language category: English

Interactive Group “Real-Play”

Contributor(s): Steven Malcolm Berg-Smith

'''Purpose''': To provide a large audience an initial introduction to motivational interviewing in a relatively brief interactive presentation (30-45 minutes).
Primary goal: To catalyze interest in learning more about MI.

Exercise simultaneously allows trainer to: 1) model the spirit and basic skills/strategies/tools of MI; 2) present bite-size pieces of didactic information (“key elements”) related to MI; and 3) support the audience in personally experiencing a simple motivational interview with a self-identified health behavior.




Affirmation Card Sort

Instructions for Card Sort using
==Some Characteristics of Successful Changers==

'''Clinical Use Variations'''

1. Practitioner invites client to read through card sort and select qualities that describe him or her. Using MI communication skills, practitioner facilitates discussion with client regarding why they selected particular qualities, how they are important to him or her, and how they may be used in reaching towards goals or in his or her change efforts.



Three Levels

Reflective Responses to Sentence Stems – Three Levels
Douglass Fisher, M.A. & David Rosengren, Ph.D.

Read the sentence stem and write down a simple (Level 1), reframe (Level 2) and affective (Level 3)
reflective listening response to each item.

It’s been fun, but something has got to give. I just can’t go on like this anymore.
Level I:
Level 2:
Level 3:

It’s been over a year since I’ve had an HIV test.
Level I:
Level 2:
Level 3:


Change Is In the Air



To illustrate the common threads across three scenarios for behaviour change: the service system, ourselves and our patients. To help participants to identify with how patients feel. To open up the question of how best to encourage people to change. To introduce key concepts like readiness, ambivalence and change talk in a naturally unfolding manner, linked to their own experience of anticipated change. The exercise might work best in a group who all come from the same setting?



Affirmation Exercise

'''Abstract''': Affirmations are closely tied to values. What feels affirming to one person may feel false or irrelevant to another. This exercise is a way to consider what a genuine affirmation feels like to each participant.

'''Overview''': Affirmations are the A in OARS skills and are sometimes overlooked by trainees. Yet an accurate affirmation can support self-efficacy and enhance therapeutic rapport.


Find the Change Talk

'''Abstract''': Participants try to identify change talk within ongoing dialogue.

'''Overview''': Provide a sample of dialogue. It can be from a motivational interview, or even from a film, song, TV show, etc. On first try it is helpful to work from a transcript, to slow down the process.

'''Guidelines''': Explain clearly what constitutes change talk. You can draw on coding guidelines from the MISC of MITI for clarity. (e.g., talking about past-tense motivation is not change talk). Then provide an opportunity for participants to identify change talk within dialogue.


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.


Let There Be Light

'''Abstract''': This exercise can be done if the training room has a dimmer switch that allows continuous adjustment of the brightness of lighting in the room. In an MI interaction, when change talk is elicited the room lights brighten. When counter-change talk is elicited, the room lights dim.


Change Talk Jeopardy

'''Abstract''': Trainees practice asking open questions that elicit change talk, and learn about the linkage between the two.

'''Overview''': In an exercise that involves movement, trainees reflect on and practice open questions that will elicit change talk. The exercise parallels the TV game show Jeopardy in which the trainee is given an answer, and has to come up with the appropriate question that would elicit the answer.


Rowing for Confidence

'''Abstract''': The counselor practices how to use [[OARS]] directively, to enhance confidence for change.

'''Overview''': This is a variation on the prior [[Rowing with OARS]] exercise, with particular attention on building confidence for change. It addresses the client for whom confidence may be lower than importance.



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