“People only listen when they feel listened to.” -Carl Rogers
Your story is important. What you have to say and who you are, matter. You are an autonomous human being who has the right to make choices about how to best live your life. I believe these statements very strongly, and have chosen to do the work I do at Heading Home because I want to make sure our clients feel this way. These assertions are also central themes embedded in Motivational Interviewing (MI), an evidenced-based practice that is one of the main service philosophies we implement. As the Director of Clinical Services, I am often the person responsible for teaching Motivational Interviewing, modeling its principles, and consulting with staff members around how to best embody this approach.
But… what is it? What exactly do I mean when I say, Motivational Interviewing?
Motivational Interviewing is a client-centered therapeutic approach that can strengthen a person’s own motivation and commitment to change. At its core it is a conversational style that recognizes that the change plan that people articulate for themselves is far more powerful than a plan that is given by an outside source, like a service provider. At Heading Home, the implementation of MI begins with how we interact as colleagues, and continues in how we provide services to clients. In practice this means respecting the different ideas we may have to address a situation. MI requires that we are self-aware, take the time to reflect and the time to listen.
Our clients are in the driver’s seat and in many ways we are the passengers there to offer support and guidance. We must listen to them to best be that support (navigators). Check back in soon to learn more about the benefits and more concrete discussion on how it all works in practice.