When we think of motivational techniques, immediately the mind jumps to Mr. Motivator and breakfast TV or one of the many Americans who’ve made money out of telling us how to have more fulfilled lives.
It was refreshing then to visit the common room in Hazelbank this week where local motivational interviewing (MI) expert Glenn Hinds was working with members of local community groups.
“The workshop is essentially a conversation with community workers and staff and about exploring the use of motivational interviewing in those roles in their day to day contact with people,” says Glenn.
“Motivational interviewing is an evidence-based clinical method for helping people change. It combines the client-centred counselling style of Carl Rogers with directive psychological methods to help clients increase motivation for change, resolve ambivalence, strengthen commitment and carry through with behaviour change.
“It’s consistent with the call for more individual-centred approaches in health and social care, in which the health and social practitioner/individual relationship is seen as a partnership, rather than an an expert - recipient one.
“MI also provides health and social practitioners with a means of tailoring their interventions to suit the individual’s degree of readiness for change.”
Glenn said Motivational Interviewing was originally developed for helping people with alcohol/drug problems.
“It’s now being applied more widely in health and social care, education, criminal justice, rehabilitation and mental health settings.”
Mary Breslin, from the Neighbourhood Health Project, who organised the workshop, said taking part in a motivational interview had changed her life.
“It was such an eye-opener for me after I participated in it seven years ago,” she told the Sunday Journal.
“It totally changed my life and the way I look at situations. It taught me that you can’t change people but you can help them to change themselves. People will change when they’re ready. My experience with motivational interviewing has helped me look at all aspects of my life in a different way and it’s had a totally positive impact.
“We had a massive response to the workshop here in Hazelbank and it’s great to see so many community workers come forward and get involved,” she added.