“I’ve Been Afraid of Changing”: Using Motivational Interviewing principles in academicadvising to promote positive student change Miranda Atkinson Career Academic Adviser School of Journalism Communication University of Oregon
Outline• Background and Context• Deﬁnition of MI• Development of/theory behind MI• The spirit of MI• Key areas of skill• Traps to avoid• Advising applications• Important considerations
Background and Context• My background • M.Ed. in counseling • Trained in MI as part of a smoking cessation research program for University of Michigan• Motivational Interviewing • Counseling theory/approach developed in 1991 by William Miller and Stephen Rollnick • Designed to help clients change • Originally developed for counseling clients with substance abuse • Other appropriate applications have been developed.
Background and Context • Conception • Retention and Outreach program • Used elements of Motivational Interviewing in individual conversations • Presence of “change language” indicated higher likelihood of improved grades
What is Motivational Interviewing?• A client-centered, directive approach for enhancingintrinsic motivation to change by exploring andresolving ambivalence.
Development of and theory behind MI• The “dilemma of change” • ambivalence = feeling two ways about something • ambivalence is normal, getting “stuck” is the problem • “Ambivalence is a reasonable place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there” (Miller Rollnick, 2002, p. 14). • lack of motivation = unresolved ambivalence
Development of and theory behind MI• Types of ambivalence • Approach-approach conﬂict: choose between two similarly attractive options • Avoidance-avoidance conﬂict: choose between two negative options • Approach-avoidance conﬂict: attracted to and repelled by same option • Double approach-avoidance conﬂict: choose between two options, each with attractive and negative qualities
Development of and Theory behind MI • We usually see double approach-avoidance, the most challenging to resolve.
Development of and theory behind MI• Motivation has three critical components: • Ready: priorities • Willing: importance • Able: conﬁdence• These components are intrinsic• Our goal is to help students become ready, willing, and able to change.
Noticing motivation to change• Listen for “changetalk” • Disadvantages of status-quo • Advantages of change • Optimism for change • Intention to change
Example“I’ve been afraid of changing, ‘cause I’ve built my lifearound you. But time makes you bolder, children getolder, I’m getting older too.” What types of change talk did you hear?
Resistance • You will also hear “resistance talk” • “I’ve been afraid of changing, ‘cause I’ve built my life around you.” • This is a reﬂection of ambivalence, which is a normal part of the change process.
The “Righting Reﬂex”• Avoid the “righting reﬂex” • Reﬂex to push someone in the “right” direction • “Have you considered...?” • “You should try...?” • “If you would just...?” • A physics lesson
What is Motivational Interviewing? • Re-examine the deﬁnition: • Client-centered (student-centered) • Directive approach • Enhances intrinsic motivation to change • Explores and resolves ambivalence
The Spirit of MI• Collaboration • Exploration and support vs. authoritarian coercive• Evocation • Elicit vs. impart information• Autonomy • Facilitate self-direction vs. telling client/ student what to do
Key Areas of Skill• Reﬂective listening• Responding to change talk• Responding to resistance
Reﬂective Listening• Reﬂect the core of thestudent’s statement back tohim/her. • Clariﬁes meaning • Encourages continued exploration of issue • Does not simply repeat the student’s words
Responding to Change Talk• It is not possible to reﬂect allmeanings of a statement. • Reﬂect selectively by choosingto reﬂect change talk.• This encourages the client/student to continue exploringchange talk.
Responding to Resistance• Resistance is a reﬂection ofambivalence.• Resistance rises from the client/counselor relationship. • It is not ﬁxed.• Resistance is an indication ofdissonance • Client is not on the same page • Roll with resistance to ﬁnd themeaning behind it and moveforward together.
The Phases of MI• The goal is to use these guiding principles to move clients through the phases of MI: • Building intrinsic motivation for change • Strengthening commitment to change and developing a plan to accomplish it
Tempting traps• Q/A trap: avoid with open-ended questions andreﬂective listening• Taking sides: avoid arguing one side of ambivalence• Expert trap: avoid “ﬁxing” or prescribing a solution• Labeling trap: avoid attaching a diagnosis or label tothe client
Student Populations and MI • What student populations might beneﬁt from an MI approach? • Students struggling with academic performance • Students struggling with destructive behavior • Students struggling with a difﬁcult decision • All students beneﬁt from an open, non- judgmental student-advisor relationship.
Important Considerations • MI’s popularity has resulted in confusion • Not teaching how to practice, just basic underlying principles. • Brief adaptations of MI are not = MI • Advisers will not always have time for MI. • Not all students are ready to change.
References• Miller, W. R. Rollnick, S. (2002).Motivational Interviewing: PreparingPeople for Change, (2nd ed.). NewYork, NY: The Guilford Press.• Other resources: MI Website • http://www.motivationalinterview.org/• Questions?