Motivational Interviewing

As I mentioned before, we have “class days” where we learn about different counseling techniques, social issues that will affect our patients/clients/profession, nutrition support topics (like tube feeding), etc.  Our last class was on Motivational Interviewing.  I’d learned about motivational interviewing in my MNT class back in school, but I had never really had to put it into use.   It was good to have the intensive, one-day MI class because I immediately got to put my refreshed knowledge to use during the WIC rotation!

The day after the MI class, I had three sessions where I got to try to incorporate my MI skills.  The first session, I know I messed up and used too many close ended questions.  Very basic mistake and I realized it immediately after, but the RD guiding me that day jumped in and asked the right questions.  The second session went much better because I used open-ended questions and reflected back to the client, so I felt pretty good about that session.  The third session?  I used open-ended questions and reflected back, but then I kept circling the issue and had trouble closing.  Again, the RD jumped in to help.

Feeling kind of bummed about how I had done for the day, I recalled a session I attended at the 2013 North Carolina Dietetic Association meeting where Dr. Richard Kreipe spoke about child obesity and using motivational interviewing when counseling parents and children.  During the presentation, he demoed an interactive tool to practice honing MI skills.  Determined to improve and try to avoid making the same mistakes I had made earlier that day, I went home and found the presentation (PDF of presentation) and the site he had promoted.  I also found a bunch of other resources for motivational interviewing for health changes and reviewed those.

I wish I could say I totally rocked motivational interviewing the remainder of that rotation, but that would be lying.  I did improve and do better, though.  Maybe one day I’ll become good enough to join MINT.

For anyone else who’s looking to work on their MI skills, here are the resources I used:

There are tons of resources on the internet, but these are the ones I used.  If you have any that you think are awesome, please share!  Improving MI skills take time and practice and I plan on grabbing as much practice as I can.


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