Structured Practice

'''Abstract''': These are exercises for shaping MI skills, in which interviewer (listener) and interviewee (speaker) are given well-defined roles, usually with carefully specified communication rules.

'''Overview''': There are substantial similarities to the preceding Negative Practice format, except that here the focus is on shaping skills that you want trainees to practice.

'''Guidelines''': Explain the purpose of the exercise (unless doing so spoils it). Divide people quickly into groups of 2 or 3 (or another number if needed), and describe the roles of each participant. The roles may be rotated during the exercise, so that each participant experiences each role. Give a very clear explanation of the communication rules, and reinforce that with notes on a board or a handout. Participants commonly forget or ignore important rules, or get stuck, so circulating among groups is important to keep the exercise on track. An observer role may be assigned (see Observer Tracking). Afterward, debrief by obtaining observations from the perspective of each role.

'''Notes''': Following is a sequence of exercises developed by Bill Miller, that work well in shaping reflective listening. All of them are examples of Structured Practice. They were described in the first edition of Motivational Interviewing, but were not reproduced in the second edition.