The Motivational Interviewing

Roll with Resistance is a term used in Motivational Interviewing (MI) that addresses the client’s ambivalence and resistance to change. Reflecting is a skill often used when responding to a client’s resistance.

Be mindful that ambivalence and resistance are perfectly natural parts of the process of change.  Whatever you do, REFUSE to confront, cajole, argue, persuade, lecture, reason with, blame, shame, or otherwise vehemently disagree with your client’s resistance/denial more than is necessary to accomplish your notification/clarification duties.  In other words, don’t ‘spin your wheels in the mud’ – instead wait until you have some “traction.”  Why add to the reasons your client can say s/he is not willing to change i.e., blaming or hating you is easier than feeling emotions that are more helpful: sadness, regret etc.

1.  Identify and discuss something you have wanted to change but have not done so yet…a change, which you are ambivalent.

2.  How would you respond to a clinician/therapist giving you a list of reasons why you should change?

3. Conversely, discuss how you would likely respond if the clinician/therapist changed their approach/style and asked questions such as, “Why would you want to make this change?” or “How important is it for you to make this change and why?”

4. Explain how the dynamics of the conversation make a difference in the therapeutic relationship.

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