Monday, January 30, 2012

Can I motivationally interview myself?

I was instantly involved in this motivational interiewing training.  I have to admit that I dreaded going.  I dislike the touchy feely role playing trainings that seem to be the norm in my field lately.  It's a struggle to shift my mind from keeping distance and being authoratative to being empathetic and caring.  That sounds horrible, right?  I mean I got into probation thinking that I could make a difference and help people and the community.  But when I think about it, that wasn't what occurred.  I was authoratative and demanding.  The two ideas rarely met in the middle.  I spent a lot of time struggling to see that I helped the people I worked with.  And rarely would I feel good because progress toward becoming a more productive member of the community occurred.

So while I thought about the fact that I could really use this to feel more successful in my work life, I also wondered if I could use it in my personal life.  The answer ended up being of course. 

Did you know that every choice has some ambivalence?  Every choice we make has reasons for and against making it.  And while we want to change, just like my last blog post, do we really want to change?  When we start thinking about change and talking with other people about it, we get feedback.  And our natural inclination is that when someone tells us a reason for change, we think about the reasons against it.  Almost like "I'll show you.  I don't really need to change."  We dig our heels in about not changing.  The same is true of the reverse.  If someone tells us why we shouldn't change, we instinctively think of all the reasons why we should change.

After the first day of this training I kept thinking, "Can I motivationally Interview myself?"  Can I work though the steps and exercises that were a part of this to motivate myself to change when my motivation was lacking?  I think so.  I really think so.

My plan is to spend some time reworking the exercises she presented and posting them so everyone can learn from them.  Not just me.


  1. I can usually recognize when I need to make some changes (like ambivalence) but it is usually very difficult to actually make the change.

    I think it is human nature to retreat to a certain "comfortable level". It takes perseverance and dedication to accomplish the change and I am not so good at that!

  2. Hope you continue to move forward - it sounds like you are prepared to use whatever tools you need to be successful!