Click to watch Kathleen Sciacca talk about Motivational Interviewing and the 5 skills it includes. She is addressing MI in the health field but what she says can apply to conflict professionals, too. The 5 skills are:
- open-ended questions
- reflective listening
- change talk
What's the MI spirit? A definition of MI which mentions that spirit is found in a fascinating article published in Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (link here) comparing MI with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) :
MI is a “client-centered directive method for enhancing intrinsic motivation to change by exploring and resolving ambivalence”. As a therapeutic style, MI does not follow a protocol for teaching clients skills to change but instead provides a way of interacting with clients so that their self-expertise can be utilized in order to facilitate change. In this sense, MI is not a stand-alone therapy delivered with the intention to accomplish behavior change. Instead, it prepares an individual for change by increasing contemplation and commitment to change. The fact that MI is a therapeutic style has made it possible for it to be readily used in conjunction with other therapies to increase motivation to change.
Derived from Carl Rogers’s client-centered therapy approach, MI combines a supportive and empathic counseling style with a method of intentionally directing clients toward changing dysfunctional behavior. MI emphasizes creating a collaborative relationship and affirming the client’s autonomy to change. Indeed, Miller has proposed that these aspects of MI may be the most important to the change process because they allow for the expression of love in the form of understanding and unconditional positive regard. Therapists elicit motivation for change by drawing on the client’s goals and values. The foundation of MI is the context of a working alliance between client and counselor, what is known as “MI spirit". This spirit (1) is collaborative rather than authoritarian, (2) evokes the client’s own motivation rather than trying to install it, and (3) honors the client’s autonomy.
Click for the Web site of Dr. William Miller, one of the founders of MI.
Note (added April 20, 2012): Interview of Ken Kraybill on Motivational Interviewing conducted by Mark Horvath.