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Health, Medicine, Nursing
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Motivational interview Health, Medicine, Nursing Essay (Essay Sample)


Motivational Interviewing Practice Assignment

Points Possible = 20

For this exercise, you will conduct a motivational interviewing intervention.  You may do this with a client in your clinical work setting, or with a family member, friend, colleague, or other student. You will work with the person of your choice on an issue/situation where there is potential for change, identified by that person.  Or, if you wish, you can choose to have a family member or friend adopt one of the situations described in the textbook. In this situation, the person will be familiarized with the situation and will then act out the entire scenario based on the situation’s description; it does not need to play out the same way as in the text; the person can ad lib (within reason), based on your responses.  Examples of possible situations include needing to eat more healthfully, needing to exercise more, needing to make decisions about marijuana use, working too much, deciding whether to take medication, making a parenting decision, etc.

While performing this exercise, plan to use as many as possible of the MI skills taught in the Rosengren text, in order to facilitate a positive outcome for the person.  You may also want to tape your conversation or take notes, in order to facilitate the written part of the assignment (see below).  Plan to include the following in your intervention, as much as possible:

  • Use of MI spirit
  • Use of OARS + I
  • Avoidance of Thomas Gordon’s Roadblocks and the righting reflex
  • Focusing, using agenda mapping &/or identification of typical day &/or normalizing behavior &/or offering a concern
  • Exchanging information, using Elicit-Provide-Elicit &/or Chunk-Check-Chunk
  • Evoking change, eliciting and strengthening change talk, reducing sustain talk
  • Planning for change, determining readiness, recapitulation/transitional summary, key questions, pregnant pause
  • Developing a plan, strengthening commitment, supporting change 

After your exercise is complete, write up a summary of the experience, as described below, and submit to the appropriate drop box in Blackboard.

  • Identify whether the exercise was done with a client, family member, friend, colleague, other student (1 point)
  • Provide a brief summary/background of the issue presented by the person (1 point)
  • Provide a running description of the entire MI conversation, using the style promoted in the text (12 points):
  • 2 columns, one for what was said (statement), and one for analysis (commentary)
    • For each statement, be sure to indicate who made the statement
    • In the analysis/commentary, identify the technique or strategy used, or if you make a mistake (which is likely!), identify the mistake (i.e. used a roadblock, failed to identify sustain talk, failed to stay within the MI spirit, etc.)

                        Evaluate the MI conversation in 1 – 2 paragraphs.  Describe your evaluation of the intervention, your successes and weaknesses, and the outcome experienced by the other person.  Identify any problems you had and factors contributing to any difficulties you encountered.  Discuss what you would like to have done differently, and your plans to continue to enhance your MI skills.  (6 points)

Note: you are not expected to conduct this intervention perfectly!  Know that you are likely to make mistakes, and that it is OK.  Just try to fix the mistakes by returning to use of the MI spirit and use of learned techniques, and move on.  This assignment is for learning purposes, and often it is through making mistakes that we experience our best learning.  Just remember to discuss and evaluate the mistakes in your written evaluation.




Motivational Interview




We are here to chat about your addiction and find a way forward. But first I’m interested to learn a little more about your problem. I know you have a tough decision to make ahead of you.

An opening statement that elicits information about the client's case


Yes, I have been thinking about quitting marijuana for good since I got my new job, but I also think about how it helps me relieve anxiety. The drug test is crucial, but I'm still not sure what to do.

This statement shows desire, focus on change talk, and acknowledges ambivalence.


So the marijuana is of primary value to you that you aren’t ready to let go.

A simple reflection


Yeah, It is just my way to self-medicate.

Element of resistance


Let me see if I've got this right. So your job is essential to you as well as the marijuana. However, the job involves interacting with kids, and you will be subjected to a drug test. Therefore you are thinking about stopping, and you believe you can, but you don't know-how

A summary that addresses the client's concerns and the change talk



confirms accuracy


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