Exhibit 6-3
Principles Underlying Motivational Interviewing70
Principle Description Guiding Beliefs
Expressing Empathy Expressing empathy involves communicating warmth and using reflective listening during every contact with the family members. The caseworker should use reflective listening to understand the family member's feelings and perspectives without judging, criticizing, or blaming. Acceptance is not the same thing as agreement or approval of the abusive or neglectful behavior. The crucial attitude is respectful listening to the family member with a desire to understand. Through the expression of respect and acceptance, caseworkers engage the client and embrace the child or adult's self-esteem.
  • Acceptance facilitates change
  • Skillful, reflective listening is fundamental
  • Ambivalence is normal
Developing Discrepancy Developing discrepancy is creating and amplifying in the family member's mind a discrepancy between present behavior and broader goals. This means helping the family member to see the discrepancy between where they are and where they want to be. This can be triggered by the family member's awareness of the costs of the present behavior. When a person sees that a behavior conflicts with important personal goals, change is likely to occur.
  • Awareness of consequences
  • Disconnect between present behavior and important goals will motivate change
Avoiding Arguments Avoiding argumentation is important in lessening resistance. What caseworkers want to do is increase the family member's awareness of problems and the need to do something about them. When caseworkers encounter resistance, they may need to stop their current approach because they are likely to be "fighting against the resistance" and may therefore need to take another approach. Caseworkers also need to avoid labeling the children and family.
  • Arguments are counterproductive
  • Defending breeds defensiveness
  • Resistance is a signal to change strategies
  • Labeling is unnecessary
Rolling with Resistance Rolling with resistance requires the caseworker to acknowledge that reluctance and ambivalence are both natural and understandable. Caseworkers need to help the children and family consider new information and new perspectives. To do this, caseworkers turn a question or problem back to the children and family to help them discover their own solutions. This is based on the assumption that the person is capable of insight and that he or she can solve his or her own problems. This may not be possible, however, in all circumstances because of a variety of factors including cognitive impairment, mental illness, or substance abuse.
  • Momentum can be used to good advantage
  • Perceptions can be shifted
  • New perspectives are invited, not imposed
  • The child and family are a valuable resource in finding solutions to problems
Supporting Self-Efficacy Supporting self-efficacy means supporting the child or adult's belief in his or her ability to carry out and succeed with a specific task. The caseworker's task is to help increase the person's perceptions of his or her capability to cope with obstacles and succeed in changing their behavior.
  • Hope and faith are important elements of change
  • Children and families can be helped to discover solutions
  • Personal responsibility is the cornerstone for change
Asking for the Client's Perspective Asking for the client's perspective means letting the client know that the caseworker wants to understand their view of the problems, conditions, and behaviors. When the caseworker seeks to understand the client's view of their situation, the client becomes more invested in the process and will view the caseworker as desiring to help them change.
  • Children and families become more invested when they feel heard