Out of a Hat

Abstract: Trainees draw from a hat the kind of response they are to generate

Overview: A hat contains slips of paper that name particular MI-consistent responses. Within a structured exercise, trainees draw a slip of paper from a hat and perform the type of response named on the paper.

Guidelines: Set up an appropriate client stimulus to which trainees will respond. Prepare a set of slips of paper naming particular MI-consistent responses and place them in a hat. Trainees then draw slips and perform the response specified.

Examples:
The training task is to strengthen trainees= ability to evoke change talk. Ten slips of paper are prepared describing ten different ways in which change talk can be elicited. A speaker describes a change that he or she may want to make, but has not yet made. For example: I think I should get more exercise.@ In front of the group is a list of ten ways for evoking change talk. There are also ten (or more) slips of paper in a hat each containing one of these responses (e.g., Ask an evocative question. Use change ruler. Ask for examples.) Each trainee draws one slip from the hat and attempts to use that response to elicit change talk. The speaker responds. Then the audience is asked (1) which eliciting strategy they believe the trainee was using, and (2) whether the speaker=s response was change talk.

The training talk is to strengthen trainees= ability to respond to client change talk in a manner that reinforces it. Trainees write down examples of the kinds of change talk that they hear from clients in their own settings. Slips of paper are prepared describing different ways in which a counselor can respond to change talk in order to reinforce it (e.g., Simple reflection, complex reflection, ask for example, affirmation). This list of possible responses is also posted in front of the group. Then trainees are divided into two groups and form two lines whereby the people at the front of each line are facing each other. One of these lines are the "clients" and the other the "counselors". The first client offers a change talk statement. The first counselor (facing the first client) draws a slip of paper from the hat and attempts to use that response to reinforce the client=s change talk. The client then responds. Finally the audience is asked (1) to identify which reinforcing response they believe the trainee was using, and (2) whether the client=s response was more change talk.

Thanks to: The 2005 TNT class (Solvang, California)