peep in the blog listing below. In this ‘poem’ Palmer encourages us to work with presence rather than intervention, to be truly helpful when someone is stuck or struggling. This encouragement is deeply resonant with the spirit of MI and in this issue I thought it may be useful to bring this encouragement to life and offer a sample of what this may actually sound like in session with a client. This sample dialogue feature a practitioner working within the HAES ® approach to health. Read on for more…….
#active listening #haes #oars
For this issue of Practice Pavestones I am sharing a beautiful piece of writing from activist, author and teacher Parker Palmer, for our reflective practice. Palmer invites us to consider the option of ‘letting go’ as practitioners when we may typically experience the urge to grasp tightly and push for more in search of an outcome for the clients we work with. I do hope you enjoy it.
#autonomy #listen #presence
When working in an MI framework we are actively steering a conversation towards the strengthening of a client’s own motivations for change …..from within them. Rather than instilling motivation via our knowledge and enthusiasm, we are evoking it or drawing it out of the client. One way we can do this is by listening for and responding to change talk. In recent issues we have looked at responding to change talk by inviting our clients to ‘say more please’ by elaborating or giving examples (more in Issue 46). This issue will feature a quick look at responding to change talk by affirming it. When practicing affirming, rather than looking for problems and finding solutions we are ‘looking for the good’ and handing it back to the client – after all it is their resource!
#afformations #change talk #oars
An expression amongst MI practitioners, that some of you may have heard at a Pavestone training, goes something like this: ‘When you hear change talk don’t just sit there! DO SOMETHING!’. This is an evidence informed call to action for the practitioner. How WE respond to what we hear our clients say about change directly influences the appearance of more change talk, the strength of it and what a client may then do after session in the direction of change. It is amazing how often we miss opportunities to dig deeper and draw forth from the client. In this issue I will be introducing a fine tuning of the elaborative ‘tell me more’ question: asking your client for examples that may build towards the direction of change. Taking the time to do this can be a very efficient investment.