Motivational Interviewing and Career Counselling Presentation by

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Developing Motivation in Career
International Conference
Guidance and Career Development, June 4 - 6,
2014 Québec, Canada
Peter Beven
Northumbria University
United Kingdom
Developing Motivation in Career
Counselling: Aims
• To discuss motivation as a key
component of career development
• To introduce some aspects of the Miller
and Rollnick motivational interviewing
• To understand the potential of the ideas
as appropriate to career counselling
Career Counselling
• Not all career guidance and counselling work
occurs with “willing” clients
• Even with clients voluntarily seeking help,
motivation for change can involve a
complicated range of factors
• What can we learn from other cognate
research evidence
Research Findings (1)
• Change occurs naturally.
• What happens after formal interventions (counselling,
guidance, therapy, etc.) mirrors natural change, rather than
being a unique form of change.
• Nevertheless, the likelihood that change will occur is strongly
influenced by interpersonal interactions. Even relatively brief
support can initiate change
• When behaviour change occurs within a course of sessions,
much of it happens within the first few sessions, and, on
average, the total “dose” of treatment does not make all that
much difference.
Research Findings (2)
• How the helper supports the client is a significant
determinant of likelihood of dropout, retention, adherence,
and outcome.
• People who believe that they are likely to change do so.
People whose counsellors believe that they are likely to
change do so. Those who are told that they are not expected
to improve indeed often do not. (see “Waiting List” studies)
• What people say about change is important. Statements that
reflect motivation for and commitment to change do predict
subsequent behaviour
research evidence
mi specific
Research Evidence: Some specific examples
re Motivational Interviewing
• Barnett et al (2012) value of MI for substance users
• A review by Macgowan and Engle (2010) reports that
Motivational Interviewing (MI) has met the American
Psychological Association's criteria for promising
treatments of adolescent substance use.
• DiFulvio et al., (2012) effectiveness of MI with
alcohol abuse and college students
• Anstiss et al., (2011) Motivational Interviewing with
Self Determination Theory
(Ryan and Deci, 2013)
(responsive to outside influences or sanctions)
(responsive to internal reasons and wishes)
Where behaviour change is intrinsic, more likely to be longer
lasting. This links directly with Motivational Interviewing
Self Determination Theory
Self Determination Theory suggests three basic
psychological needs that must be satisfied to
foster well-being and health;
• Competence -seeking to control the outcome
and experience mastery
• Relatedness - is the wish to interact, be
connected to, and experience caring for others
• Autonomy -is the urge to be causal agents of
one's own life
Motivational Interviewing
• Should avoid viewing clients as intrinsically
“Motivated” or “Unmotivated”
• Need to view motivation as a state of readiness to
take action – which will vary from one time to
• The way an interviewer relates to a client affects the
outcome: there can be significant changes even with
clients appearing “unmotivated”
Assessing motivation
• Need to identify at what stage the client is at
with regard to readiness to change
• Prochaska and DiClemente- researchers who
have described a series of stages through
which people pass in the course of managing a
• “The Wheel of Change”
Wheel of Change
Wheel of Change
• It is a circle: common for people to move
round several times
• Provides windows of opportunity where
advisers can have significant influence
• Different strategies needed at different stages
of the wheel of change
Pre-contemplation stage
• The client not yet thinking about the possibility of
• May report: “I haven’t got a problem”
• May express surprise there's anything to discuss
• May be defensive pre-contemplators: “I’m only here
because they force me to come here” (or e.g. to
avoid losing benefit)
• May have been referred by other agencies
Pre-contemplation: Four variations on
a theme
• Reluctant precontemplators: don’t want to
consider change; may be unaware of the
effect of problem behaviour; may feel
comfortable where they are
• Rebellious precontemplators: unlike the
above, often have a great deal of knowledge
about their behaviour; may be hostile to the
idea of change
Pre-contemplation: Four variations on
a theme (cont’d)
• The Resigned Precontemplator: Have given up on the
possibility of change and seem overwhelmed by the
• The Rationalising Precontemplator: often appears to
have all the answers. Not considering change
because believe their situation is due to someone
else’s problem or mistake
Contemplation Stage
Some Awareness of the Problem
Characterised by “Ambivalence”
Both considers change and rejects it
Moves between reasons to change and
reasons not to change
• Ambivalence (or “feeling two ways about something”) is a
natural state, but can be a key issue that must be resolved for
change to occur.
• The "lack of motivation" that so often frustrates the work of
professionals in a range of settings can be thought of as
unresolved ambivalence.
• To explore ambivalence is to work at the heart of the problem
of being stuck. Until a person can resolve the "I want to, but I
don't want to" dilemma, change is likely to be slow-going and
Determination Stage
Where the balance tips towards intention to act
“I can’t go on like this”
“What can I do?
How can I change this?”
“I’ve got to do something about this”
Action Stage
• What most people think of as counselling or
• The search for strategies to help the client
bring about a change
• Helping the client to identify options and
supporting them in reaching goals:
E.g. Information, advice, guidance
• In essence this is about staying on track with
the change plan
• Helping client not to lose ground if plan does
not work out immediately
• E.g. maintaining morale in the face of a
rejection of a job application or application for
a college place
• Relapse is when an individual, having made
some attempt to change “reverts back” to
problematic behaviour or lifestyle
• A key task here is to provide support to try to
help the client to avoid discouragement and
• Try to renew determination to act
Principles of Good Practice
Express empathy
Develop discrepancy
Avoid Argumentation
Roll with Resistance
Support client in belief that they can change
(self efficacy)
Avoiding “traps” in Interviews
Question- answer trap
Confrontation – denial trap
The “Expert” trap
Labelling trap
Premature Focus trap
Blaming trap
Developing Clients’ Self Motivation
Asking evocative questions
Exploring pros and cons
Asking for elaboration
Imagining Extremes
Looking Forward
Looking Back
Opening Strategies
Ask Open Questions
Listen reflectively
Encourage self motivational statements:
problem recognition, concern, intention to
change and optimism for change
Moving towards Client Action:
Transition Stage
• Make a Summary Reflection:
– Review: concerns,
– any reluctance,
– incorporate self motivational statements from earlier in
the interview
• Ask the “Key Question”
– Client to suggest next steps
• Follow client answer with reflective listening
• Help client identify priorities
• Negotiate plan for change
Four Categories of Client Resistance
1. Arguing
2. Interrupting
3. Denying
4. Ignoring
Strategies for Handling Resistance
Simple reflection
Amplified reflection
Double-sided reflection
Shifting Focus
Agreement with a twist
Emphasising personal control
Thank you!
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