Have you tried to move a client to action that was just not ready? Are they “unmotivated” or “resistant”? How do you move people that just seem… stuck?
All of us have embarked on an effort to change a behaviour in our lives… poor dietary habits, smoking cessation, etc. From our own experience, we know changing a behaviour isn’t easy. Change takes time and effort - in short, change is a process. The Stages of Change (SoC) model was developed by James O. Prochaska, PhD. and is sometimes referred to as the “readiness-to-change model”. Change is viewed as gradual, progressing over time and requiring different interventions at different stages to help people move forward.
We often jump right into action with our clients and are met with clients who appear to be unmotivated and resistant to change. Assessing and understanding your client’s stage of readiness and offering the appropriate level of support is critical if they are to progress. Prochaska writes that “fewer than 20 percent of a problem population are prepared for action…yet, 90 percent of problem behaviour programs are designed for this 20 percent in mind” (Changing For Good, Prochaska, Norcross & DiClemente). Ultimately, most people fail because they are ‘not ready’, further diminishing their self-confidence in their ability to change.
Supporting clients through the SoC requires processes and strategies to help them make and maintain change, build self-efficacy and overcome ambivalence. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a directive, client-centered style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence (Miller & Rollnick 1991). The MI approach elicits and amplifies the client’s internal personal motivators for change, tipping the scales in favour of the desired behaviour change.
Employment practitioners are charged with the task of helping all clients find and keep meaningful employment. Understanding where your client is at in the Stages of Change and having strategies in your tool kit to help clients overcome ambivalence, build self-efficacy and motivation, is key to your client’s success in their journey.
David Clarke, Durham Regional Health Services will be presenting a 2-part Motivational Interviewing webinar and recommends this video by Dr. William Miller, the founder of MI, Motivational Interviewing: Facilitating Change Across Boundaries
To learn more, please join us for Understanding the Stages of Change, May 3, 2018 and Motivational Interviewing(MI), May 15, 29, 2018. Recordings will be available should you be unable to attend the webinars.