Introduction: Motivational Counseling as a Way to Breaking Personal Barriers
Changing one’s personal behavior is a process, which requires much effort and struggle since the alteration of one’s standard conduct patterns is quite complicated. However, often, the desire to modify personal behavior turns in critical need for some people may threaten both their health and the welfare of the surrounding society by employing their bad habits. In this work, the nature of motivational counseling, which aims at assisting in behavior change, is discussed. The methodology, usually, targets the groups of people, who reveal an extensive use of drugs and alcohol, demonstrate abusive attitude towards the community, etc. (Rollnick & Miller, 2005).
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The Employment of Motivational Interviewing Techniques
The central issue in motivational counseling refers to the involvement of the clients into the process of behavior change. It is suggested that many individuals reveal strong resistance to alternating one’s skills. Consequently, it is important for the counselors to demonstrate persuasion and support in the process of guiding the patients through the stages of conduct change that extend from the level of precontemplation to relapse (Aidslibrary, 2009). Moreover, one should master five essential techniques of patient involvement, which stimulate successful behavior modification.
The technique of showing empathy is the primary strategy for gaining the patient’s trust and building a good fundament for future modification. It concerns the revelation of sympathy and respectful treatment of the client’s problems. For instance, if a person, who seeks motivational counseling, confesses that he/she ill-uses drugs, the task of the counselor is to tell the client that the problem can be successfully eliminated, and the patient should not be judged for negative conduct. In other words, showing empathy means saying to the client: “Do not be afraid, you will not be left alone with your problem, and no one can ever judge you for it.”
The practice of developing discrepancy is efficiently applicable in the cases when the counselor notices that the patient does not recognize his/her behavior difficulty as a serious problem. In this case, one has to explain the consequences of the patient’s conduct to him/her as well as assist the client in establishing goals for problem eradication (Dartmouth, 2009).
Developing discrepancy concerns a detailed elaboration of personal aims and therapy advantages. For instance, if the patient refers to the client with the problem of alcohol use, it is significant to discuss the issue of life without alcohol with the patient, which means revealing health benefits and community relationship pros to the individual.
The principle of avoiding arguments refers to embracing the client’s ambivalence and providing non-labeling assistance. For example, the patient, who has problems with drinking, should never be called an alcoholic. It is rather beneficial to show the client that his/her problem is temporary, and it can be skipped.
Finally, the practice of rolling with resistance concerns showing the patient the negative sides of avoiding treatment. For instance, the patient, who reveals abusive conduct, must be informed that his/her resistance to change threatens his family and friends.
Conclusion: Motivational Counseling as the Tool for Finding Harmony
Ultimately, the practice of motivational interviewing integrates the techniques of conduct change with an aim of showing people that their alternations can improve their lives. Thus, if the assistance is delivered efficiently, it helps the patients to realize that they can shape their personal behavior in the way, which benefits both their welfare and the surrounding society.
[Aidslibrary]. (2009). Stages of behavior change. [Video file]. Web.
[Dartmouth]. (2009). Practice demonstration video – motivational counseling. [Video file]. Web.
Rollnick, S., & Miller, W. (2005). What is motivational interviewing? Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 23, 325-334.