Addiction Studies Essay

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Lecture: Motivational Interviewing

During these lectures a number of different aspects of motivational interviewing came up. Initially the principles of motivational interviewing were looked at these include; avoid argumentation, express empathy, support self-efficacy, roll with resistance, develop discrepancies. We then discussed how this might be done with a client. To work with a client efficiently using motivational interviewing techniques it would be important to know where they are on Prochaska and DiClemente’s wheel of change. There are six stages to this wheel and these stages are; Pre-Contemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action, Maintenance and Relapse. Once the clients status on the wheel has been established, a variety of techniques would be used to implement the principles. Some of these techniques which are considered central to this kind of counselling are asking open-ended questions, making simple reflections on what the client says to show that you are listening, affirmation to show empathy and support for the client, elaboration so that you may explore some of the clients ambivalence and develop discrepancies, double-sided reflections can also be effective at this. Amplified reflections can sometimes be used to promote self efficacy as can summaries. During these lectures we also did a lot of role plays of all these different techniques to ensure that there were no misunderstanding of how these techniques would work in a counselling session with a client.

Critical Reflection:

Whilst enjoying the majority of these lectures and finding them very informative and useful, I did find that some of the techniques used here would not be very useful in all counselling situations with a client who is abusing drugs. I do not think you could use this kind of counselling techniques in isolation, as I feel some clients would not appreciate having everything the discuss with you in a counselling session reflected back to them. However I would have to say that the wheel of change is a very effective way of working with drug abusing clients as it gives you a very clear framework to work within and if you are clear on where the client is at on this wheel, it would ensure that the work that was done with that client would be effective and relevant to the stage that the client is currently at in their drug usage.

Application of Theory to Practice:

These lectures have been very beneficial when working with active drug users who are thinking of change. I have found since these lectures my work has become much more effective for the clients I work with, this has been because of my awareness of the wheel of change. I have found this invaluable as it has given me a framework within which to view where the client may be at in terms of their readiness to deal with their drug usage. This has meant that I am now looking at what the client is currently ready for and have not been rushing the client to whatever stage I think they should be at. I have also found that when undertaking an intervention with a client, I have now found my ability to assess the clients actual situation has improved immensely through the use of the different skills I have picked up from these lectures. I have found the use of techniques such as reflections and open-ended questioning have been invaluable in this way.

Personal Learning and Self Development:

I have learned a lot about myself through these lectures. I have found that I may not have been as effective in my previous interventions as I may have hoped for. This I think has been mainly down to my rushing the clients a little too much in the direction of change at a stage when they where not completely ready for this. These lectures have shown me that I will need to work on my listening skills but im hoping with the use of techniques such as the wheel of change and reflecting back what the client is saying, this...
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